We had wandered along Arbat one day and had a good lunch at My My (see previous post) but on the way out noticed that there was an Uzbek restaurant next door. We returned to Vostochny Kvartal two evenings later. We have never tried Uzbek food so it seemed like an opportunity not to be missed.
The restaurant had a pleasant street terrace where there seemed to be a fair amount of tourists. The menu had reliable English descriptions and our waiter was helpful. Judging by the menu the food seemed to be somewhere between Greek/Turkish and North Indian/Pakistani. There were starters including vine leaves (rather like dolmades) and samsas which looked very much like samosas but with more like a puff pastry than filo pastry.
The menu included variations of plov the Uzbek national dish which consists of rice, spices, vegetables and meat. Apparently the word plov is related to pilau and pilaf; apparently these dishes have their roots in Bactria and got spread around when Alexander the Great invaded the area. Many of the dishes were prepared in a tandir which must be a word with a similar root to tandoor.
We went for a samsa started which was stuffed with vegetables. It was much less spiced than an Indian samosa but was pleasant. The plov was with lamb and whole garlic cloves, carrots, cumin and probably tumeric; the spicing was milder than say a biriyani but was very tasty. The non bread had similarities with naan and Turkish bread in the sense that it was leavened. However it had a crust unlike the softer naan bread. The plov was served with finely sliced onions with paprika.
We enjoyed the food very much and the bill (including some beers) came to about 2,000 roubles (£44). I recommend this place although I have no idea of how it compares with other Uzbek restaurants.