Lounge bar to open as part of new Uzbek restaurant


A lounge bar specialising in vodka is set to open this summer as part of new Uzbek restaurant Samarkand in London’s Fitzrovia.

Taking over the site of Sam and Eddy Hart’s Spanish restaurant Fino in Charlotte Street, it will offer traditional Uzbek dishes with a contemporary touch in its 130-cover dining room.

On a mezzanine, it will have a 70 sq ft lounge bar with up to 40 covers, serving an extensive selection of vodka such as White Birch and Beluga from Russia. The bar and drinks selection are being developed with leading consultancy Shaker.

The venue is being created by Uzbek entrepreneur Sanjar Nabiev with interiors designed by Busby Webb. As pictured in the computer-generated image, key design features will include chandeliers that hang from the ceilings inspired by Uzbekistan’s historic city of Samarkand where astronomy was founded.

The cuisine takes inspiration from the city’s central location on the merchants’ Silk Road between China and the Mediterranean. Signature dishes will include jizbiz (lamb chops with sautéed potatoes), fatinon (a flaky, buttery bread), somsa (pastry parcel filled with lamb or sweet potato) and plov, a classic Uzbekistan dish of fried rice served with lamb and vegetables, which will be served alongside a shot of vodka.

There will also be a selection of bar snacks available such as pickled vegetables and baclajan (aubergine caviar).

Sanjar said: “I’m delighted to showcase the fusion of cultures and food that the Silk Road has to offer. With cuisines so rarely showcased and interiors inspired by one of the oldest inhabited cities, we feel Samarkand will be a unique addition to London’s diverse culinary scene.”

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