European, Japanese, Summer Terraces
Address: Bolshaya Sadovaya ul., 8
Tel: +7 495 650-9909/18, 509-8909
Open from 12:00 until 06:00.
All major credit cards are accepted.
By Neil McGowan
Too hot to cook at home? In Uzbekistan they know about hot, so letting them do the cooking seemed like a good idea. Although many Moscow restaurants serve their regular menu outdoors in summer, B2 have gone one stage further, and set-up an Uzbek outdoor caff in their courtyard - for the authentic outdoor sizzle. This is not trying to compete with the ritzy upscale Uzbek eateries in Moscow - this is honest, Uzbek street-cafe food, priced to persuade you against cooking at home this evening. There is no hokum Uzbek decor - decent and respectable beer-garden patio furniture, and- all the tables are under cover, to save you and your supper from a sudden drenching in the Moscow monsoon season (aka "summer"). You can slob-out shamelessly here and no one will mind - shorts, t-shirts, trainers, whatever you feel comfortable in, bring the kids, it's the perfect antidote to posy dining.
The menu's strong, although not long, on Uzbek standards, and it's all cooked fresh by the guys over there behind the rotisseries. Think of it as a bar with a substantial food menu, and you've got the right approach. The portion-sizes are ideal for snacking, so you can follow central-asian custom and order yourself a selection. There is, however, no pressure on you to order any food at all - if you like you can just drink, so if you just fancy a "beer with a little something", you're in the right place.
We pitched straight in with some pastry appetisers with our drinks - Samsas are like small individual naan-breads, cooked in the tandoor oven, with a little spicy lamb, and go for a mere 20Rbs (you'll want to order at least a couple of these). If an attack of the munchies whilst waiting on some grim station has led to a lifetime's hatred of Cheburek, think again - the cheese ones (60Rbs) here are delicious and light, and not at all greasy.
Plov (pilaff) is the traditional Uzbek staple, and Uzbeksky Plov (150Rbs) didn't disappoint - a generous helping of nice lamb mixed into the tasty rice & veg mix. To provide a little backbone to the meal, we ordered some shashliks - which are priced here per skewerful. It's more fun to mix-and-match, but you ought to reckon on 2+ skewers per person if you're thinking in terms of a main course. The Lamb (90Rbs) was suitably juicy, although the Salmon (90Rbs) was cold when it arrived. The Vegetable shashlik (80Rbs) really needed marinating, the vegetables were quite dry. There are some nice sauces to have on the side - although it's a Georgian interloper on an Uzbek menu, the tkemahli sauce (sour plum) is the perfect partner to the lamb. A plate of rather dull salad and some green herbs made up a rather half-hearted vitamin element to the meal.
There's a good selection of fresh juices (around 140Rbs), although the equally-tempting cocktails don't quite hit the spot - we had a disappointing Mohito (210Rbs) and a very sour Capirinha (150Rbs), and wished we'd stuck to beer or classic drinks.
This is real Uzbek food as served down any alley in Bokhara - tasty, simple, substantial, unpretentious and cheap - and ideal on any occasion when that's what you're after. The (piped) Uzbek music is quiet enough to talk easily, and the service is fast. English-language menus are promised this week too.