Begim

You heard of Uzbekistan food? Yeah, me neither. That just means it’s the perfect time to become acquainted with a new cuisine. Uzbek food is a mix of Asian, Persian, Middle Eastern and Russian. If you look up where Uzbekistan is, it’ll make a lot more sense to you; it’s linked to the Silk Road (the ancient trade route). Hence, all the different influences. I randomly stumbled upon this gem when I was looking up new places to try! They’ve only been open for a few months but it sounds like they’re doing very well.

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We came after my soccer match and we’re the only ones there on a late Friday night. That meant some quality time chatting with the owners as we met the father and daughter who were doing double duty cooking and serving. So friendly and genuine. Apparently, they speak Russian, Turkish, English and who knows what else. Amazing!

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We wanted to try everything on the menu but your best bet is to consult with them firsthand. Not everything is available as it is made fresh.

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Plain ayran ($3.00)
DSC08958If you’ve never had this before, it’ll take some getting used to. I see these all the time in Lebanese/Middle Eastern places. It’s essentially a sour yogurt drink.

Green tea teapot ($3.00)
DSC08960They just received shipment of their teapot’s straight from the motherland so we decided to try a pot of tea. No tea leaves in it as it’s already been filtered.

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Smooth, aromatic and calming. We were able to all drink a couple cups.

Honim ($4.99)
DSC08963Spiced potato and onions wrapped in pasta and steamed. The honim reminded me of potato latkes but obviously, not of the deep fried variety. Super tasty and a really generous portion.

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Another view. Love the use of parsley, green onion and dill. So much fresh herbs.

2x Dolma ($12.99)
DSC08964Stuffed peppers with beef, roasted potatoes, carrots and dill. The potatoes and carrots were incredibly tender.

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O absolutely loved this dish so we had to get a second round. These aren’t on the regular menu. A little pricey for three but they were delicious.

Chuchvara soup ($4.99)
DSC08966Essentially, dumpling soup. You get about 15 or so lamb filled dumplings. Again, love the use of dill here. The dumplings are small bite size but well made and homely. Same for the broth; reminds me of eating at grandma’s place.

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My attempt at making this bowl look Instagram worthy. Not bad right?

2x Osh ($6.99 each)
DSC08968Traditional Uzbek pilaff with rice, lamb, carrot and spices. This is Uzbek’s national dish and it is delicious. It was originally only available during lunch but it was so popular, they changed it to all day.

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It was so tasty that we had to get another plate. That’s pretty much a whole clump of roasted garlic on top! So much flavour, it’s a must try.

Achichuk ($2.50)
DSC08969Tomatoes, onion, basil and chili pepper. It’s a traditional salad that you’re supposed to eat with osh. The ingredients are so basic (just tomatoes and onions) but it’s satisfyingly light and refreshing. Dill shows up again but it really enhances the salad.

Begim (4.99)
DSC08970Tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumbers, sweet pepper, pickles and mayo. I’m not sure how they came up with this combination and decided to make it into a salad. The pickles and cucumbers adds a nice crunchy element.

Lamb kebab ($11.99 full)
DSC08975We got two full orders of meat. The first one, lamb, was nicely grilled and well seasoned. Very reasonably priced too. If you were to get this at a Persian restaurant, it’s waaaaay pricier.

Chicken kebab ($11.99 full)
DSC08974Our second order of meat, chicken kebabs, was just as tasty. A blend of chicken wings and breasts. I was pleasantly surprised by how good these were.

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Picture of the whole platter. Generous portion of raw swirly onions, side salad, olives and charred jalapeno peppers.

Uzbek bread
DSC08976Our waitress asked us if we wanted to try some Uzbek bread. Silly question, of course we did. It turned out the bread was a bit bland and dry as I assume they made this earlier on in the day. But we didn’t have to pay for it so that was a nice bonus.

Chak chak ($2.50)
DSC08983Uzbek crispy sweet dessert with honey and some nuts thrown on top for decoration. This is so similar to one of my dad’s favourite Chinese desserts. Eat it with your hands.

Awesome introduction to Uzbek food. I can’t come back fast enough to try the rest of their menu. Do me a favour and check ’em out.

Begim
http://www.begim.ca/
4413 – 17 Avenue SE
Calgary, AB
(587) 353-4413

Begim Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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