Aug 20 2013

Beloe solntse pustini


The restaurant’s name “Beloe solntse pustini” (Белое солнце пустыни or in English white sun of the desert) comes from a very famous 1970 Soviet film directed by Vladimir Motyl, which shows the adventures of a Red Army soldier Fyodor Sukhov, saving women of the harem bandit Abdullah during the Civil War. It is one of the most famous Soviet time movies and a lot of the phrases from the movie have become very popular and used even in the modern times. The restaurant in a true Russian way, serves not 1 type of cuisine, but many - Uzbek, Azerbaijan, Arabic and Chinese food, there is actually quite hard to find a restaurant in Moscow that would serve just 1 type of cuisine.

Beloe solntse pustyni is one of the restaurants owned by the famous restauranteur Arkady Novikov, who acquired the restaurant (then called “Uzbekistan”) in 1997, and re-named the restaurant “Beloe solntse pustyni” and changed the décor according to the movie. I am embarrassed to say, I have not seen this movie, hence can’t really comment how appropriate the interior was, but I really liked it. There were so many things to look at, and I was walking around with my camera amazed by everything I saw and not quick enough to take enough pictures. There were interesting items on the walls, like carpets, antique weapons and music instruments, also puppets in the form of men, which are supposed to remind you of the main characters if the movie, photo from the movie signed by the director. By the entrance stands a man with a gun and inside you can also see a woman in a national costume. There is also an artificial pond in the restaurant where all year round the Russian typical fish sturgeons live, which the chef also cooks according to Uzbek and Chinese recipes, and you can select and catch your own fish if you want to.

You could either sit inside, but we decided to sit outside, as the weather was great in Moscow, and outside there was like an indoor garden with many trees and a live band singing Russian songs, the atmosphere was just great. Later in the evening we also saw some belly dancers.

The menu is extensive, because as I said the restaurant serves Uzbek, Azerbaijan, Arabic and Chinese food, including sausages made with horse meat, which I did not try. Apparently according to their website, all dishes are prepared in compliance with national traditions, like meat skewers are cooked on open coals and the bread is made in clay ovens, and some dishes are even prepared in front of you. I went there with my Russian friend Emil, and so I left all the ordering to him. There were three of us and he ordered some slightly salted cucumbers and salted tomatoes, typical Central Asian things to have, which I absolutely love and which were delicious. We also had a tomato salad with onions and chilli, a typical Uzbek salad called “Achacuk”, which I really like, although I recently had it in Latvia in an Uzbek restaurant, where I thought it was slightly better. They also brought us some freshly made and warm bread, which was delicious. The last starter we ordered was “cheburek”, something which I absolutely love and reminds me a lot of the Soveit days, pastry filled with minced lamb, the cheburek here was delicious, but quite standard.

We also decided to share the main courses and for our main courses we chose some lamb skewers, typical Uzbek soup and “manti”, large dumplings filled with meat and served with sour cream. The food was excellent, the lamb soft and delicious, the soup full of flavour, the manti tasty.

I do recommend you come here, for great Central Asian food and for wonderful décor. The funny thing is that all these dishes I had in Riga in a restaurant “Uzbekistana” (MMMM) a few days before this meal where I paid ¼ of the price you pay in this restaurant, which makes me appreciate and like “Uzbekistana” even more, but the décor and the thought behind the restaurant are better in Beloe solntse pustyni, and I had a very delicious central Asian meal.

Date: 20/ 08/ 13
Location: Moscow
Price for 3 people with a bottle of wine: RUB 9660 (around £187) and I left $40 service charge

Maija rated: 




Beloe solntse pustini
Neglinnaya St., 29, Moscow 103051
Beloe solntse pustini Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 3.5