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A taste of Azerbaijan – Apsheron Restaurant, Odessa

September 23, 2012

As summer began in Odessa, not that far from me, a restaurant called Apsheron opened at Fontanskaya Doroga 20/3.  It is owned and run by a good citizen of Azerbaijan.

As is always the case with Odessa in summer, all restaurants are busy, and Apsheron was packed to the rafters from the moment of opening.  As such this is no inferred recommendation and the really good restaurants are those that are busy all year round.

Thus, despite passing it at least twice daily, only yesterday, on an overcast Saturday afternoon did I venture in.

At 3pm on a dull Saturday afternoon there were about 30 people inside the restaurant and about 20 sat outside on the patio.  I was quite surprised considering this restaurant, despite being on a busy street and situated in a fairly affluent area, is a long way from the city centre.

A closer look at the clientèle displayed what appeared to be a 50/50 mix of Slavs and those from the Stans/Jans.  Always encouraging when there are a decent amount of those ethnically able to tell good from bad when it comes to their national cuisine, sat eating.

I have to say the food was as good as any served in Baku, even at the most fancy and expensive restaurants there.

To say it was good would be an understatement.  It was somewhere between great and sublime.

The menu is in Russian but in small brown writing underneath each dish, it is also in English, though you may well miss that such is the bold Cyrillic Russian text.

For those who live in, or spend a lot of time in Odessa, discount cards are available for those who spend UAH 5000.  Before you fall from your chair and say “UAH 5000!!!” – You can simply keep the receipts until they cumulatively reach that figure.  Admittedly that may take you some time, as my total bill for 2 courses and coffee came to UAH 201.  Indeed I have a way to go to eat my way to a discount card it has to be said.

Anyway, for those ever passing along Fontanskaya Doroga, I absolutely and unequivocally recommend Aspheron if you are feeling a little hungry.

That is especially so if you are heading to visit me – as it means I won’t have to cook.  In fact, if you are coming to see me, then come here first and we will head back to Aspheron – where I will keep the receipt to add to my collection in an attempt to reach the UAH 5000 mark and get my discount card!

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