by Greca Durant
There is no reason why newcomers or visitors to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia should harbor fears about Mongolian cuisine, where to eat, or what to eat while here. One is spoiled for choice. A feast is laid out at your feet. Just follow the scents of deliciously and lovingly prepared vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes emanating from these service providers; warm smiles included.
From Central Tower, head to University Street (Ikh Surguuliin), where Le Bistro Français is located fronting the Mongolian National University. Frequented by both locals and expats, this quite pricey fine dining venue is famed for its thick, juicy steaks served with three sauce options. One can also get escargot (snails), duck, salmon, large servings of salads and big bowls of pasta. The wine list is extensive and the beer offerings include Chimay, a popular Belgian brand. For dessert, go for mousse au chocolat, Crème brûlée, banana splits and ice cream. Newly and elegantly refurbished, one can choose to sit indoors in cosy surroundings, or pass the time at their covered veranda. Taxi drivers know it as French bistro. Tel: 320022.
A few steps away, on the same side of the street, is another French establishment, Le Triskell Crêperie, which serves savory and sweet French crepes as their specialty. Good food is served amid beautiful wooden interiors. Tel: 329797.
Broadway awaits you on the Mongol Post Office side of Sukhbaatar Square. Don’t be daunted by the Greek façade and gilded surroundings. Prices are affordable and service is quick. Traditional Mongolian and European food are on the menu. Tel: 320124 / 331124.
If one prefers something spicier, then cross Peace Avenue from Sukhbaatar Square, and walk to Bangkok Thai Restaurant, on the left-hand corner of Peace and Chinggis Khaan Avenues. Bangkok is on the second floor of a building that is unmissable due to its giant outdoor electronic billboard. Bangkok serves fiery tom yum and curries, stuffed omelets, seafood salads, and other palate-pleasing dishes. Tel: 330476 / 99885161.
If one fancies a meal at a five-star, sky-high location, go to Blue Sky Hotel, the new toast of the town, fronting Sukhbaatar Square. It offers French/European, Chinese, Korean and Japanese cuisines. The hotel has also its very own Blue Sky Lounge and Club Vegas for more sky-high fun. Tel: 70100505.
But if a pub lunch is on your list, check out the Grand Khaan Irish Pub on Seoul Street. Great ambiance coupled with great pub food, cocktails, wines, beers and smoothies. There’s live music in the evenings. Tel: 330993 / 330994.
Seoul Street and the area around it boast of The Ivy Restaurant, Bull Hotpot, Altai Mongolian Grill, Dublin Irish Pub, Brauhaus, Sakura Japanese Bakery, Delhi Darbar, Ikh Mongol Pub, BD’s Mongolian Barbeque, California and other popular venues.
Establishments mentioned in Part One: Eating Out in Ulaanbaatar City, Mongolia include Monet at Central Tower (Tel: 310707), Sakura Restaurant at Kempinski Hotel (Tel: 463463), Hazara North Indian (Tel: 480214 / 9919500), Biwon at Central Tower (Tel: 77400400), Square Grill Pub at Central Tower (Tel: 313355), Bugis at Central Tower (Tel: 70117022) and Hanabi Teppan Dining.