In Italy pizza, in Germany currywurst and in Uzbekistan osh or plov. Trying Uzbek plov should be on your bucket list. Once you eat it, the taste of plov may haunt you for a while. But where can one find the real “taste” of some good wedding plov?
There are several plov spots in Tashkent that have won my attention; so far, Choyhona Oshpaz is among my top three on the list. The lovely courtyard with seats makes eating plov outside possible. Otherwise, Choyhona has rooms inside as well. Personally, I prefer the courtyard area, especially in summertime – it helps one enjoy the plov ceremony to the fullest.
When ordering, I go with the classic wedding plov option with slices of horse meat sausage and eggs on top. Locals call it a full “complect”, meaning a set. Besides plov, depending on the season, you can have specific sidedishes. In summer, it is an achiqchuchuk salad (tomato, cucumber, onion and basil) or buttermilk mixed with cucumber and dill. In colder weather, the plov is served with pickled cucumber, tomato and cabbage.
Choyhona Oshpaz has its own bakery with freshly baked Uzbek bread right from flaming tandyr. On hot summer days, they offer cold sweetened cherry kompot (non-alcoholic beverage). I opt for hot green tea. Finishing plov with some hot green tea is part of tradition.
Unlike many other choyhonas, there is always evening plov always available here. This notable exception is convenient for those who’ve missed the daytime plov.