International Cuisine

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Eating in Mongolia is akin to a great experience for the serious foodie. People who have lived in or visited the capital usually have high praise for the city’s restaurants. Dishes are made with ecologically friendly ingredients and the skills of the cooks are world-class.

In Ulaanbaatar, visitors can try dishes from any country that is famous for their cuisine, as well as taste authentic Mongolian barbeque made with free-range meat and sip organic sea buckthorn juice.

In this city, you can spend a night with all five senses. Start with a luxury night club that serves everything in white cups. Or you can toast with football fans in a sports pub with simple red brick walls and bright lights. You can dance to live music, salsa music, trance, hip hop, and R&B until the morning. Or, if you prefer, hang out at a 25 and up night club where you don’t have to worry about running into “kids”. The night life in Ulaanbaatar continues to flourish.

Japanese restaurants boasting fresh fish and high quality rice also serve udon noodle soup with beef ribs. Colorful plates full of different types of sushi flow past on a revolving track. The white, red, grey, and yellow colored plates are one indication of the prices of each dish. You can also choose to sit in a private area for four to six people and order a sushi collection for a set price. There are also selections of Japanese plum wine, sake, and beer to choose from. 

It wouldn’t be wrong if someone were to say that the capital city has been “Russianized”. Ukranian and Russian dishes don’t require frying, so they give off a mild scent. Walls, tables, and stairs are decorated with grapes, sunflowers and patterns. There’s only one flaw: all the tables are full and I have to wait for a seat. Don’t forget to order a Ukranian beverage made from birch sap to pair with your food. The place is filled with people who are waiting for their orders and people who are enjoying intimate conversations over delicious meals. When you leave the restaurant after a satisfactory and comfortable meal, you’ll wonder if you have just been sitting in a beautiful birch grove. 

There are several Italian places to choose from in Ulaanbaatar. Which one to choose? Black chandeliers, yellow walls with green tints, white ceilings, brown tables, white cloth covered chairs, spacious bars, and steaming hot fresh plates. The cooks are confident that they can recreate the pasta you can taste on the streets of Italy. Pizza with thin, slightly burnt crusts and hand-made, fresh pasta dishes are top recommendations. 

It’s almost as if there is an American standard saying everything needed must be present. Salt, pepper, soy sauce, oil, ketchup, and steak sauces are all available on the table. Bartenders are busy mixing cocktails, and the long black tables with brown chairs separated by glass dividers are filled with customers. A waiter will come to take your order while you are looking at the passing cars, or observing people passing by on the sidewalk. The menu is abundant with chicken, pork, beef selections, and toppings of sour cream, salsa, tomato, onions, and cheese. It’s a feature that all American-style restaurants share. 

An Indian tradition of greeting and respecting the god resting the hearts of each guest with sincerity can be observed in Ulaanbaatar. “Namaste”. With just this one word, you will be able to express happiness, trust, joy, and respect to anyone who knows or understands Sanskrit. People who have been to India and have enjoyed Indian cuisine have said that Indian food in Mongolia is tastier. I have heard many times that the food cooked in India is a bit burnt and runny. But in Mongolia, you will be able to taste how the spices growing in the snowy Himalayan Mountains have integrated with the herbs growing in Mongolian soil to make truly unforgettable tastes. The smell and taste of the dishes, instead of their appearance, are what attracts guests. Low ceilings, golden yellow and red hues define the dining room with waiters wearing saris and a warm smile, and the smell of curry that can only be described as “Indian” are all a part of the Indian dining experience. 

There are not many restaurants that offer Taiwanese dishes in Ulaanbaatar. The few Taiwanese restaurants available have many types of dumplings to choose from. You can even observe the dumpling making process from behind glass windows. Mongolians enjoy Korean dishes perhaps more than any other cuisine. Therefore, you will find many Korean restaurants in Ulaanbaatar, from the lowest priced food courts to high priced, luxurious Korean restaurants. Choose from any of the Korean restaurants that you desire to taste traditional Korean dishes. 

In Ulaanbaatar, you will find Mongolian traditional fast food restaurants, as well as branches of fast food joints famous all over the world. Mongolian fast food restaurants will offer traditional Mongolian dishes as well as famous European food, while fast food chains such as serve the food that people all over the world already know and love. Who says fast food has to be tasteless and useless? You will surely enjoy the taste of Mongolian dishes made with organic ingredients. 

They say you can’t pick your neighbors. Well, Mongolia is neighbor to two nations that have an enormous food culture. In the tide of time, Mongolian dishes have made space for the integration of Chinese food. They say Mongolian foods such as buuz, khuushuur, and tsuivan all have links to our southern neighbor. Obviously, when the nomads brought these dishes to our culture, they increased the meat portions. You can find many Chinese restaurants in Ulaanbaatar. It’s your choice. If you have a good guide, you will find the one with the best service and taste. 

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