Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Eating out in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

After spending a month in Mongolia I am back home and recovering from jet lag.  Too much development was going on in Ulaanbaatar and everything seemed concentrated in the centre.  Building sites were everywhere, without many cranes or modern machinery but still making slow progress with bare hands and hammers.  It was incredible how much dust and smoke filled the air to breathe.  As you can see, safety equipment was also considered unnecessary.

Too many cars were on the streets but not many roads have been built after all.  Every day there were traffic jams all over the city.  One rainy evening we sat in a traffic jam for an hour with empty stomachs and crying babies.  If there had been no traffic we would have spent only 15 min to reach our destination.  That was really awful and it was the worst experience of our stay in the city because as well as the rain our taxi was very old and filthy. One afternoon I went for a ride for four km and back wearing white trousers and after coming back home I had to change my clothes. In Ulaanbaatar any small car could be a taxi. 

Enough about my bad experiences.  After all it was good trip back to my native country.  Ulaanbaatar has plenty of places to eat; the only question was which one had good food.  The Grand Khaan Irish Pub was our first stop to have lunch.  I am not sure that we ate or drank anything Irish but sitting outside and watching people passing by on the street was great.  It is centrally located and the roof top is better to enjoy meal.  If someone needs more privacy they could use many of the private rooms and a ger for a bit more than €10 per hour extra .

The Monet restaurant in the city centre, located on the 17th floor, was a good place not only to eat but also to look over the city around almost 270 degrees.  There are no paintings but only big windows to look through.  I managed to eat there three times not because I liked the place so much but because I needed to take my sister with her daughter for lunch and my mum with my father's friends for dinner. 

The Mongolian Parliament in the background

Many restaurants do not have separate rooms for non smokers and smokers.  This restaurant was only for non smokers.  But in its Sky Lounge bar next door, customers who can see the south of the city have to sip their drinks together with smoke.

The Arte restaurant in the 3rd district was great place to have dinner too.   Very well decorated with modern paintings and with lots of plants, this restaurant had excellent food and service.  I really tried to go there again but did not have time.  None of the other restaurants had given me a better impression than this one.  We had a great evening despite our hour long traffic jam to get there.  Our evening started with Ulaanbaatar's Evening song and ended with it.  This song is a very popular one among Mongolians. 

Children enjoyed music played by Orkhon, my youngest (Darling Daughter 2) was really happy.  After every performance she was cheering and clapping her hands.  

After many songs he played Mongolian children's song.  DD2 was very happy to hear it.

Another great evening was spent with friends at the Ikh Mongol pub and restaurant. I think the former book shop was made into a restaurant.  This was a big place like Grand Khaan with inside and outside sitting areas, modelled on a German beergarden.  Short summer months give plenty of nice evenings to enjoy having meals and drinks outside.  When we arrived in Ulaanbaatar the days were hot, about 30 degrees, but evenings became cooler and night life was in full swing.

I have to mention the Veranda, Silk Road, Thai and Ivy restaurants and Brauhaus pub. Almost all of these restaurants had a foreign shefs, a very fashioable to atract customers, and some of their waitresses did not speak Mongolian in my surprise.  I was invited to or chose these places to eat because all of them had wi-fi, which was great for me to browse the net and get some information from my friends through my emails and Facebook.   

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting these songs, my son and I have always enjoyed the video, but this is the first time I've found it on Utube.



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