The Oshpaz restaurant is open on Regents Street: Uzbek cuisine is not just food; it is a cultural heritage!

Author Ekaterina Dudakova
Category Culture, Lifestyle, People, Town
Date December 12 2023
Reading Time 3 min.

The Oshpaz restaurant is open on Regents Street: Uzbek cuisine is not just food; it is a cultural heritage!

Now you can taste the best Uzbek cuisine right in the centre of London. Last week on Regents Street, near Piccadilly Circus, the grand opening ceremony of the Oshpaz restaurant took place.

At the entrance, guests were greeted by musicians together with the founder and executive director of the restaurant, Muzaffar Sadykov, and the Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the UK, His Excellency Ravshan Usmanov, who cut the red ribbon. At the restaurant, everyone was treated to delicious samsa, aromatic plov and many other chefs’ delights, as well as tea and coffee.

It must be said that “oshpaz” (Uzbek Oshpaz / Oshpaz) – translated in a broad sense means “cook”, but usually in the Uzbek language this term is understood specifically as a specialist in preparing plov. Therefore, we asked one of the most important professionals of national cuisine, Muzaffar Sadykov, to tell us about the restaurant: “We are very glad that guests, friends, and Mr. Ambassador of Uzbekistan gathered at the ceremony today. We are glad that Uzbek cuisine is developing in London, and we are going to continue to promote our culture in the UK. We founded Oshpaz about six years ago and since then we worked a lot on the menu, trying to make our dishes popular among people living in London. And in the end, we found recipes that everyone would like.

Moreover, our cuisine is not just delicious, there are also dietary options available, for example, for vegetarians. And now, six years later, we already have a circle of regular customers who live in London, among them many foreigners who tried Uzbek cuisine for the first time.”

His Excellency the Ambassador of Uzbekistan Ravshan Usmanov noted that the opening of the restaurant is important for promoting Uzbek culture at the international level:

“First of all, I want to say that this is a great event for the entire diaspora of Uzbekistan that lives here. I would even say not just for the Uzbek diaspora, but also for all people connected with Central Asia, with our neighbors. Uzbek cuisine is the hallmark of Uzbekistan. So, I think opening a restaurant here in London on Regents Street is a landmark event. I have already wished for the restaurant that there would always be a queue of visitors, that all the seats would be occupied, and that the restaurant team would expand, new points and new branches of the restaurant would open.

Of course, Uzbek cuisine is not only food, but also our cultural heritage, which is of great importance for the development of the country’s tourism and historical potential. Uzbekistan today is open to all countries. I really hope that by learning more about our country, people will want to visit it. Tourism is a special contribution to the so-called People-to-People Diplomacy. Being a diplomat myself, I know that diplomacy is not only about politicians agreeing on something, conducting negotiations, attracting investments, building a political dialogue. It is also very important when relationships between ordinary people develop, and they learn more about other countries. By building relationships between countries in this way, we are strengthening, no matter how cliche it may sound, world peace.”

His Excellency the Ambassador spoke about the development of Uzbek-British relations:

“Of course, we are very actively developing cultural relations with Great Britain. For example, in academic terms: just last week, there was a large delegation of rectors from Uzbek universities. They signed about five, if I’m not mistaken, agreements with leading universities in the UK. Where does it lead? To the exchange of students, to the exchange of teaching staff, to sending students to the UK, as well as professors and teachers from British universities to Uzbekistan.

In addition, we have plans to promote Uzbek culture, holding exhibitions and events in museums and galleries in London and beyond. We are planning a large festival dedicated to the culture, music and art of Uzbekistan in London next year, it is going to be a second one, the first has already taken place this year. Thus, Uzbekistan will become better known and tourist flows will increase. People-to-People Diplomacy!”

Oshpaz restaurant on Regents Street is open:
from Monday to Saturday – from 8 am to 10 pm;

on Sundays – from 8 am to 9 pm.

Oshpaz branches can also be found at Seven Dials Market in Covent Garden, Mercato Metropolitano next to Elephant & Castle, and temporarily at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.