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Dr John Hawkins

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Posted on 2012/05/27 21:55:19 (May 2012).

[Monday 21st May 2012]
We'd organised a Eurovision party for this coming Saturday, and still hadn't quite made up our minds what to do about the food. As the host country was Azerbaijan I thought it might be fun to try and make Azerbaijani food. I realised however that I had absolutely no idea what that entailed, so decided we ought to do some research. Thus this evening Chie and I went for dinner at Baku, "London's premier Azerbaijani restaurant" (yes - there are more than one!).

We arrived quite late as Chie has an evening class on Monday, and assumed it would already be winding down a bit, but in fact more people arrived after us than had been there when we arrived. I found the clientele sort of fascinating - lots of really young people (some seemed more or less teenagers), some even in hoodies, but very expensive looking hoodies. I assumed these to be the children of rich Azerbaijani oligarchs and oil barons (does Russia have the monopoly on oligarchs) and this was apparently their preferred place in London to "hang out".

On arrival we were presented with a yoghurty drink, some bread, and bizarrely a cocktail glass full of herbs - apparently this is a traditional Azerbaijani welcome. For starter I had a sort of lentil soup, which was quite nice albeit very salty. My main course was a bit of a disappointment - it's probably not a country where vegetarianism is a very well established concept. I had been quite excited by the discovery of the word "plov" on the menu - it has a very satisfying ring to it. It turns out however to be just rice essentially. My main course also included a small dish of non descript vegetables which didn't really taste of anything in particular.

Still, despite the food not being wildly exciting, it did make for quite a fun and unusual experience.

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