Pubs and restaurants
As I mentioned, we’ve already seen quite a couple of restaurants and pubs from the inside by now. Here’s an overview of the ones weґve been to.
Without a doubt, the most popular expat hangout we’ve seen. So popular, in fact, that we’ve already been there three times. During lunch, you have to get in early or forget about a table.
They do serve good breakfast and lunch though.
First considering going native on our first night and splurging on a multitude of fat, we went for a pizza place instead. Located close to Millie’s the interior is decorated like some dark brown Bavarian hunting lodge. Still, they are showing Rai Uno and serve what is supposedly the best pizza in town.
The tiny waitress seemed to float across the room, moving from table to table and giggling away happily at our sorry attempts at Mongolian.
On our first night in UB, Claudia and I finished off with some central European cakes and coffee in another rather Germanized setting. The sacher torte didn’t really totally taste like sacher, but still. What can you expect if Vienna is some 10.000km away.
Our first try at a Mongolian restaurant resulted in a strange mix of Mongolian, Korean, Chinese, Russian and Hungarian. Prices were low, service was quite good and the beer was cold. What else can you wish for.
It was here that we first discussed working on Geekhalla and Ryan started drawing out complete sidemaps as possessed by some web god. Then again, maybe it was the food.
Appollon Art Pub
Located right next to the Chinggis Jazz Pub, this bar seemed mostly to be frequented by Mongolians, of which some were real babes. We drank till late on the first night all geeks were together and had the best of times.
The place itself is kind of awkward, with copies of works by several great modern artists painted on the wall and one area totally devoted to Beatles memorabilia.
This restaurant, which serves a mix of Mexican and Indian food, is hidden inside a block of apartments close to where we live. Surprisingly, the mix works really well. I ate here together with Henry and Ryan, Claudia being taken out by the director of the second company she will be working for.
They served lassi and reasonably peppered dishes, something that’s a real exception here in UB.
Chinggis Jazz Pub
We had been warned that this Chinggis pub was not a jazz pub at all, but it wasn’t so bad. Not only are the walls covered in memorabilia typical for a jazz pub, they in fact also played some jazz. That is, when we came in. Shortly after, they moved to 80s classics. Something we enjoyed even more.
Khan Torkh Bier Garten
The first place we found that served Khan bier. All the others seem to be doing Chinggis. Not that I tasted any, but still. We’re drinking a lot each evening, and I feel uncomfortable with the bloating feeling the liters generally give, so here too I stuck with local arkhi.
Although in summer the place has an outside terrace, the dungeon it’s located in felt more like a money laundering place then anything else. We assumed we were their first customers since the previous group of geeks.
The food was good, although on the expensive side. I enjoyed a good ‘sheper’ salad with some lovely soft feta-like cheese.
‘Bar’, right across from where Claudia and I live
We were attracted to the place by the many blinking Christmas lights hanging in the windows. Something we’ve noticed more often in Ulaan Baatar. There seemed to be a small restaurant downstairs and a darkish kitchen like room on the first floor, serving as a bar. The export vodka was good enough for us to stay late and discuss the positives and negatives of Mongolians not paying for many of their software licenses. Ryan was totally against the locals using the ripped versions and thought they should pay licensing fees on their copies of Windows, Office and others. The rest figured that considering the situation they are in, nobody should complain about their pirated copies, which in turn leads to better market share for products like Windows and Office in the long run anyway.
Chez Bernard European Bakery
Nothing French about this coffee place close to our apartment serving mediocre, but filtered, coffee, bland but reasonable quiches, good curry and enjoyable sandwiches. The small interior consists of light brown wooden tables, chairs and some benches and would have fit well in any mid-sized European town.
The local very slim girls spoke enough English for us to communicate what we wanted.