Jan 02, 2023

From Mongolia to Prague: UB Restaurant Delivers Authentic Flavors

Prague Morning

Prague Morning

Fancy some buuz, khuushuur, or tsuivan? Head to Letná to have a taste of these authentic Mongolian delights.

These dishes are served by a man with an equally tongue-twisting name – Dashnyam Boldsaikhan who has fulfilled his lifelong professional dream, and thanks to him, you can taste Mongolian dishes in Prague.

But first of all, let’s explain what are these dishes. Buuz is a type of steamed dumpling filled with hand-chopped meat; khuushuur is a classic guilty pleasure, something like a Mongolian langos, dough fried, filled with meat, and typically eaten warm with your hands, while tsuivan is a dish of homemade noodles.

Those looking for outright gastro-exoticism should try banshtai tsai, traditional salty Mongolian tea with ghee and meat dumplings.

“I’m very satisfied. When you cook a meal, bring it to the table, and people enjoy it, that’s the best feeling,” says Boldsaikhan, also known as Boogi, the owner and head chef of UB Restaurant. The abbreviation UB stands for the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar.

Simplicity is key – even the dishes from the vast land of Genghis Khan’s descendants are actually simple. Food is a reflection of the national soul, and the former nomads logically didn’t have much time for extensive vegetable cultivation. Therefore, the basis is meat, mostly beef and mutton, and flour.

 

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Un post condiviso da UB Restaurace Praha (@ub_restaurace)

The essence of Mongolian cuisine could be huitsai, an extra hearty soup with meat dumplings, slices of meat, fried potatoes, and glass noodles, topped with a fried Mongolian dumpling. Sounds appetizing, right?

But how did Boogii and these dishes get here? It’s a story spanning several decades and three major cities thousands of kilometers apart. “Czechia is the promised land for me. And I dreamed of opening a restaurant here,” he shares with undisguised enthusiasm.

He began his career in Ulaanbaatar as a bank clerk but was drawn to gastronomy, leading him to take cooking courses with a now-famous Mongolian chef. After losing his job and needing to support his family, he, like many Mongolians, went to work in South Korea. In 2007, he first headed to Central Europe.

“My brother-in-law had been living in Prague for thirty years, and a friend convinced me to meet him in person. I was immediately excited,” he recalls. “It’s peaceful here, Czechia is a great place for families and has a high level of education, which is most important to me because of my children. Plus, there’s no stress and social pressure like in Asia.”

 

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Un post condiviso da UB Restaurace Praha (@ub_restaurace)

“We have three types of guests,” Boogii explains. “First are Czechs who have visited Mongolia and liked our food, but then had nowhere else to eat it – and now they are thrilled. The second are Mongolians living in Czechia, who like to have what they don’t often cook at home. And the third are people who like to try something new.”

The family business offers not only dishes from their homeland but also Korean and Japanese cuisine. “My greatest strength is that I can cook them all, and thus I am responsible for their quality,” says Boogii.

“The first goal is to have a restaurant full of satisfied customers,” he outlines. “And then I would like to open a chain across Prague and the whole Czech Republic, maybe even smaller bistros. I believe it will succeed.”

The restaurant also offers food delivery through Wolt and Bolt, as well as online delivery through their website. But if you want an authentic environment and a chill place to enjoy your food, head to their restaurant, open daily till 10 pm.

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