We were hungry and looking for a lunch place when we entered the Old City and someone from the Old Garden approached us to see if we would like to try it. It was down a slight hill and out of the way, and you would never have found it by yourself. But then, after descending a few steps, we found ourselves in a kind of Azeri wonderland, with interesting nooks and crannies to sit in, decorated with local fabrics and full of plants. We sat outside and browsed the full menu. Without really having a clue what to eat, the waiter recommended that we order a mixed grill for two. So we took his advice and ordered that, along with a pitcher of pomegranate wine. What an excellent choice it was! The meal came on a big tray with every type of lamb, beef and chicken you could imagine and a pile of delicious saffron rice in the middle. We got stuck in and couldn’t believe our luck. Everything was beyond delicious and the buttery rice was an excellent companion. The pomegranate wine was unbelievably good.
This meal set the bar for all other meals we had in Baku. Nothing else came close, so another evening, we set off to the Old Garden again. The waiter was delighted to see us back. We sat in the same area and ordered the same tray of mixed grill, but no pomegranate wine this time. We had time for a dessert and ordered the local baklava with tea, which was great. There was also a man playing a local stringed instrument and singing traditional songs, which made for an excellent atmosphere. We watched a lady make bread from scratch and cook it in the outside oven. It was a wonderful experience.
A great place for delicious food, interesting local music and great atmosphere.
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