Where Russia meets Mongolia: Zogi's Euro Asian Bistro | Rock Candy

Where Russia meets Mongolia: Zogi's Euro Asian Bistro

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PIROSHKI:  Fried filled dumpling, Russian style at Zogis.
  • Kat Robinson
  • PIROSHKI: Fried filled dumpling, Russian style at Zogi's.
Dumplings. They occur in almost every culture in both stuffed variations. For the stuffed version, you have Italian ravioli and tortellini, Mexican empanadas, Japanese gyoza, Indian samosa, Unstuffed, you have the sort you find floating in your bowl of chicken and dumplings, noodles in your soup, spaetzle… I am getting off the subject. The short of it is, Zogi’s Euro Asian Bistro is a fine place to find some dumplings.

I dropped in the other day for lunch to sample some of the fare. And I experienced my first round of dumplings of a sort with the Bantan soup — a marvelous beef and green onion broth populated by shreds of beef and small lumps of loose flour dumplings. This Mongolian soup is rich and warm with notes of pepper and cinnamon in the background. It’s a little creamy, thanks to the flour bits within. A good rainy day soup ($4 cup/$7 bowl).

My dining companion and I shared an appetizer, the 3 piece Teriyaki Lamb Ribs (most appetizers are $4, except edamame at $3). These lamb rib sections had been boiled and then seared and still included a goodly amount of the lamb fat. They had been doused with a barbecue sauce that was heavy on turmeric and ginger, fragrant and strong in comparison to the almost delicate lamb. The meat literally fell off the bones. There was a little too much fat on the dish for my dining companion, but I relished it as an infrequent treat.

He had chosen the Buuz ($7 lunch/$10 dinner), fat wrinkly Mongolian style steamed dumplings that came six to a plate with a pile of pungently sour cole slaw on the side. Each of the dumplings contained a ball of beef and onion cooked together with what tasted to be a little bit of garlic and maybe even fennel. They looked similar to some Asian dim sum I’ve had before but completely departed this in flavor. The simple dumplings were filling.

Still, they were not quite as filling as the Piroshki ($7 lunch/$10 dinner) I had chosen, described on the menu as fried buns stuffed with ground beef. Similar to the Buuz, the filling was once again beef and onions — but pieces of beef rather than ground beef. Each bit had been wrapped in a yeasty, crusty dough and deep fried. They were a little light on the seasoning, but that was fixed easily with a little touch of Maggi sauce from a bottle on the table. They were so filling, I would suggest sharing an order if you get it yourself.

The Mongolian version of Piroshki, Huushuur (which I am used to seeing spelled with a K) is also available. I would assume it’s the same ground beef of the Buuz but deep fried.

There are other dumplings on the menu — in the form of Mantuu, which is a steamed bun filled with beef and carrots and in the Pelmini, which are steamed or fried chicken or vegetable dumplings. There are also a number of more commonly known Russian and Mongolian dishes such as Borsht, Goulash, Lapsha and Zapekanka… as well as a few Asian dishes. The couple who run the place bring these dishes here from their nations of origin — she’s Mongolian, he’s Russo-Chinese. The Euro part of the name may be a little misleading, but that’s all right.

Zogi’s also does build-your-own salads. And there are desserts, but I haven’t gotten that far yet. Maybe next time.

You’ll find Zogi’s Euro Asian Bistro on West Markham right next door to Wing Stop, Papa John’s and the Markham Street Grill and Pub. It’s open every day for lunch and every day except Sunday for dinner. (501) 246-4597 or check out the restaurant’s Facebook page.

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