Grand Khaan in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia

May 25, 2012

Grand Khaan front with the terrace

My favourite watering whole in Ulaan Baatar is the Grand Khaan Irish Pub. I love the place where half of the city seems to congregate. The end of May has chilly nights (still with minus temperatures) but glorious days with up to 25-28 Celsius.

It was exactly such a day, almost summer for the Mongolians. Many men were already in short sleeves and the women in summer dresses. I love to watch the stylish young Mongols dressed up for a Friday night out.

The days are already long, and the work to put up the structure for the summer tent in the parking lot in front of the pub was in full swing when I got there.

Busy at work

I was by myself and was seated at a small table inside. I felt a bit chilly, I admit. Coming from the tropics does not help. Many customers sat outside. I could not bring myself to that.

My beef burger

I was craving for a burger and a Chinggis beer which I ordered after a short glance at the menu. Boy I was hungry. The burger was big and solid with Mongolian beef. The side salad is more decoration, but the fries are good.

Ghinggis beer

I cannot bring myself to have a glass of wine with a burger. The Chinggis beer was just right to quench my thirst.

A pub is not a place for fine wines. However, I decided to ordered a glass of red as dessert so to say. There were quite a few wines on the menu. I settled for a French Syrah.

I will not reveal what it was. I choose one of the priciest ones though. It was what we call in Australia an “umpf” wine, big and heavy with lots of alcohol. I guess that’s what pub goers expect from a red.

I had a great time watching the coming and going of the people. Friday night is a busy time. I “cleared my brain”, the pub acted as a cleansing ale so to speak after a busy and eventful week here in Ulaan Baatar. It was my last evening and I am sad to leave. I just love Mongolia and its people.

I highly recommend to visit the place. It’s great fun.


Eating experience in Mongolia – fast food

October 27, 2011

A long history of Mongolian civilization

Mongolia is a great place to visit. There are quite a few fast food places in Ulaan Baatar. I liked the Mongolian barbecue place. Altai was its name.

You select your ingredients and your selection will be ‘cooked” on a very hot metal “plate”.

The menu

The cook at work

The result

We drank beer with the food, neither wine nor vodka; after all it was lunchtime only. But as a bonus our host ordered a cooked sheep’s head. You need a sharp knife and off you got and cut off the piece you like. Our host wanted to expose us to “the real stuff”.

Experienced travelers cannot be shocked though.

Delicious sheep’s head


Mongolia – how to cook a meal in the steppe

October 19, 2011

The Mongolian grasslands

My work kept me so busy that I was even too tired in the evenings to update my beloved Man from Mosel River blog. After such a long absence I find it hard to get back to my writing.

Today I revisited the photos I took while travelling in Mongolia a couple of weeks ago. The waste grasslands made a deep impression on me. I greatly admired the hospitality of the Mongolians.

Almost a cliche: a lone rider with his horses traversing the grasslands

Cooking in these circumstances, maybe in a ger (yurt, a Mongolian felt tent), but more likely somewhere out there looking after the herds, is not an easy undertaking. One does not have the kitchen and cooking utensils necessary to prepare a gourmet meal.

The more I was surprised to learn about the “magic of the milk can”-cooking method. Alas there is human ingenuity.

This is how it goes:

One drops a couple of hot stones (usually larger river pebbles) in an old milk can (which were used in the good old days in our dairies), stuffs it with potatoes, cabbage and chunks of meat (mutton and beef), and closes the lid tightly for about 30 minutes, and voilà: the meal is ready.

I was told that a famous master chef confirmed that he had never eaten a better cooked piece of beef in his life.

The photos below give you an idea what it looks like.

It is an exciting moment when the cans are opened and they reveal their secret.

It looks a bit rough

But served on the table it regains stature, especially when Russian bubbly is on offer

A beautiful meal is waiting for us

..with some preserved vegetables…

..and potatoes and white cabbage as staples

PS: It was a delicious meal, I must say. I have to get used to the way the Mongolians cut their meat.

Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to taste the Russian sparkling wine. It was given to the women; we men drank vodka, of course.

What do you expect in Mongolia?