The Oilman's Inn: "A Curry House? A Pub?" Baku Restaurant Tip by OilyMike
Baku Restaurants: 32 reviews and 48 photos
It was a hot July afternoon and, after a long tiring meeting in Baku's Old City ( Icheri Sheher ), my colleague, Steve, and I were rushing towards the Maiden tower to have a relaxing lunch. Then suddenly, while crossing Boyuk Gala street, we came across this new brownish-red signboard - "The Oilman's Inn: Restaurant & Bar". We looked at each other and, without exchanging a single word, marched towards the large polished wooden door. I must admit, the instantaneous decision was more a result of our parched throats and empty stomachs than that of my ceaseless curiosity to try out new restaurants.
But when we reached near the door, the curiosity certainly took over as the hand-written menu hanging outside listed a rather unusual combination of offerings -- "Balti Chicken - 29,000, Lamb Biryani - 24,000, Pork Chops - 30,000, Full English Breakfast - 30,000, Fish 'n' Chip - 30,000". I had yet to come across an expat restaurant in Baku Azerbaijan that offers such a uniqe and diversified menu.
Is it a Curry House? A Pub? A Greasy Spoon? Curious, we pushed the door to enter and found ourselves in a dining hall with round tables and a bar at the end. There was a smaller hall on the right hand where, apparently, some private business lunch was being hosted. The semi formal interior and the cleanliness immediately forced me to rule out the Greasy Spoon option.
We were greeted and seated in the main hall by a well-mannered and pleasant waitress who handed over the menus.
Favorite Dish: A Set Lunch was on offer- soup, curry, rice, poppadum & soft drink for just AZM 32,000. But, instead of surrendering to their temping set lunch offer, I decided to explore their A La Carte menu. The starters and main course curries looked more like those offered by traditional Curry Houses - Samosas, Pakoras, Baltis, Masalas, Kormas, Biryanis etc. But the next pages of the menu seemed to take a sudden U-turn - Fillet Steaks, Lamb & Pork Chops, Egg Bacon Chips & Beans, Mushroom Omelette and many popular pub grubs. Then there was a section of Chinese dishes. Salad and smoothies selections were also quite impressive.
I ordered Italian Salad, Balti Chicken and Fruit Lassi. Steve went for Chicken Soup, Fillet Steak and Banana Shake. Service was fairly quick and courteous. Balti Chicken came with Pilau rice, Poppadum and pickles. Though, I was a bit surprised that the curry was served in a bowl, instead of the traditional Wok shaped pot as they serve back in the UK. No matter how it was served, the curry itself was probably the tastiest I ever had. Steve had the same comments about his steak and I don't argue with him when it comes to steak.
Total bill came out to be just AZM 110,000. As we were getting ready to get up, I saw the manager coming towards us- with a broad smile on face and two Discount Vouchers in hand. After enquiring if we enjoyed our lunch, she gave us the vouchers and requested us to come back for dinner. She also informe that they had opened just 2 weeks ago. It seems I was not very late in discovering this new gem of Baku dining scene.
Address: 21 Boyuk Gal Street, Old City, Baku, Azerbaijan
Price Comparison: about average
Directions: 2 Minutes walk from the Mailden's Tower. Near Moody Intl' & PCH Offshore offices. 2 Minutes walk from British Petroleum Enterprise Centre