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Dining in Dushanbe: Sim Sim
Before entering listen closely for the warm welcome into Sim Sim. It'll be hard to miss as the boisterous fellow dressed as a Mongol man from some fairy-tale time long ago will be sure to make his presence known there and throughout the evening. Walk up the steps and proceed to your table after passing through the guards staffed with spears and shields. Sim Sim is all show so it's advised you have the time to make it a full night and the energy as well. As your make your order sway to the sounds of Celine Dion hits sung by Tajik karaoke singers in addition to traditional Tajik tunes as well. The singers come across pretty lifeless, but the real show begins after you've placed your order. Complete with belly dancers, traditional Tajik dancers and skits by our Mongol pals in the castle it gets pretty wild, a little tacky, but you're sure to laugh and have a ball of a time. (If you're geeked up about dining in a place like Sim Sim feel free to check out my very poorly produced video clip from my night out.)
In regards to the food, I believe I received the wrong dish or the remixed version of it that night. I had requested the Khasray Kastle, a beef roll with asparagus, but what showed up didn't really taste like beef and had peas with no asparagus to be found. Disappointed? Yes and I was far too tired to send the dish back after waiting 30 plus minutes for it in the first place.
To wrap it up the food is so-so, but the good times non-stop. Sim Sim is not located on the main drag so you'll just need to ask a taxi driver to take you there and you'll be on your way.