You can find Tabassum food truck serving smiles and special bites all over town.

By Jacklyn Tran
May 15, 2017

Tabassum, the first Uzbek food truck on the West Coast, has made a home for itself in Seattle. From events around town to breweries to its weekly spot at 201 Terry Ave (everyThursday), food lovers can come savor and experience a bite of Uzbekistan.

The simple menu includes alternating varieties of perfectly flaky, puff pastry hand pies (one meat, one vegetarian), a hearty rice dish of plov, light bright and tangy carrot or beet salads, and drinks such as pomegranate juice—another Uzbek staple.

Tabassum founder Suriya Yunusov explains, “These tasty buns are one of Central Asia’s most popular street foods. Every Uzbek family has a favorite samsa recipe, and we do too. […] My parents were from Northwestern China. My mom taught me her recipe, which, in turn, was her mother’s. But I’ve made it my own which may make my mom roll her eyes, but keeps things fun.”

And since January, Yunusov has been having a blast “bringing the authentic spices and flavors to Northwest streets wrapped all in a flaky bundle of puff pastry.”

Yunusov shared some of her fondest food memories from back home where dinner parties were always full of amazing varieties of food. The number one rule was “you must try everything and keep your plate full to make your hostess happy because she spent many, many hours cooking and preparing every single thing from scratch!” said Yunusov.

Appropriately so, my first visit to Tabassum, I decided to order the whole mini menu that day; politely (albeit unknowingly) adhering to cultural standards of Uzbekistan and enjoying the scratch made, heavenly pies and simply bright flavors of the salads. The first handheld delight was dainty and gloriously flaky wafting with the essence of cumin, onion and delicious Halal ground beef while the roasted squash had me thrilled at the first buttery bite.

The food is served swiftly and without fuss making for an ultra-quick meal and after hearing about a sweet treat that’s been created: a honey-sweetened samsa with cherries and a poppy seed paste, I’d say it’s about time for another visit.

The word “tabassum” means “smile” in Uzbek, Urdu, Hindi, Arabic, Turkish and Farci, mentioned Yunusov, and “to see people enjoying your food is the very best. I’m like that hostess back home, hoping everyone is eating and enjoying. And if they smile? Well, then my day has been made!”

For updates and location announcements, visit the truck’s Facebook page.