This was a completely random find. We were in the area for Lanka’s delightful green tea gateau for our girly afternoon tea. As we were walking towards the station on our way home, we saw what looks like an interesting restaurant with a Russian doll mural. So we had a peek inside and a browsed through the menu. It took us about 30 seconds to decide that we were having early dinner after our tea and cakes. Odd girls, I know but it really was hard to say no to what will be our first Russian experience.
We did not order a lot of food but enough to make me come back with an Eastern European to conclude its authenticity. We started off with some caviar and blinis which were soft and nutty, then the hot and earthy beetroot soup.
To say that I used to hate beetroot is too harsh. It was more like if mum forced me to eat some and that it was good for me, I would take a few bites but never more. So ordering Borschtch, a beetroot soup served with smetana (sour cream) was adventurous. Surprisingly, I liked it and would ask for more if mum came to me with this soup. This soup has transformed my views on the once upon a time, odd tasting red root vegetable. Either that or my palate has changed through time.
The Russian version of salmon pie named Coulibiak was sandwiched with mushrooms, spinach and rice served with smetana and fresh tomato sauce. The pastry was crisp with lots of ingredients inside. It would have tasted divine with more seasoning. Nevertheless, we still enjoyed it. The hunter’s stew (Bigos) of smoked sausage, sauerkraut and chicken served with mash was enough to keep the Polish diner occupied. Bigos is his favourite dish in the world. Although this was not the ones his grandma makes, it was enough to make him reminisce of home.
We did not have desserts cause we had some before dinner. And we were not about to leave an Eastern European restaurant without vodka. It can never be too early for Vodka shots so we tried a few. Had Zubrowka for the first time, and lets say that was not the last.
No-fuss Eastern European home cooking and cheap.
They close pretty early (probably only on weekdays), although written on their website ‘open till late’.
Will I return?
I will and have happily returned for some comfort food.
101 Regents Park Road
Primrose Hill, London W8 4RT
Tel: +44 (0)207 483 3765
Closest station: Chalk Farm