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Monday, 23 December 2013

Dinner at Rasputin's Russian Restaurant

When a good friend, Micaela* suggested doing dinner at Rasputin's, to try traditional Russian fare, Charmaine* and I were very eager of course. After all, we had never eaten Russian food before, and it was a great opportunity to do some catching up.

Rasputin's is located conveniently at Clarke Quay, the address being 3B River Valley Road #01-07 Singapore 179021, and the number to call is 6337 7011. 

The restaurant itself is bathed in glows of colored lights, like a lounge / bar more than a restaurant. The seats come in round booths, or one could choose alfresco dining, where the tables are covered with white table cloths. The entire decoration is comfortable, simple and yet, lovely. On a large screen in the restaurant, they showcase the different food items as well as their descriptions on it, since there are no pictures in the menus.  
The place is usually deserted except for a couple of tables, but the wait staff are still a little hard to locate. But, according to Micaela*, the food here is authentically-Russian

Hence, we left her in charge of ordering.

We started with the Shuba Salad - which is actually Herring Salad meaning "herring under fur coat"  - a coat of onions and beetroot. It is a cold dish (the fish is cooked, not sashimi raw, no worries) and has a strong blend of flavors - the sweetness of the beetroot, saltiness of the fish and spiciness of chopped  onions. It is supremably delicious, hints of flavors and freshness of herring that make love to the taste buds literally. We loved it at first bite.

Then the cocktails arrived - Micaela's* "Red Square" and my "Anastasia" - chardonnay, champagne, peach and lime). Very refreshing drinks to rescue us from the fire of the earlier dish.

Then the must-try soups - piping hot and large portions! We shared a Borsch Soup (beetroot, onions, potato, beef and parsley) and the Ukha Soup (Russian fish broth)

The Borsch Soup tasted nothing like Minstrone soup, which we had expected it to. No hints of sour at all, but al the sweet, rich goodness of vegetables and beef cooked tenderly in small chunks buried at the bottom. 

The Ukha Soup was a clear broth, surprising me, as I had expected most Western soups to be thick and cream-based. It was delicious - soup infused with the scrumptiousness of an assortment of fresh fish all tango-ing in the steamy hot liquid. 

Truth be known, it was rather filling after consuming the salad and soups, but we persevered on, curiosity getting the better of us.

The Pelmeni ("ear bread") - Siberian meat dumplings-  were served next. I believe it was pork - I'd forgotten to ask, but we ate most kinds of meat anyway. It tasted like a cross between the Chinese handmade dumplings and Japanese Kyoza (dumplings, as well) - believe it or not - with its marinated minced meat stuffed into thin, unleavened dough sheets. We loved it nonetheless.

Lastly, our shared platter of Shashlik - essential picnic food in the countries of the former USSR - actually originated from the Turkish kebabs.  We actually see the resemblances, yes - marinated meat (we chose chicken and beef), skewered and grilled to tender perfection, served with homemade panfried potatoes, onions and grilled vegetables. The smokey fragrances of the meats, coupled with its crispy-tenderness elements, naturally gained our approval, but we thought it too meaty and filling after several bites (probably because of the earlier dishes, and the fact that we were not big eaters to begin with).

Regardless, it is a must-try, as well, for its tantalizing flavors and taste. I even learned to speak a little Russian (basically "thank you" and "it is nice" in Russian, to the waitresses). 

We spent SGD$50.00 each in this lovely restaurant with a hearty, heartwarming ambience bathed in lovely hues, and an ideal location for friends to unwind, have a merry meet and enjoying awesome exotic cuisine together at.

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