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Monday, May 7, 2012

Drink Vodka like a Russian

It's my first time tasting Russian cuisine and i must say i am ignorant like any Singaporean. All i knew about Russia was of its exotic women and sick mafia activities like in the movie Hostel. In fact, I'm not even sure the crime syndicate in the movie was Russian.

Little did i know that Russia is a place that looks like this,
And Russians have a penchant for Vodka. Such strong habitual liking that there's a Russian saying:

There can be not enough snacks,
There can only be not enough vodka. 
There can be no silly jokes,
There can only be not enough vodka. 
There can be no pretty women,
There can only be not enough vodka. 
There cannot be too much vodka,
There can only be not enough vodka.
I am also ignorant about drinking vodka. I've always drunk it with cranberry, orange or tonic. That's a NOOB DRINKING VODKA! Drinking vodka with mixers and ice is a Western trait.

To drink vodka like a Russian is to drink it neat, and VERY cold.
Preferably straight from the freezer
There is also a popular Russian combination of vodka and beer, for those with an intent on getting absolutely smashed.

Vodka's traditional partner is tapa-sized food and i was invited to lunch with Russian Standard, a premium vodka label designed for the individual with a taste of luxury.

Located at 10 Duxton Hill sits Buyan Russian Haute Cuisine & Caviar Bar, the one and only Russian restaurant in Singapore.

Authentic deco within.
I asked around my rare few friends who've been to Russia. They told me that the fine dinning in Singapore cannot rival the fine dining in Russia. Luxury unfathomable, i had a tasting of the super rich at Buyan.

And to drink vodka like a Russian, before you down that shot, you've to do a toast. It is considered rude to not drain your glass, and you'll get bad sex for 7 years if you don't look at the toaster in the eye.

There can be not enough snacks,
There can only be not enough vodka.

Oscietra Caviar served on Oladyi with traditional condiments such as
onion, quail egg and lemon.
A mouthful of words that i only understood onion, quail egg and lemon. "You eat it like Peking Duck!" The Norwegian gentleman beside me kindly informed. When it comes to yummy things, do you leave the best to the last or do you eat it first?

Unfolding the crepe, i put a little of everything inside (except the caviar), wrapped and ate. I was half tempted to use my hands and eat like a Vietnamese roll but reminded myself the super rich will not do that.

It was my first time eating caviar, the most expensive food in the world. To my peasant undiscerning tongue, i thought it tasted like the Japanese fish roe (the orange one). In fact due to the fish roe being larger, the burst of juices against the tongue was felt greater than caviar. Nonetheless, i was given by a little shell spoon to eat the caviar with. Only connoisseurs would do that, because metal taint the delicate eggs' flavour.

There can be no silly jokes,
There can only be not enough vodka. 
Strasbourg Pie
I'm not a fan of fancy eats like foie gras but the pan-fried foie gras wrapped in bacon and baked in a thin puff pastry as sung by pushkin was absolutely heavenly. Again a mouthful of words, this time i understood at least 70% of it. Paired with cranberry sauce, the foie gras melts in my mouth, it was orgasmic. I'll definitely spend my pay check on this.
The qualities valued in Russian Standard is the smoothness and lack of aftertaste, the only beverage that can be drunk through a meal because it doesn't affect the taste of food but instead can bring out flavours! That's how Russians drink vodka, they can't do without.

There can be no pretty women,
There can only be not enough vodka. 

Traditional beetroot and cabbage thick soup with beef
 Also my favourite out of the menu, this Borsch would certainly warm your heart and tummy on a rainy evening. It is in mind that you'll want to sample more so the small pieces of meat that won't fill you but the soup remains flavourful. I'd liken it to tomato but it's alot richer without the creamy jelat feeling.

There cannot be too much vodka,
There can only be not enough vodka.
Sturgeon Romanoff
This slow cooked sturgeon is the fish which caviar can be harvested from. A breed of fish i've never eaten, this is what it looks like
It wasn't my favourite but i must say it was done very well in light cream and topped with more caviar. Lightly salty but sweet, the fish meat was tough yet succulent. It doesn't break apart like other fish do.

It almost didn't taste like fish.

Beef Stroganoff
The final dish was slow cooked beef in creamy sauce with sauteed chanterelles and traditional mashed potato. I could taste that the mashed potato was home-made and preservative free. The meat was also extremely tender although it doesn't melt in your mouth like foie gras or beef cheeks.

You can now drink vodka like a Russian in Singapore.
Myself and Lady Iron Chef did.
Ask for Russian Standard in clubs, bars or better yet at Buyan (tel: 62237008).

1 comment:

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