Friday, 13 June 2014
Rasputin Russian Restaurant at Clarke Quay Singapore
I was invited to a media food tasting at Rasputin restaurant which specialises in serving authentic Russian cuisine.
I learnt to appreciate Russian cuisine from my Russian friends when I was living in Kuala Lumpur and was thus looking forward to tonight's session.
Inside Rasputin, the layout is for a dance club and pub with plush bench seats and small round booth tables. There is also al fresco seating for people who prefer to soak in the hip Clarke Quay buzz outside.
Marie from Icon Group ably represented Rasputin's owners in hosting the food tasting.
Here's our interesting tasting menu.
Shuba Salad is a classic Russian dish I love and remember very well from my KL days. It's a layered salad with thick stacked spreads of finely chopped oil pickled herring, potatoes, carrots, beets and onions held together with mayonnaise.
Soft layers with a blend of savoury, sweet and slightly tangy flavours. The chopped purplish beetroot which felt like soft juicy bits of jelly was my favourite part of this quintessentially Russian dish.
I had tried a more potent version of shuba held together with pork lard and that was ooh la la wonderful :D
Bliny Mushrooms is a thin soft pancake roll stuffed with spongy chopped mushrooms.
Sharing a long land border with China, it is therefore not surprising that the Russians also have their interpretations of dumplings.
Pelmini is a boiled dumpling of quite thick chewy flour dough wrapping ground meat and onions much like the Chinese dumpling 饺子. Eaten with a dip of melted butter or vinegar.
Borsch is a beefy soup of tiny beef cubes and beetroot capped with a large dollop of sour cream.
I like borsch as I like anything with beetroot :D
Ukha is a homely soup of herbs and root vegetables like potatoes, carrots and onions boiled till soft with fish for added flavour. At Rasputin restaurant, cubes of salmon are used.
Simple, nutritious clear tonic for the soul for homesick Russians.
Yazyk is a popular Russian cold dish of thinly sliced beef tongue. Savoury and slightly sweet with a tender chewy texture.
If you are a beef tongue person like me, you will love this traditional Russian dish too.
Beef Stroganov is thick strips of lean beef sauteed and served in creamy savoury sauce made with butter, mushrooms, ground pepper, sour cream and white wine. Served also with a heavy bed of mash potato and grilled bell peppers and tomato.
Beef Stroganov is an old Russian staple from Imperial Russia days that has spread throughout the Western world. The texture, taste, flavours and aroma of Rasputin's beef stroganov reminded me of the school cafeteria during my undergrad days in Canada.
If you like to try a hearty Russian meal that is less unfamiliar, beef stroganov is it.
One of my favourites of the evening - Chicken Shashlik.
It's the Russian form of the Middle Eastern Shish kebab of spice marinated meat grilled on skewers over charcoal. The chunks of chicken were slightly charred at the edges giving it a nice smokey flavour while it was tender and juicy sweet inside.
Joelle setting fire to our chicken shashlik with a dose of 70° Absinthe.
Joelle is a marvellous host - she was constantly on the lookout for customers' needs and always friendly, enthusiastic and cheerful in meeting requests.
Our flaming chicken shashlik after Joelle torched the liquor.
I asked Joelle what was that green coloured liquor she poured on our chicken shashlik. Joelle brought out this pretty bottle of alcohol (literally) :D
Coulibiac, a Russian fish pie.
Rasputin's Coulibiac is basically a crispy crust pie filled with salmon fish, chopped onions, mushrooms, eggs and rice. Back in Russia, there are more opulent versions filled with the priced sturgeon fish.
Our dessert was Syrniki (also known as Tvorozhniki) which is a soft, sweet Russian pan fried pancake made mainly with cheese, eggs and flour. Eaten with a cottage cheese dip.
Our tasting session was a marvellous overview of unique authentic Russian cuisine made sweeter by the dedicated crew at Rasputin, the professional team from Icon Group and the friendly fellow bloggers.
ok ok I am really no expert on Russian cuisine lah.
So what do true blue Russians think of food at Rasputin?
Oh before we go, in case anyone wondered where did the name "Rasputin" come from.....
According to Boney M, Rasputin was "Russia's greatest love machine......"
There was a time, a long time ago when Boney M was my favourite pop music group :P
I was cringing and laughing at myself as I typed that last sentence :D (So, I shouldn't get hung up about the taste in music of today's youth :P )
Whether you crave Russian food because you are a homesick Russian, are acquainted with things Russian and sorely needs to reconnect or just looking for something exotic to challenge and stretch your palate range, check out Rasputin for an authentic taste of Russia.
Restaurant name: Rasputin (Russian Restaurant)
Address: 3B River Valley Road, #01-07, Clarke Quay, Singapore
Hours: Mon (Closed), Tue (6:00pm to 11pm), Weds (6:00pm to 4:00am), Thurs (6:00pm to 3:00am), Fri & Sat (6:00pm to 5:00am), Sun (6:00pm to 11:00pm).
Date visited: 11 Jun 2014
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