Russkiy Dome – Singapore
Hearty Russian food at a reasonable price can be almost impossible to find in Singapore – I’m talking about you, Buyan- but I believe I’ve found one all the way out in Westway Building in Haw Par Villa.
Russkiy Dome is a homely place with a very welcoming Uzbek chef who will gladly explain everything to you with a smile.
The prices are relatively cheap, you actually can find dishes under $10 here. People always have the impression that Russian cuisine is expensive and topped with caviar. But the regular people in the ex-USSR enjoy hearty and homely cuisine on a daily basis.
After we ordered, the chef opened up a cupboard and gave us a huge matryoshka doll to play with. I’ve always wanted one of these just for the fun of it. Anyone want to buy that for me for Christmas? 😀
The meal took a while as there’s only three people including the chef working in the entire restaurant but I can’t complain as the warm atmosphere gives one the feeling of dining in a friend’s home. You won’t hurry a friend whose cooking now, would you?
My friends and I shared a bowl of beetroot borscht. The soup was earthy and contained bits of sweet onions and slices of pork. I can imagine drinking this on a cold winters night in Moscow. It came with a small dish of sour cream that you pour into the borscht which gave it a slight tang.
We also had the Russian version of the Chinese jiaozi, Pelmeni. The chef told us that it was filled with a mixture of pork and beef with a hefty amount of “Russian spices”. It also comes with sour cream on the side. It’s about the size of a tortellini and much less heavy than a Chinese jiaozi. They also have a Vareniki filled with cherries which is very traditional, but I’ll save it for the next round as my dining mates were not keen on it.
The chef kept clowning us on our voracious appetite as we ordered quite a bit. “We will need the ambulance to bring you out!” He exclaimed in jest.
Well, clearly he hasn’t seen Asians that actually eat for a living 😛
The Pork Julienne is highly recommended. The smoky cubes of pork, which I suspect they use for the shaslik, was cooked in a creamy cheese sauce with potatoes and mushrooms. This rich and decadent dish was so good we actually got some bread for dipping just to slurp it all up.
The Beef Stroganoff came in a cream sauce as well, surprisingly. I was expecting a brown sauce. But, it was equally flavourful even though the beef was slightly tougher. I liked the bits of sweet onion in the stroganoff that gave a much needed foil to all that creaminess.
The third dish of Creamy Double Fish was recommended by the chef for all the right reasons. Fresh out of the oven came a pan filled with gratinated salmon and dory with potato slices, baked to a delightful golden brown. Cream, fish and potatoes and baked cheese? A combination made in Russian heaven.
We did not have dessert but what’s a visit to a Russian restaurant without vodka? The chef started pulling out multiple bottles of homemade infused vodka with flavours such as rosebuds, cardamom, bamboo, coffee and even pine and walnut. The latter was specially created for Christmas.
The cardamom one is excellent. It burns all the way down and helps you let out a satisfying belch after. I love digestifs. Try the strawberry or bamboo one if you prefer one that’s deceptively easy to drink sans the burn.
The restaurant seats at the most 15 people for a very intimate affair. But the chef told us that he was swamped with catering his “KGB Turkey” for Catholic Christmas (Russian orthodox Christmas is on Jan 14).
If you’ve ever wanted to experience being welcomed into a Russian home without flying all the way to Russia, try the MRT to Haw Par Villa for Russkiy Dome.