Summer break is hereeeeeeee! I’ll try to post more often now that I’m slightly less busy – I only have my internship at IDA, my FYP at a startup company, 1 last sponsorship deal to close for my hall (even though I’ve officially left Eusoff T.T), my faculty events, camps and Rag to help out with, a couple of video projects with my Lighthouse Productions team, and to provide tech assistance for my best friend’s blog. So yea I can probably can update my blog every week instead of once/twice a month now! Hahaha now you guys know why I say I’m the free-est during exam period: nothing to worry about except exams. Anyway, here’s the last of my Restaurant Week reviews; finally got around to clearing this particular backlog :D
I went with my family to Buyan for lunch on the last Saturday of Restaurant Week, and I can safely say Buyan Russian Restaurant & Caviar Bar is one of my favourites among the participating restaurants! Great tasting food, exceptional service, nice ambience, and no service charge :D It was crazy hot the day we visited, so the cool and dim (not good for taking pictures; that’s why the pictures in this post are all so noisy D:) interior of the restaurant was a really welcomed sight. After being seated we were given menus – on an iPad! Haha slightly more tech savvy than the typical restaurant, I like :P Here’s the menu:
Photo credit: Buyan’s Facebook page.
The waiter who served us was a really jovial guy, one of the friendliest waiters I’ve ever encountered! Too bad I forgot his name =x When he saw that we couldn’t decide what to get, he took our drink orders first and served some dark rye bread with butter for us to munch on while we deliberated. My mum and I got Mors (Home-made lingonberry juice), while my dad and sis got Kvas (Sweet thirst quencher made from rye bread). I’ve always loved lingonberry juice – it’s very similar to cranberry juice, just slightly more tart – but the rye bread drink was ughhhh. It was slightly fizzy, fermented, sour (they served it unsweetened) and alcoholic all at once, and none of us really enjoyed it >< Haha but I’m glad I got to try something new (:
Dark rye bread with butter.
In the end, we ordered what the waiter predicted: 2 of each item so we could try everything haha. He also recommended we try some of their caviar which they were having a promotion on – $5/g with a minimum order of 10g – so we did. I’m not sure if this is a constant promotion or what, but the menu on their website still says they’re having that promo o.o The variety of caviar was Oscietra Karat Amber, and was “served traditionally on ice accompanied with Thin Russian Pancakes called Blinis, sour cream, white onions, eggs & chives”. As usual, it came with mother of pearl spoons, since metal cutlery is thought to ruin the delicate taste of caviar. The caviar itself was light and salty and super yummy! While wrapping it up with the ingredients was quite nice, the caviar was yummy enough that I ended up just eating it separately so I could savour its taste haha :P
Caviar with Blinis, sour cream, white onions, eggs & chives.
For the starters, I ordered Solyanka (thick meat soup with slight spicy & sour taste). My mum thought that it would be something like tom yam, and boy was she wrong! Haha when they said “slight”, they really did mean slight, as it was a rich, smoky and meaty broth flavoured with some vegetables. In fact, I couldn’t feel any heat haha but don’t trust me, I like my food hot ;) Oh and they added in some lemon rind, which I stupidly thought was onion and ate up LOL. Luckily it didn’t taste too bad! The other soup, Stchi (Russian cabbage soup), tasted similar to the clear Chinese version, except that it had a slightly sour taste. Sounds a bit gross, but it was surprisingly good! Haha the Russians really seem to like their food sour.
Solyanka and Stchi.
For the mains, I got the Cossack lamb (tender lamb chunks baked in the oven under mashed potato & cheese), and IT WAS DAMN GOOD! As you guys can probably already tell, I love meat, especially beef and lamb, and this totally did not disappoint. It was almost like a lamb stew with its thick, slightly sour gravy, generous cubes of sweet carrots and melt-in-your-mouth onions. Most of the gravy got absorbed by the mashed potatoes after awhile though, so I do wish they gave more gravy. The lamb itself was super tender and mild, devoid of the strong gamey flavour which many people dislike (but not me :P). The portion for this was on the smaller side.
My mum got the other main, Rybnik (Russian fish pie with salmon and rice). It was a pretty interesting pie, since part of its fillings was rice! It didn’t really taste like rice though; it felt more like a thick, starchy crust with a really crisp and flaky outer portion. The pie was quite buttery as well, and IT WASN’T SOUR HAHAHAHA! Pretty good stuff, though I still prefer the Cossack lamb. Oh and the portion for this was hugeeeeeee. My mum only ate like 1 piece of the pastry, and gave the other piece to the rest of us to share.
The first dessert was Kissel (silky cream & refreshing lightness of berries married together in this jelly-like Russian dessert). The dessert itself tasted something like a jelly heart, though the white layer was more like panna cotta rather than cheesecake. The sauce was a berry compote with a few fresh berries thrown in, and yes, it was kinda sour for a compote haha. But I totally loved it! The tartness of the berries complemented the creaminess of the kissel perfectly (:
The other dessert was Khvorost (sugar-dusted twisted fried pastries served with chocolate sauce). For me, this was the only dish which I didn’t really like. The fried pastry was a rather tasteless and slightly oily biscuit, and I thought it was kinda strange to eat it with chocolate ._. My sister enjoyed it though.
Overall, our meal at Buyan was extremely satisfying. I would totally go back again, even without the Restaurant Week discount! The ambiance there was great too, with the wooden walls, chairs, and tables giving the place a warm and cosy atmosphere. A really nice surprise about this place is that even though they serve bottled spring water which they open in front of you, they don’t charge for it! How different is that from your average restaurant haha.
Buyan is about 5-10min walk from Tanjong Pagar MRT, at the Duxton area (just down the road from Latteria). I would strongly recommend giving this place a visit if you want to try/enjoy Russian food (:
Buyan Russian Restaurant & Caviar Bar
9/10 Duxton Hill
Lunch: Tues to Fri, 12pm-3pm
Dinner: Mon to Sat, 6pm-10.30pm
Bar: Open till late
All photos in this post have been Auto Awesomed on G+ (: