Ever since group discount websites took the internet by storm, I too have been trying out new places courtesy of these discounts, rarely food deals though coz of one bad experience. This particular deal caught my eye simply because it’s offering “Authentic Russian Cuisine”. The menu looked pretty palatable, not as foreign as I would think. So my friend and I headed off to Solaris looking for this place. The location is a tad hidden to me as I am rarely found in Solaris.
The place was rather empty as it was on a weekday night. They even offer free karaoke which was luckily not being utilised. Haha. Run by a friendly Russian couple from Sochi at the Black Sea region of Russia, Russian food is not the only choice here. They also serve Middle Eastern (that explains the shisha!), Western and even Malaysian fare (hmmm).
Included was this Borscht Soup, a vegetable soup with cabbage, beetroot, carrots, potatoes served with bread. We were a bit surprised that the bread served was our normal white Gardenia bread only. The soup itself is very light, not as hearty as I expected. But the more you drink, the nicer it tastes. But still, it lacks a certain oomph.
The Olivie Salad with potatoes, chicken, egg, cucumber and mayonnaise reminds me of this potato salad recipe I used to make. But without the frozen vegetable medley (peas, diced carrots etc) so in some way this tasted like comfort food to me. They have other salad options though most of it seemed to use pickled vegetables so I feel that’s probably too adventurous for some’s palate.
This was not part of the deal, but ordered the hummus with meat just to try. The hummus was very smooth and I think we enjoyed it with the bread even though for the umpteenth time I wish another bread type was offered.
We got to choose one main course with the voucher and I opted for the Pelmeni – dumplings with minced chicken & mushrooms. Apparently “pelmeni” means ear-shaped bread and the process of making them were once labour-intensive. But now like our curry puffs, there are moulds that help with the making of the dumplings. But irregardless of how it was made, the dumplings were quite yummy. The ground meat was juicy, flavourful and I really liked this.
Topped with melted butter,it was served with a type of tomato puree which is like tapenede in consistency. I found that quite interesting as it added a different dimension to the overall flavour. It does remind me of gyoza or even chinese guo tie but the seasoning used is definitely different as the taste is anything but.
Another main course that we chose was Katletti, chicken cutlets with butter, cheese & rice. The plain rice is not so plain afterall, as I believe it was cooked in some broth as it had some flavour to it. The katletti which resembles croquettes is deep fried and bursting with flavour.
We went back to Samovar a couple of weeks later and tried some other items on the menu which looked fairly interesting.
We started with a healthy dish, Tabouleh which is traditionally made with bulgur but this version only has finely chopped parsley, mint, tomoato, onion with olive oil and lemon juice. Quite fresh and pleasant to start the meal with!
We also had Golubtzi, which is minced meat and rice wrapped in cabbage leaves. This was another “comfort food” to me. Reminded me of our chinese cabbage wraps too.
We also had Chicken Roll which was stuffed and rolled. I thought this was quite yummy as the chicken itself was quite tender and juicy. I think this was easily my favourite dish of the night, apart from the Pelmeni.
I had high hopes for the Manti as I thought it would be somewhat similar to the Pelmeni but this was a bit of a letdown. The dough was a tad too dry and thick.
The owners are really friendly though we could only communicate in limited English. He even gave us a discount on the hummus which wasn’t included in the voucher! I don’t mind coming back for more of the dumplings and trying some other Russian fare as it feels quite homecooked. But considering the area it’s based in, with so many other restaurants as its competition, I can see why it’s so quiet despite the decent food.
And if you’re inclined, feel free to bring your own alcohol as they don’t charge corkage.
K-01-08, SoHo KL,
No. 2, Jalan Solaris,
Mont Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur.
Phone: 016-230 4534