5.284 Borshch

-Cycle 5, Item 284-
16 (Thu) October 2014



at Shinok


with Carmen and various WHO staff

Mission to Moscow, Day 6 (see previously 5.283 Kyurzu).

I've been dispatched to Russia, along with Carmen, to attend a tobacco conference, which runs from Monday through Saturday (more details to follow).  While I arrived last Sunday, Carmen just got here this morning (stuck back at WPRO in Manila, taking care of business for the first part of the week).

So, after 5 days of eating in solitude, I finally got to enjoy dinner with people--not that I'd been avoiding socialization in Carmen's absence, it just kinda turned out that way every night.  And Carmen always make things happen.

Shinok again (see most recently 5.282 Pancakes with Rabbit).  After I'd described the part about the barnyard to them earlier in the day at lunch, they were all eager to check the place out for dinner.

For future reference, I'm including this shot from the beverage menu, something referred to as "distillate"...

Borshch is a Ukrainian soup.  Typically starts with a meat stock, either beef or pork, including the meat, boiled with beets, onions, potatoes, carrots, cabbage,  served with sour cream.  The beet provides the soup's signature bright red color, which then turns a freakishly unnatural hot pink when the sour cream is mixed in.  Ubiquitous among the USSR culinary bloc countries--classic communist comfort cuisine, comrade.

...a distilled grain liquor--apparently, to be differentiated from vodka, listed elsewhere--with a distinctive grainy flavor, though no oakiness, as suggested by the clear color.

The food was excellent.  For starters, the borshch, amazing: rich beefy broth,  sweetish-but-not-sweet beety flavor, perfectly seasoned, supple strips of beef and beet, along with cabbage, onion, carrot--didn't even think to add sour cream.  The stroganoff, something about it, sophistication beyond the typical beef-in-cream.  The appetizers and sides, though not great, were mostly good enough to support the main players.  Glad I agreed to come back.

Red Caviar with Pancakes (1.5)--in stark contrast to the good stuff (see generally 5.280 Black Sturgeon Caviar with Mini Pancakes), the salmon roe seemed cheap/crass/clumsy, same with the pancakes; sturgeon roe was on the menu, but we didn't feel like paying $150 for it.

In this part of the world, they like to spread creamed pork fat onto their bread.

Mini Pies with Mushroom (3.0)

Cabbage Dumplings (2.5)

Beef Stroganov (3.5)

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