Saturday, July 06, 2013

Shashlik Restaurant, Far East Shopping Centre

This was certainly a hit of memory lane as I recalled my very first visit down to Shashlik (545 Orchard Road, #06-19 Far East Shopping Centre, tel : +65 6732 6401) more than two decades ago. The number of subsequent visits after up to this point was less than the number of fingers of my hands. Back in that first visit, I was told it was Russian food. be honest, it did descend from a former and supposedly wildly popular Russian restaurant in the sixties called Troika which folded up in the eighties; their former Hainanese employees then banded up, bought over the business and created the Shashlik we all (and our parents) knew. And throughout the decades after that, little has changed as I know it. 

Well, their piping hot and sweet loaves that one could melt SCS butter with used to come free flow back in the past. Now it's just one complimentary piece per person. And it's almost magical.

As much flair and effort it took to prepare their Irish coffee a la minute, it didn't quite make the standard as coffee goes these days. They're still pretty much using the old styled coffee which has been pretty much blown away by the espresso roasts in these decades. Still, I ordered one out of nostalgia and also probably to appreciate the fact that no one really quite flames your glasses and whiskey for your coffee at the table side anymore.

Of course, we couldn't pass on the order of their "famous" borscht, which was really a minestrone mellowed with sour cream. As far it is from the actual thing, this interpretation was actually a pretty decent soup. Since I haven't had the original before, I'm also left wondering if this tomato based one beets the real deal. Hahaha....

The oyster soup looked unimpressive. In fact, abysmal would be rather accurate. It looked like the simplest of Campbell canned soup without life, color or depth; and anyone would probably mistaken it for that until the first sip. Briny and full of that oyster-ly flavors. And it came with two oysters. Pleasant surprise eh?

These chicken livers with caper sauce were something I had never realised were on menu. But then again, it's not like I'm anybody close to a regular. They were tender, livery and awesome......with all that richness enlivened by them tart capers. 

Their steak a la Russe was pretty much a steak with mushroom sauce. The quantity of mushrooms and the sauce looked pretty disappointing and I was on the verge of condemning it until I realised that the meat that they had used tasted like a hanging tender. Lean, soft and quite packed with flavors. It was a rather pleasant surprise.

Unfortunately, the shashliks at Shashlik aren't exactly the best of items to order in our opinion. Thanks to the great job they have done with their marinade, most of the natural flavours of the meat were lost. But, that's how they roll.

We ended the meal with a flashy bang by ordering a flaming dessert. A cherries jubilee that was flamb├ęed with butter, brandy and cream and then served with ice cream. 

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