We have to pay 4 times in HK than in Bangkok to have the same meal. Similarly, from expensive Norway to Estonia with much lower living standard, you can pay less in Estonia to get the same thing. In our last trip, we had tasted the medieval dishes already. So, we decided to enjoy the delicacy of real French cuisine and traditional Russian food this time.
One of the special meals we had was at Troika which is a very popular Russian restaurant. I ordered a seasonal dish: stroganoff bear meat that is even more exotic than whale meat. Actually I don’t enjoy exotic animal meat, guessing it tasted like deer or elk. Just to satisfy my curiosity only with no expectation. Its texture was very tough like prosciutto ham. Fortunately it came in small portion; even cooked with lots of black pepper, served with sour cream, radish, baked apple and kraut, I still could taste the strong special smell of the meat. This special taste came from all the dead-meat this bear had before: mixtures of well-developed muscles and fat tissue. Now, I finished all but with guilt.
Perhaps I preferred normal foods. Blini is small but thick pancake which looks like mini burger. Instead of meat, we put sour cream, onion dices and smoked salmon. You could sense a mixture of all kinds of flavours in your mouth. Like eating Canapé in small bit. If you are big-spenders, you can add caviar too. Also, we ordered deep-fried fish. Unlike the British’s Fish & Chips which is always very greasy, this was lightly-battered so that we could still be able to taste the freshness of the ingredient. Among all dishes, the best one, unexpectedly, was the appetizer Pelmeni, Russian dumplings. Served in a bread-made bowl of mushroom soup. The dumplings have a stronger taste than ravioli or Chinese dumplings, and I loved very much I could eat 20 of them and still want more. Because of this, on the last day of the trip, we went to have 2 more Pelmeni, served with mustard, garlic sauce and sour cream, for lunch again. Plus, we ordered the deep-fried fish and Shchi. Shchi tasted like Borsch but with more cabbages and less meat. Sweet and spicy, good for digestion; otherwise we would not be able to finish the food.
If I have ever visited Russia in the future, despite the ever-increase in tension between races and unexpected terrorism, it would have been for the food, not for Kremlin or Moscow Underground.