Archive for ‘Eastern European’

August 28, 2011

The Coachmen

by minibites

The Coachmen

I have a Russian partner-in-crime that over time, I have slowly educated her in crazy feng shui superstitions, what taro and pandan is, and fed her addiction to Din Tai Fung dumplings and Easyways. I’ve also been equally as interested in her world; so after our adventures at Borsh Vodka & Tears and Food Society, it was back to ol’ school Russia at The Coachmen.

And of course, we let her take the reins of ordering…

The CoachmenHerring in a Fur Coat

The Coachmen
Olivier

Two Russian entrees rolls out, and the first isn’t a stranger despite it’s interesting name. It’s a traditional salad with layers of potato, beetroot, herring, mayonnaise and topped with finely shredded eggs. Herring might be a shriek factor for some, but surprisingly it’s all disguised in this salad and works quite wonderfully.

Olivier is another Russian salad, this time with a crunch and tang. Similar to a coleslaw; it’s made of cubes of boiled potatoes, eggs, pickles, carrots, peas and onions and dressed with mayonnaise. Would have gone lovely with a ton of meaty goodness.

The Coachmen
Potato Dumplings (Pelmeni)

The Coachmen Pancakes “Coachmen”

My request of the night are the Russian meat filled dumplings. It’s as simple as it be, served with a clear stock and a dollop of sour cream. But one of my favourites are the warm savory pancakes filled with chicken and topped off with mushroom sauce. If we didn’t have to spilt into quarters, I would have devoured the entire lot…

The Coachmen
Grilled Lamb Georgian Style (Shahshlik)

A spice and rustic aroma filled the table when the first of the mains are served. Lamb fillet, deliciously flame grilled and served with the most amazing spicy tomato sauce with reminisces of chimichurri sauce. I think even the lamb haters would be won over by this firey skewer.

The Coachmen
Veal Goulash

The Coachmen
Beef Stroganoff

Two other familiar dishes came out with the veal goulash cooked in a ceramic pot with an interesting caramelised onion toast as its lid. The beef strogonoff is served with a mountain of jasmine rice; although tasty, I prefer stroganoff with a lot more sauce.

The Coachmen

The vibe at The Coachmen is exciting with live music flowing throughout the restaurant. The clock strikes 8:30pm and three gorgeous dancers in the “modified” Russian traditional dress  (meaning hello! A no bottoms getup) rip up the dance floor in high pace, electric moves. Line dancing, high kicks, spins; these girls had the entire crowd mesmerised.

The Coachmen

And don’t forget a shot of vodka before every course. I’m sure whether it really is tradition, or if our gullibility is to blame… But bottoms up we were told, and down went the peach vodka, honeydew vodka….

A night of hearty meals, vodka shots and live entertainment that you can’t help but clap and bounce around to.

The Coachman
763 Bourke St
Surry Hills, Sydney
www.coachmen.com.au 

Coachmen Russian on Urbanspoon

August 22, 2011

Food Society

by minibites

Food Society

Being an ex-neighbour of this bar, it was bittersweet to be back in our old neighbourhood, amazed by how they transformed a run down cooking school into a lavish restaurant and bar. The dishes are designed to share with a modern Eastern European flavour, so think of warm soups, meaty dumplings and slow cooked meats; perfect for a cold Winter’s night. Much to my delight, it began to remind me of our memorable night at Borsh Vodka and Tears.

Food Society

We wander through the brightly lit reception where bubbly staff greet us and our coats are taken and stored away in vintage closets. The feeling is intriguing with Euro trance beats pumping in the background, floral wallpaper, grey walls, antique pieces and persian rugs.

Food Society Beetroot & Vodka Cured Ocean Trout Blini

Food Society
Pierogi w/ organic pork

Appetizers roll out, beginning with soft blinis (pancakes) topped with a ribbon of beetroot & vodka cured ocean trout, roe and dill cream; and they were absolutely amazing with multiple flavour bursts. Next up are the meaty pierogi which are another variation of the Polish dumpling, uszka, but uses a slightly different dough. They’re filled with organic pork and roasted shallots with sprinkles of salty bacon pieces, mmmmm!

Food Society
Borscht w/ organic smoked ham hock 

The borscht is next companied with mini bowls to share; a Ukrainian soup mainly made of beetroot and served with organic smoked ham hock and of course, a dollop of sour cream. It tastes like a beetroot puree with strands of ham, although my Russian counterpart is less impressed of its texture.

Food SocietyBeef short rib 

The “substantials” on the menu are the meatier and heartier dishes. The beef short ribs braised in dark beer sit on top of a soft white polenta and are served with buttered sprouts on a wooden block. The meat is slightly overcooked but with a few spoonfuls of the sauce, it’s salvable.

Food SocietyTen hour braised lamb shoulder 

Alongside the pierogi dumplings being my favourite of the night, the ten hour braised lamb shoulder is amazing. Served in a red hot ceramic dish with field mushrooms, white bean puree and fresh mint jelly; it gets many nods of satisfaction across the table.

Food Society
Selsko Meso

The Selsko Meso is a Balkan style slow cooked stew filled with pork neck, red peppers, tomatoes and spices aplenty. With pork neck being more muscular, flavoursome and fattier than the shoulder, being slow cooked, it’s as tender as it can get amongst the stew of spices.

Food Society
Society Baked Pashka

Food Society
Sour Cherry Dumplings

Disappointingly, the desserts are not up the scratch. The Food Society’s take on the pashka, a Russian cheese dessert is a little bland and not as sweet as anticipated, despite the jam and almonds drizzled on top. As for the sour cherry dumplings that my Russian foodie was so excited about was another let down. Possible that our cravings for sweet ending tarnished our judgements, but hopefully more inventive desserts could blossom in the future.

Food Society

It’s the beginnings of a great new restaurant with Euro ambience and flavour to match.

Food Society
91 Riley St
Darlinghurst, Sydney
www.foodsociety.com.au 

Food Society on Urbanspoon