Sunday, 14 March 2010

Russian through London

So it's confirmed; we're moving a bit east to Newington Green in May. My friends who live in NW postcodes are now determined to make sure I make the most of this part of London's offerings before moving two miles east, never to return, obviously.

So today I toddled over to Primrose Hill for lunch with friends at Trojka, a Russian restaurant that is a bit of an 'establishment' among the Primrose Hillbilly types. I love Russian and Eastern European food - hearty stews, sour cream, dill, stuffed things; and then the influences from its neighbours, from Georgia, Armenia, Uzbekistan and beyond. I went to Moscow a few years back and my friend took me to restaurants serving all kinds of cuisines you would be hard pushed to find in Britain, although I've found both Georgian and Armenian restaurants.

The menu at Trojka covers lots of Russian classics, as well as many favourites from around the bloc. Given my love for this part of the world, choosing a dish was hard, but I plumped for a Coulibiak, a hearty pie filled with salmon, spinach, rice and buckwheat, topped with sour cream and dill and surrounded with a sweet tomato sauce. It was a perfect combination of flavours and textures and was incredible value at £7. My friends had Pelmeni (cheese and potato dumpling) and Gypsy Latke (gypsy-style goulash with potato pancake), both delicious.

To start we shared an 'Armenian salad', which was a simple but winning combination of beetroot, grated carrot, avocado, pepper and new potatoes.

I also had a tea with raspberry syrup - which was bizarre but nice. I remember from my time in Moscow that there's a fondness for sweet things - Russian 'champagne' is so sweet that your teeth feel coated after one glass of the stuff. And raspberry syrup tea was actually quite nice. Without milk, obviously.

The service was a tad slow, but it was a busy Sunday lunch (and Mother's Day of all Sundays), but the food was well worth it. The atmosphere was buzzing with a mixed set of Americans and Russians in London, as well as your usual north London bobo types, and the d├ęcor was bright and luscious. I would like to go back for an evening meal at some point - try some of their Georgian wines, Russian vodkas and hear the live music.

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