Have you been to Russia before or tried their cuisine?
I haven’t and would like to do so.
However, with global leisure travel unlikely to resume anytime soon, one of the only ways to experience another country’s culture is through their food served at local restaurants offering authentic foreign cuisines.
Dumplings.ru is one such.
It is the only Russian-owned Russia restaurant in Singapore that serves up authentic family-owned recipes that are said to have been passed down from over a century ago. Think simple, comfort food that you eat at home that is also wallet-friendly.
The brainchild of Russian owners, Vadim Zoubovski and his wife, Alena Zobovska, Dumplings.ru is located at Maxwell Chambers in the CBD area, serving a PMET lunch crowd and a dinner crowd who are there to knock back a drink or two with the food.
Missing the comfort food served up by their grandmothers, the couple began preparing Russian dishes with the very same recipes they grew up with, sharing them with family and friends. Well-received by both Russians and Singaporeans, Dumplings.ru was born, starting off as a food kiosk and eventually evolving into a restaurant a year ago.
The name of the restaurant gives away what to expect as the signature dish. Pelmeni (Russian dumpling) is Russia’s national dish and is comfort food that will go well with Singaporeans, accustomed to Chinese-style dumplings.
Each dumpling is hand wrapped daily and stuffed with fillings like salmon, smoked bacon, potato, beef and lamb. They are then playfully colour coded with different dumpling skin colours so you can tell them apart when enjoying them.
We tried the dumplings and found the skin to be much thicker than their Chinese cousins. The dipping sauce is sweet and creamy, a contrast to the usual spicy (chili) or sour (vinegar) sauces we like to dip Chinese dumplings into.
The combo platter is a fun dish to order and share with friends, as a sampler for Russian dumplings and so everyone can argue over who eat which colour.
Another interesting item is the Chebureki, a flaky pastry that is integral to Russian street food culture. It tastes kind of like our curry puff, but much larger in size and without the curry filling.
We find this on the pricey side compared to the price of the dumplings and would recommend the dumplings first if you are just going to try one dish.
For dessert, try the Medovik, a multi-layered honey cake that is a Russian favourite. Brittle, dry and flaky, it is textured more like a biscuit than a fluffy cake and has hints of sweetness from the honey.
Other items we sampled:
The salad samplers is another fun item to order to share with friends. The closest I can associate them is a mix between pickled vegetables and coleslaw.
Everybody can do with a bowl of warm comfort soup when you are feeling a little under the weather and the Borscht soup is just that. It is close in taste to the regular minestrone soup, but with differences in the ingredients that goes inside the soup.
This chicken jelly terrine dish looks kind of adventurous, but is actually quite tasty. There are similar dishes like these in traditional Teochew cuisines such as shark meat jelly and pork leg jelly. The cold, jelly texture against savoury notes make for an interesting contrast.
This is basically cured, cold pork belly, kind of like pork belly ham. Go for the chicken jelly terrine if you are just ordering one dish between the two.
This is a traditional Russian fruit punch. Tastes quite like the regular fruit punch.
I would recommend ordering the Kvass if you are intending to get a Russian non-alcoholic beverage. This is made from fermented rye bread, seen in the background, and a staple in Russian home food. It tastes like kombucha and I like the sharp acidic flavour.
Overall, the food at Dumplings.ru are heavy in flavours and hearty in portions. I have not tried any other Russian food anywhere else before, so I can’t comment if they are authentic, however from a local Singaporean taste bud point of view, I will recommend it for the novelty factor first, after which if you like it, you will surely revisit again.
For myself, I am quite sure several of my friends will be intrigued to try out Russian home and street food in Singapore!
Dumplings.ru also offers a selection of vodka, beers and wines, specially imported from Russia, including a series of premium Kremlim Award vodkas, originally reserved for the highest ranked Russian state officials.
32 Maxwell Road, #01-05, Maxwell Chambers
Tanjong Pagar MRT Exit B
Mon: 5.30pm to 1030pm
Tues to Sun: 12pm to 2.30pm | 5.30pm to 10.30pm