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Winter Place; World Cup Russia 2018 in Chennai

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Sometimes, I feel like a food failure. While restaurants are mushrooming all over and it is impossible to keep up, a new restaurant with a new cuisine coming up, being good and having been around for a year or so, I didn't even know it existed. Till now. Winter Palace inside the Russian culture centre is perhaps the best place to view the World Cup right now. Maybe because I went on a day Russia was playing, I don't know, but the place was lively, buzzing with activity, contests were going on and food wasn't compromised.  Rs 1100 for 5 dishes, a coupon for a 20% discount, I won the Score Predictor and in general had a ball. But the food? Read on.....









Known to be bland and flavourless, Russian food isn't exactly setting global palates on fire. But, and I don't have a taste reference yet, the food here was by no means unpalatable. We completely went with the recommendations of the wait staff, both Russian and Indians and that's how we ended up with The Chicken Oliver Salad. A melange of veggies in different colours and shreds of chicken plated beautifully, the salad was neither bland, nor boring and the flavours weren't alien either.

The Borsch, the Russian beetroot soup with beef however, was totally new to the palate. Nope, not bland at all, but a completely new flavour. With both beetroots and beef playing dominant roles, I quite loved the soup, but after I mixed in the cream. Yes, it made a huge difference. Almost like a new soup! If there was one dish I was dying to try, it was the Pelmeni, the Russian gnocchi was my disappointment of the day. I'm sure the Russians love it though and it was very much what I've heard of Russian food, the bland and boring part. Clearly, the reputation comes from their staple dish and not from the rest of it.

While we wanted to try a-la-kiev, another standard Russian dish, we were warned that it would be too much, given what we already had and so we went with Chicken Zagrazy (I think I got the spelling right, but no, I'm not entirely sure), a fried crumbed minced chicken served with rice and veggies. The veggies were pretty much dead and the lettuce was bordering on being old, but the chicken and the rice were quite nice. We finished off with an excellent Napolean cake, a dessert with varying amounts of crunch, cream and sweet.

Russia lost the match, but the fans and the overall atmosphere was great. Because it was packed that night, we had to share tables and that was all the more fun! As of now, (obviously), they are only screening the 730 PM matches, but if you can't go to Russia, this is, by far, the closest you are going to get! Oh, if you do want the 1130 matches screened, you need to tell them in advance and get a crowd of about 15 to 20 people and you can have a mini Russia here!

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When miniatures pack a flavour punch!

T here are tasting menus. The chefs carefully select their best dishes and make small portions of them for you to taste many dishes....

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Chennai Foody: Winter Place; World Cup Russia 2018 in Chennai
Winter Place; World Cup Russia 2018 in Chennai
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