Monday, February 7, 2011


KL hasn't had a Russian restaurant since Changkat Bukit Bintang's Dusha closed a few years ago, but Samovar _ run by a Russian couple _ is striving to fill that void.

We had mixed feelings about the borscht. It seemed sufficiently authentic, complete with beetroot and beef. But the broth itself was bafflingly bland, having failed to fully absorb the richness of its main ingredients.

Golubtzi (meat wrapped in sourish cabbage leaves). Healthy-tasting and grease-free, this traditional favorite was reminiscent of a Korean recipe. Use your fingers and just pop these rolls into your mouth.

Pilmeni (doughy dumplings stuffed with minced meat). Could've been lovingly boiled by a rural Russian grandmother. Rustic comfort food, hot and hearty enough to potentially thaw us out if we were visiting Siberia.

Olivia Salad (chicken, potatoes, eggs & cucumber). A pot-luck offering, more or less.

Marinated cabbage & cauliflower. Made us think of kim chi; chewy and foul in flavor.

Beetroot salad with tomatoes & shallots. Four could feast on this heap of veggies.

Pineapple & cucumber salad with sugar & lime juice. A cornucopia of citrus.

Cauliflower, zucchini, celery & cherry tomato salad. Too many salads? Oh, yeah.

Saint Clair Vicar's Choice Pinot Noir (New Zealand, 2008), purchased from Samovar has no corkage charge, so bring all the booze you can guzzle.

Look out for the intriguing decorative touches, including paintings and scarves from Russia.

P.S. It's odd how things work out. As I type this, I've also just completed reading the biography of Peter the Great, the former Russian emperor (not a book I'd have chosen, but someone handed it to me). A coincidence, but one that I can't resist noting.

SohoKL, Solaris Mont Kiara.


  1. So many salads wan?
    (Foul cauliflower? Ew)

  2. J: a salad a day keeps the doctor away? (so this should keep us physician-free for, errr, four days) :D

  3. Gong Xi Fa Chai! Happy New Year to you and family:) This place looks interesting. but so do all the other places you have eaten in the past 2 weeks! i really need to play catch up! ARRGH! LOL

  4. Ah, so this is the place Kenny mentioned to me. I got the impression that he enjoyed the salads and the company.

  5. We spent CNY eating really unhealthy and you chomp on Salad. What gives?

    Gung Hei Fatt Choi anyway :)

  6. This was a while ago rite?
    Saw Kenny's comments on the 5 salads meal on yr blog.
    But hey, I didnt knw Russians eats so much greens!
    Always had an impression tht Russians are meat-devourers!

  7. Hmmm... can't say I'm jizzing in my pants over the offerings so far! Healthy enough, I suppose. Are those blobs of butter on the dumplings?!

  8. ciki: welcome back to kl! thanks, and hope you've enjoyed catching up on the chinese new year festivities! looking forward to reading about your escapades in beautiful bali :D
    lemongrass: he bluff wan! none of us really liked the salads much (too, errrm, raw, i think). and the company was plagued by food poisoning from eating rojak at a prominent shopping mall =)
    qwazymonkey: heheh, i won't be blogging about the 100-plus pineapple tarts, love letters, arrowhead crackers and other belly-busting snacks that i attacked! my waistline has easily expanded an inch :D
    tng: yeps, this was a couple of weeks ago. i think they're still working on widening the menu, since it's really basic and limited now. hopefully they'll have meatballs, skewers and stews in the future! :D
    min: oh yeah, they'll need to jazz things up a bit if they hope to survive for more than just a few months! alas, my memory is a bit impaired these days, but i do think that was butter, yeah. arghhhhh, eeks, we actually ate all that butter! :D

  9. It's going to be hard trying to convince my parents for Russian food.

    One can never have too many salads if they are interesting! I mean, at least not everything is green in colour or something!

  10. michelle: heheh, i've only had russian food a few times, but the only time i enjoyed it was at a cafe in adelaide. i think it's safe that say that italian food is much more of a crowd-pleaser! :D

  11. *guffaws*

    I love you wrote about our entire dining experience at Samovar without actually writing about it, if that makes any sense.

    But aye, I have to say I really liked the wine. ;)

  12. Lfb: heheh, why dredge up memories that are best left buried and forgotten in te swampy quicksand of time :D I still have a few unopened bottles from wine actually, so it's possible you'll be sipping some more next time =)

  13. so cute to see the cauliflower in pink. Looks weird to ge gulping that down... at least if it's in yellow not so bad lah..

  14. Eiling: ya, I'm not really a fan of veggies, and I especially don't like veggies that have been marinated :D

  15. Hi Sean,
    Kindly be informed that this post has been reprinted on, thanks.
    P/S: We have put your name and link credit back to this article.

  16. Говно а не ресторан, и меню отстой, вот на Ланкави и ресторан хороший и меню грамотное, берите пример Самовар......

  17. Говно а не ресторан, и меню отстой, вот на Ланкави и ресторан хороший и меню грамотное, берите пример Самовар......

  18. This water boiler cal SAMOVAR..I have an Antique Samovar may be from Russia aged about 100 yrs or more.ANTIQUE..intrested cal Addin..Ampang