Thursday, November 20, 2014

Vladimir's Place @ Off Imbi

Vladimir's Place is plagued by paradoxes - this Russian restaurant looks like it's been around for decades, but it was newly opened when we checked it out. It tries to cultivate an opulent lustre, but its interior seems old-fashioned instead of timeless. Plus, there's no Vladimir working here.

The contradictions continue: Vladimir's Place is Malaysian-owned but stakes a claim to authenticity with two Russian cooks. Its fine-dining setting makes it look perilously pricey but a meal here shouldn't surpass RM50 per person. It has banquet tables galore, but there was only one waiter (bespectacled chap, diligent & obliging) & no other patrons throughout our evening here.

Still, if you're interested in encouraging gastronomic diversity in KL, then Vladimir's Place is worth a stop. It'll never become the trendiest dining destination (two other Russian outlets have opened & closed in the city with scant fanfare in the last six years), but much of its food is reassuringly rustic, with a true-to-its-roots ring of soulful honesty.

Our best bet here so far is the classic 'herring under a fur coat,' a chilled, eye-catching salad with perky flavours. layered with diced salted fish, boiled beets, carrots, potatoes & mayo. An easy recommendation at RM12.50; we bet Putin would approve.

Giblets in a pot - this innard-inundated recipe throws together chicken liver, heart & gizzard with bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes & cream, creating comfort food for frosty Siberian winters & stormy Malaysian nights. RM16. Eat it!

Love your (chicken) liver: Have it minced & stuffed into a breaded pancake that makes for a punchy-flavoured snack. RM9.50; in an interesting move, Vladimir's menu states exactly how much each recipe weighs. This one's supposed to be 170 grams.

Beef tongue baked with potatoes, onions, cheese & bechamel sauce (RM18.50). If you think you'll like this, you likely will.

Vladimir's menu lists this as 'pork lard,' but it's more of a meaty-fatty pate, tinged with garlic & topped with mustard. RM8.50.

Aspic of pork feet & beef; a protein-powered plate, though not the one we'll remember best here. RM13.50.

Boiled buckwheat with mushrooms & onions (RM7.50). Grainy greatness, enjoyably earthy & tantalisingly textured.

Noodles, milk & butter; three simple ingredients made into a soup dish. The Russian epitome of 'cucina povera.' RM6.50.

There's still much more to the nearly 100-item menu (beet prune salad to borscht, casseroles to dumplings), but we'll wrap up with a simple slice of dense, Russian-inspired wheat bread (RM1.50).

Wine may be available by the time you read this; for our visit, there were only cocktails like the White Russian (but of course!) ...

... plus Margaritas & Martinis (RM20-RM25) mixed by the friendly waiter who performs double-duty as the bartender. 

All in all, Vladimir's is a satisfactory Russian eatery, with all the local limitations taken into account. We hope it'll do well.

Vladimir's Place is open for lunch & dinner, except Mondays. There's limited parking in the restaurant's compound.

Vladimir's Place
32, Jalan Inai, Off Jalan Imbi, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. Next to Jadi Batek Gallery. Tel: 03-2144-5636

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26 comments:

  1. The interior looks grand...with chandeliers and all! But the prices seem reasonable :-) Am surprised it sprung up in a locality like Imbi though (seem like a bit of mismatch to me)!

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    1. Contact.ewew: ya, it has a bit of a dated look, but it was a memorable change from the other restaurants we've been visiting in recent months :) there are a lot of venues on the bukit bintang and imbi back-roads that have been converted into eateries and pubs over the years, so it's kinda interesting to explore and discover what's here :)

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  2. Yea prices do seem wallet friendly, and I guess those wanting to be more adventurous in KL could try out some Russian cuisine.

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    1. Baby Sumo: yeah, we managed to have a massive meal for two people (with some drinks, and also tar paued some takeaway items) without needing to take out a credit card, heh :) and ya, i definitely wouldn't mind if we had two or three good russian restaurants in KL :D

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  3. Such a gorgeously elegant and ornate place, Sean!!! And the giblets dish is making me drool! LOL! :)

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    1. Linda: I'm glad you like the look of this place ... I think elegant and ornate are exactly what they're striving for :) and oh yes, the giblets were a top priority for me! :D

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    2. I forgot to mention...I love that gold clock with the bird on it! It is gorgeous! :)

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    3. Linda: i love how you noticed that clock! i wonder what's the story behind that clock :)

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  4. Wow.... the interior look like an English palace! hehe..
    The prices seems okay... I thought its gonna be very expensive to dine there :-)

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    1. Melissa: heheh, ya, there is a bit of a palatial feel inside (now I'm thinking of the grand duchess anastasia) :D yeah, the food is very fairly priced :)

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  5. Hurrah for unusual eateries! If it wasn't for the photos I'd have accused you of invention! I hope it attracts some customers...

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    1. YouHadYourLunch: heh, yeah, russian fare is pretty pleasing ... comforting flavours, hearty portions ... definitely deserves a following :)

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  6. Lovely place, looks classy and expensive...but surprisingly, prices do seem quite affordable. Russian? Hmmmm...the only Russian thing that I know is vodka! Hehehehehe!!!!

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    1. Suituapui: true, prices here are lower than a lot of other restaurants out there :) heh, yes, i think liquor consumption in russia is among the world's highest, for various reasons ;)

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  7. LOL! Yes i am sure Putin will approve everything here :P

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    1. Ken: i might not approve of putin, but i'd warmly endorse the food :)

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  8. the salad is the best presentation that i ever seen! Very interesting and eye-catching.
    And I found their price is quite friendly, can pay a visit soon! :D

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    1. 小乱: ya, that's a pretty memorable salad! :) hope you enjoy this place :D

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  9. I would like to go try too~ hehe

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    1. Happy walker: good to hear that :)

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  10. This remind me of the Russian restaurant we went few years ago. That was the first time we met I think. :P

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    1. CK: haha, you have a good memory. i remember the salads we ordered there. samovar at solaris mont kiara ... it has closed down now though :)

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  11. Hi! Thank you for this blog! It's literally the only thing that kept me in touch with foodie developments in KL whilst I was studying in Melbourne. I was just wondering if it would be possible for the tags of posts to be refined to also include food cuisine instead of just venues (ie. Ampang, PJ etc)? So it would be easier to sift through and pinpoint an exact cuisine at an exact place? Just a thought :B

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    1. Renee: thanks for the kind words, yeah, much appreciated :) there are also tags for cuisine (like chinese, italian & japanese), but they're not cross-referenced with locations ... sorry about that! i'm pretty non-tech-savvy about that kinda stuff :)

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  12. before i showed this post to my husband, i exclaimed. Eh! let's go eat Russian food! Because after Samovar died a premature death, we are always on the lookout for the next Russian restaurant. And I passed my laptop to my hubs. He said, what Russian food lo, this is more of Soviet food! hehe ;) The quintessential cucina povera. Nevertheless, hubs says ok to bring me there. Thank you for the post! :)

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    1. Sibu Food Diva: i love your husband's response ... ah yes, some of this looks like it might have been food from the '70s and before :) i hope you like this place!! :)

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