Hidden Dinner Spot: Shashlik Restaurant at Far East Shopping Centre, Singapore

Here's a quick nom nom food review, though this restaurant is not a quick bite kinda place. In fact, the history of this place is rather interesting. Firstly, I've never been to any Russian restaurant in Singapore before. I remember asking a Russian I've met in the states before on what they eat normally, and she told me meat dumplings and stew. I suppose that's about right. Actually it'll be so cool to try real authentic Russian cuisine in Russia!

The next best thing is the localized version of it. Story has it that it was actually "set up in 1986 by 9 Hainanse migrants in 1986 after being laid off at Russian restaurant Troika, the menu remained the same for the past twenty years." (from a HGW review by stargirl). In today's lexicon, this will be called FUSION. Tucked away on the 6th floor of a shopping mall that should have stayed in the 80s', it can be qualified as a hidden find or word of mouth kinda place. The place was quite packed for a Sunday night with families, almost 90% full at dinner time.

It was in fact an interesting experience to observe the restaurant. 80% of the servers were senior citizens. They move around however with a kind of practiced dignity and years of experience served up alongside the meals pushed around in trolleys (good idea). The smell and sizzling smoke from the hotplates and the flaming desserts in an air conditioned place is however not that welcome, if you will imagine them sticking on you after leaving the restaurant. Once again bad ventilation has dampened the restaurant's environment and discouraged any lingering after eating.

But the food itself is pretty good. In fact, for the money spent, it was really not too bad considering that it is the Orchard belt that we are talking about, albeit tucked away in a long forgotten and retro building just beside Wheelock. We were served free buns which are absolutely yummy. It was warm, soft and chewy with just the right amount of sweetness. Lather it up with SCS butter and it's like having breakfast on clouds. We then ordered the borsch soup, which was what this place is famous for. Someone on twitter commented that it has become too salty over the years, but when we tried I thought it was acceptable. The taste itself is very complex (if you compare it to soup spoon's). There's the hint of beef, and the cabbage and a myriad of other veggies made it taste homely yet.. rich enough, without it being too thick or overpowering. Definitely a great appetizer for the main course.

My main course was beef shashlik. In case you're wondering, shashlik just refers to speared meat that's cooked on a skewer. It was removed from the skewer when it's served on my hotplate and it went sizzle sizzle for a full minute. The russian salad was served separately. At first it looked kind of pathetic for 25 bucks, but after eating, decided it was just nice. The beef itself was really really juicy, tender and full of beefy flavour. My medium was also just right, very bloody on the inside but the meat was not cold. All in all it was about $30 per person with free buns, a soup to share, and a main dish each. My friend's beef stroganoff was served with very nicely flavoured butter? rice and the beef soaked in the gravy was also tasty.

Tried their cherry flambee dessert the last time I went to the place, and it was really good too but too much this time for 2 people. Maybe 3-4 people will be a good size for their desserts which are interesting to watch.

Very good! Now if only we can remember to go to this place whenever we are in town and need a nice fulfilling dinner...

Shashlik Restaurant
545 Orchard Road, #06-19 Far East Shopping Centre, Singapore
Tel: +65 6732 6401

1 comment
  1. Please drop by on Wednesdays lunch for their oxtail stew, it's their classic! I took day off specially to have it haha, so worth it!