When we have Italian, Chinese and Mediterranean restaurants cropping up across the city, it seems a little unfair that Russian food has no real representative. Well, Unwind plans to change all of that. Located in the Russian Cultural Center, the cafe was launched two weeks ago by an enterprising couple, K Lakshman and his wife R Vidya. Members of the Indo Russian Culture Club, they are being assisted by expats to provide a near-authentic experience. The al fresco cafe is surrounded by foliage and comes with Russian paintings on the ceiling and Indian blinds. As for the menu, it has some Indian and Continental options as well, but fans of Russian soups, salads and breads are in for a treat. “We want people to unwind at their own pace, maybe read a book,” says Vidya, a psychologist and health food consultant.
Keep it light
We begin our meal with the Chicken Borscht, a traditional beetroot soup with chunks of chicken, that is perfect for our weather. Potato, a Russian staple, features right through the menu, and we recommend a flavoured soup marrying the tuber with mint. Vidya says a many expats settle for soup as a main course, with the Russian breads — dark, made from buckwheat and also available as a gluten-free version. For something more memorable, try the melt-in-the-mouth Purple Cheese Roll, made of eggplant, garlic and yoghurt. Be prepared for the portions are generous. For the mains, we opt for a ‘light on the belly’ combination of fish and chicken. The onion flavoured chicken is subtle — low on spice and high on texture. The fish, grilled in butter, retains a tangy flavour. Hung curd or avocado is used where possible, instead of mayonnaise. And the kebabs have a mild and thin marinade. To top off the meal, we choose the Strawberry Crunch – a layered dessert with macaroons, fruits, fresh cream and strawberry. There are plans to include biscuits and takeaway breads, but the challenge is in sourcing authentic ingredients, says Vidya.
Meal for two at approximately Rs 850. Details: 9551098704
– Parveen Sikkandar