Lunch at Buyan Russian restaurant at Duxton Hill was our last Singapore restaurant week outing for 2015. It is a housed in a two-storey shophouse in this dining enclave of Duxton Hill. Looking at the Buyan Russian restaurant from the outside, it is hard to tell (without looking at the signboard) what kind of eatery it was, let alone what it is like. The interior is pitch black and the parts of the decor which are visible provides no clue. But it was curiosity that made us sign up for lunch here as we have not tried any Russian restaurant in Singapore in a long while.
The Buyan Russian restaurant is decorated like a log cabin. The dim lighting and dark wood interior explains why it looks pitch black from outside. The place looks more like a pub than a restaurant. There is a tiny stage which, we presume, means there will be live music in the evenings.
The restaurant week lunch menu is a three course affair that costs $25 per head. There were two options for each course. Here is the lunch menu and random pages of their regular menu. Thank goodness it was an iPad menu so it was easy to photograph it in the darkness.
The starters were the Borscht and Vinegret. Both the items were ok but we did not pick up any unique Russian character in them. The Borscht was like minestrone soup with a generous amount of vegetables and the Vinegret was a salad that mostly tasted of apples.
The main courses were Chicken Kiev and Plov. The chicken was the better dish, crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. The Plov was Uzbek lamb with rice. The lamb content was very low. We managed to locate a few small bits in the rice, which is not necessarily a bad thing because the lamb flavour was strong. The small amount of lamb was sufficient to impart a robust smell and flavour to the rice. It reminded us of briyani.
Finally, it was time for desserts – Blinis and Medovik. The Blinis was a dish of crepes served with some evaporated milk, jam and sour cream. The Medovik was a type of multi-layered cake. It has to be said that the desserts look quite beautiful, even in the dark cave-like restaurant. Taste-wise they were very plain.
Overall, it was an experience to dine at the Buyan Russian restaurant at Duxton Hill. The dark broody atmosphere is more suited as an evening drinking place than a lunch destination. There was however a silver lining in our Duxton Hill adventure that day. We stumbled upon a delightful cafe a few doors away. The brightness of that cafe was a big contrast to the dark restaurant and lifted our mood for the day. Which cafe is that? Stay tuned for our next post. Here is a sneak peek.
Overall Rating: 2 TOPs
BUYAN Russian Restaurant & Caviar Bar
9 Duxton Hill
Tel: +65 6223 7008