Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Back in the USSR

We love trying new foods.  It's been one of the things we've done since we were first married and lived in Dallas where there was every kind of restaurant - Ethiopian, Afghan, Nepalese, etc.  But in all our married years, I don't think we've ever tried a Russian restaurant.  Until last Saturday night.

Yes, yes, I know, we're in Okinawa and who eats Russian food in Japan?  Well, I suppose, technically we're kind of close to Russia - at least parts of Japan are, right?  And our very good friend, Dima, is Russian, so that kind of helps too.

Anyways, with a babysitter secured for the evening we had a double date night with Krimp and Dima to hunt down and try this Russian restaurant.

How's this for a creepy sign?  Steve thinks it's a rockin' Gorbachev.

After perusing the menu, and getting a few explanations by Dima, we ordered our "Russian Sets" and sat back to wait for the food. 

Stevie doesn't look so happy, does he?

Dima and Krimp

As we waited, we were entertained by a GIANT TV playing Russian MTV.  Let's just say the music was varied and I was glad we didn't have the kids with us!  That perception of Russians being all bundled up in fur - well, apparently they're not all that way.  And that perception of Russian women being big and burly - well, apparently they're not all that way either.

After a few videos, the food started to roll out of the kitchen and we weren't disappointed, even Dima said it tasted authentic.  We all started with a serving of pea salad which Stevie said reminded him of his Grandma's cooking.

Then came a steaming hot bowl of borsht with a super yummy peroski (meat filled bread).

Then the main course: for me little meat stuffed dumplings (forget what they're called!).  Stevie had the stroganoff, Krimp had perogies and Dima had the blichinki (cabbage roll - it was the best!  I guess he had the inside scoop since by this time he had relaxed and started speaking Russian to the waitress who must have given him the tip-off.)

Stevie's Japanese-sized portion of stroganoff.

Cabbage roll - yum!

Dinner was followed by dessert (ice cream, to remind us of the frozen tundra???) and Russian tea.  And I have to say, the meal was a pleasant surprise.  Who knew Russian food could be so tasty???

As we were about to leave, the waitress gave Dima another tip - the Russian dance show would be starting shortly so stick around. (By this point she had stopped speaking to us in English and just directed her comments to Dima.  Dumb Americans wanting to speak English to a Russian in Japan!)

After a few more videos to entertain us - the traditional music started up and from the back room burst a brightly clad Russian dancer.  The first dance was more traditional, so we were informed by Krimp who has been to enough Russian events to qualify as a semi-expert.  The second number was more gypsy-like, but still just as fun to watch.

It was a little hard to catch her in action with my point and shoot camera.

I love Stevie's face!
It was a really fun evening, and if you're ever in Okinawa craving Russian food, I know just the spot!

Stevie and Dima with a life-sized cardboard cut out of the owner - only in Japan!


  1. Dima's family would be pleased to read this post! We had a great time! next time we'll have to include some of the new fabulous neighbors in our dinner exploration!

  2. I love this post!

    I always assumed Russia was like you explained (fur coats, burly women, etc). I'm glad you cleared that up!

    The food looks delicious ... I'll have to see if there's anything around here that offers Russian food!
    Angie K