How we do: Russian style

Monday, November 19, 2012

It was my dad's birthday a few weekends ago, and like many metrosexual middle-aged Russians, he decided to celebrate in style. Namely, by renting out a little Russian restaurant (this one called Moscow Nights) and inviting a few close friends and family to ring in the big Five-Oh with him.

If you have ever had the fortune (or misfortune) to be invited to one of these parties, you will no doubt already know what goes on. If not, then I will free you of your ignorance!

Russian restaurant parties must contain the following: drinking (mostly wine and vodka), bad euro-pop, weird performances, all amidst some intense conspicuous consumption.

Note, all manner of cold salads and fish dishes sitting out on the table before the guests arrive.

A staple: pickled herring and boiled potatoes.

3 types of alcohol in one shot. Perfectly good champagne ruined by a maraschino cherry. Are we in the  right decade?

Mushrooms baked in cheese, and cheesy puff pastry. The mushroom thing was decent - I guess its hard to ruin something with an excess of cheese.

Lamb cutlets with rice. Yes, that's ketchup. Why? I don't know.

My salvation! 4th shot of vodka. *I do not advocate drinking as a solution to life's problems.

Vodka and pickles. Classic!

Russian eating usually starts with all manner of cold dishes and salads that you fill up on. By the time the main dishes arrive, no one is hungry. This is my theory as to why Russians never mastered the art of cooking meat, and why all our main dishes (like kebabs and pilaffs) come from neighbouring middle eastern cultures.

After you fill up on apps, the main dishes start coming out. One has barely enough time to snag a couple of bites before the dish is taken away and replaced with another one. Here is where the conspicuous consumption part kicks in. Over the entire night, only one or two dishes were completely eaten. The rest were likely disposed of, or given to various family members to consume over the course of several months. I guess it's not a complete waste?

There were also performances, unique poetry readings, and very "creative" dances involving men in fishnets and feather boas. Overall, a good time was had by all. I'm glad my dad has friends that value his friendship and are willing to go all out and embarrass themselves for his pleasure.


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