Nevsky Russian Restaurant
476 Glenhuntly Rd Elsternwick, VIC 3185
Having finally racked up enough Dimmi points to receive our $50 voucher, K and I decided to go out of our comfort zone and try Russian food for the first time. Our restaurant of choice was Nevsky, a surprisingly large space in Elsternwick decked out in full brick and timber, giving it a very traditional feel. The menu boasted a wide variety of authentic Russian dishes, many of which I’d never heard of before, so the helpful waiter who provided suggestions was very much appreciated.
Fresh salmon cured well in vodka, which wasn’t too strong. The rye bread was quite dry, but otherwise not a bad start.
Both of the pasties were very tasty, and I was pleasantly surprised by the dough, which was soft and fluffy instead of being crispy like I expected.
The stroganoff was the waiter’s top recommendation and for good reason. It was definitely the star of the meal for me, with a generous amount of veal and mushroom in a delicious sauce. I appreciated that it wasn’t too rich and heavy like many stroganoffs I’ve had in the past, and the pairing with the buckwheat kasha was a new experience.
I was very curious about the Siberian dumplings and how they would compare to the Chinese ones that I’m so used to eating. Surprisingly, the dumplings themselves were very much alike, with a thin white flour skin encasing a filling of mince. Even the flavour of the filling was reminiscent of their Asian counterpart, but the main difference was that they were served in melted butter with sour cream on the side. I personally found the butter sauce very foreign (I’ve never just had straight melted butter before), and the addition of sour cream was also quite strange. The dumplings themselves, however, were delicious.
Even though K and I were both full by this point, we couldn’t skip the sladkie blini, which tasted just as good as it looked. I loved the warm, tart cherries in the middle of the perfectly thin crepes – yum!
Overall, I was very impressed with the quality of the dishes served at Nevsky, as well as the friendly and attentive service. I do think the dishes are on the pricey side, which was the main letdown – if I didn’t have the Dimmi voucher I don’t think I would have been as happy to pay that much for the stroganoff and dumplings. Nevertheless, it was a great experience having never had Russian cuisine before and I’d definitely recommend a try if you don’t mind the prices!