This is not a good topic for an empty stomach, but can I just tell you once more how amazing the food was in Ukraine? Yummmmm! From the restaurants-
to the simple stuff-
And in addition to all that great food, going to a restaurant also meant a chance to learn some new words. (Or attempt to awkwardly mime “is that pork or chicken?” with the waitress.)
How’s your “food” Russian?
If you went out to a restaurant, would you feel comfortable ordering off the menu?
Let’s practice together!
Step #1 What kind of food are you in the mood for?
This is probably the hardest part. So many choices!
Step #2 The menu
Here are 3 hints on dealing with menus-
- There are usually two numbers next to the name of the dish. One will be the price, the other will be the weight in grams. At first I thought this was silly (“at least tell me the calories, not the grams!”) but it starts making more sense over time (“ugh! I’m not paying that much for only 150 грамм of pelmeni.”)
- Take a look for a don’t-break-our-stuff list at the back of the menu. Not all places have this, but sometimes you’ll find one. Break a water glass? You pay the restaurant $X. Break a plate? Pay $Y. Break a chair? Pay $Z. It’s pretty funny. Unless you’re drinking straight самогон, moonshine, I’m not sure how you could break a chandelier.
- If all else fails, you could give up and try asking for an English menu. The English menu trend is catching on. If you feel adventurous, though, I dare you to just point to the longest word on the menu and get that. (I tried this at a Chinese restaurant once. Never did figure out what was on that plate, haha.)
Step 3 If you’re not sure what you want, or nothing caught your eye on the menu, go exploring and see what else turns up.
Step 4 Or skip all that other stuff. Stay home and order in. The perfect option for a домосед/ка, homebody.
That’s it! Hopefully a tasty option will have turned up for you by this point.
Russian / English cheat sheet
выпечка = baked goods
галушки = dumplings of meat and garlic rolled inside a buttery dough, best eaten in Poltava.
блюда на мангале = grilled dishes
Давай к нам! = Come to our place!
мы ждем вас = We’re waiting for you
с 11:00 до 23:00 и до… = (open) from 11 AM to 11 PM… and some
живое пиво с собой = live beer to go
бесплатная доствка = free delivery
в одноразовой герметичной посуде = in disposable sealed dishware
Was there anything you saw here that looked especially good?
Have you ever ordered a meal in Russian?