Earlier this week I had a chance to dine at Menu MBK and try this month's chef's table menu that was inspired by Russian cuisine. The meal was graciously covered by the restaurant, but as always all opinions are my own.
I spent the first 13 years of my life in Moscow, Russia where I was born and where both my parents and grandparents cooked food. Russian food. Ukrainian food. Jewish food. Good food.
I still make Russian food at home, and last year featured quite a few recipes in my Russian Recipes Revisited series. Whenever I visit my parents in Seattle, I have a big pot of borsch waiting for me lovingly prepared by my dad.
The menu from the executive chef Frederik de Pue at Menu MBK was based on some of the most popular Russian dishes, but reimagined, decomposed, and modernized. This was not your grandparents' Russian food, but it was equally delicious and lovingly prepared.
Below are some of my favorite courses.
Above is chef Frederik plating his take on Salad Olivie. His version included potato foam!!! And red caviar. And a poached egg. And a pea puree. The dish was beautiful and well thought out, but I'll take the original version of the salad any day.
The second course, borsch, was a play of textures and colors. The white roasted beets were pureed to the smoothest consistency and were contrasted by the crispy potatoes. There was a puddle of pureed red beets in the middle of the bowl and a roasted beet on a skewer. I loved it. I am also very happy the name of the dish was spelled without a t. Here's my version of the soup.
It's hard to believe, but I've only made Beef Stroganoff once. I loved the combination of noodles, mushrooms, beef and a creamy sauce in the recipe my friend Sylvie and I made. Chef Frederik's dish did not disappoint. My favorite component of his dish was the mushroom cappuccino, as the chef called it. It was the essence of mushrooms mixed with cream and it was divine. Sweet and savory. Satisfying. Foamy. I could have drank an entire big bowl of it.
For dessert, there was Tort Kiev: pastry cream, meringue, jam and cassis sorbet. I loved seeing the chef plate every dish, but especially this one. It was pretty without being pretentious. Filling without being overwhelming. I don't remember ever having this dish growing up, instead we had sour cream cake. Both are winners in my opinion.
I loved sitting at the kitchen bar and seeing each plate being plated and explained by the chef. This special menu comes paired with drinks (as an option), but alas those did not do much for me because I'm a light weight. I've much more enjoyed the complimentary champagne that was served before the meal.
I'm looking forward to returning to Menu MBK and trying out their regular menu and their brunch!