The restaurant / bar was dimly-lit, with dark wood decor, to give it a very European feel - relaxing, foreign, contemporary and even intimate - the faux wooden walls bore testament to the descriptions. A bar counter and high tables lined one section of the room, while large cushy booths filled up the other. I loved especially the mock-chandelier lights suspending from the ceilings, giving it a touch of enigma.
The Chicken Piev (SGD$28.00) - breaded chicken stuffed with clarified butter, served with baked vegetables and mushroom sauce. The crust of the chicken was crispy with the breaded butter layer, tasting alot of cheese; the chicken was tender and light in taste. It made for a simple but sumptuous dish.
I had one of their signatures - the Beef Straganov (SGD$32.00), fine beef strips served on mashed potatoes, embraced with creamy mushroom sauce. The beef strips were very tender, having been sliced rather finely; their rawer, sweeter taste infused with the wondrous taste of the luscious, umami mushroom sauce pooling it. The mashed potato was very soft, melting in the mouth immediately. This was a rather unforgettable dish.
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It's sort of baffling that Buyan has so many positive reviews on HGW. I'm an avid foodie, and I'm big on appreciating techniques and flavours behind dishes.
To the Chef: A Chicken Kiev is supposed to be a crumbed, fried chicken breast, with a garlic butter and parsley centre. I've eaten it in Russia, and in Ukraine amongst others but yours was missing the essence of a Chicken Kiev*:
The breast is supposed to be opened out to thin down its 'meatiness' before it envelopes the garlic and herb butter. Then eggwashed and crumbed, before frying or baking. When sliced open, butter should ooze out of the breast. OOZE.
Yours, Chef, did not ooze. It barely sputtered. The breast I got was chewy, too meaty, and not sliced or hammered down thinly and the butter was bland and lacking garlic, parsley AND SALT. And this is coming from someone who barely seasons with salt at home -- I typically find food outisde too salty.
As if that wasn't bad enough, the Chicken Kiev, came served not on a bed of mashed potatoes, straw potatoes, or rice. No, no, no -- this one was served with undercooked wedges. The beets and carrots were fine. As was the broccoli. But really, undercooked wedges, Chef? Really?
To whomsoever runs the establishment: The Vareniki was so-so. The infused vodkas were up there. But the service was stellar.
To anyone reading this: Avoid the Chicken Kiev at all costs. Try the remaining dishes at your own risk.
*If you're unsure as to the technique behind the dish, I'd suggest looking up Marco Pierre White's version on YouTube (he was Gordon Ramsay's mentor, in case you didn't know).
Great place to hangout : good food & ambiance. Decent price point.
Make sure you try the khachapuri and the chashilik platter :)
The wine selection is great (they even have French grand cru classes by the glass from time to time!)
Had been wanting to try this place for a long time and wandered in with some friends after Sabio was packed. We sat in the dining section, not in the main bar area. This turned out to be good because there is a live band in the bar section and, while the music isn't bad, it is rather loud for dinner and there is nothing to absorb the sound. When it comes to ordering, they give you iPads for menus, but unlike the slick presentations one usually sees when someone tries to do this, they were just iPad 1s with PDFs of the menus in iBooks and the other applications removed. It would have been a lot easier just to look at a traditional menu. They have a nice, albeit very pricey, selection of vodkas, and an interesting wine list. We opted for a bottle of Georgian wine that was both inexpensive and tasty. They also have a nice cocktail selection. In terms of the food, they have many traditional Russian and Central Asian favorites, including a large selection of caviar items, as well as a few non-Russian dishes that just cause you wonder what they're doing on the menu. We ordered borshch, shchi, pelmeni dumplings (more on this later), Georgian cheese bread, shashlik (meat grilled on skewers), and eggplant. The cheese bread was okay, though there was a hair on the plate under the bread. They offered to give us a new one, but we simply changed the plate and ate the rest anyway. The soups (borshch and shchi) were okay. I liked the fact that the borshch wasn't too sweet and that the sour cream was given on the side and so could be added to taste. Next came the shashlik, which had lamb, chicken, and salmon. I wouldn't consider the latter two to be traditional. However, of the three, the chicken was the best. I think salmon is easy to overcook and thus an odd choice for grilling together with lamb and chicken, and the lamb itself was a bit tough and smelly. Next came the egplant, which was tasty and, being stuffed with other vegetables, reminiscent of a ratatouille. At that point, we'd realized that they forgot our pelmeni, so I asked the waitress to check. About ten minutes later they came out, no apology or anything for having overlooked the dish. They were presented in a small bowl like the ones that the soup comes in with a side dish of sour cream. The pelmeni were small and filled less than half the bowl, so this presentation was a bit awkward as it comes out looking like an empty bowl with a side of sour cream on a tray. The dumplings themselves were okay but not super. The meat filling lacked flavor. All in all, I wouldn't say it was a bad meal, but it was hardly a great one and I'd be a bit reluctant to go back rather than try someplace else.
Click on this link for a better scoop! http://mychefdoeuvre.com/2014/02/01/buyan-russian-restaurant-caviar-bar/
I wandered in only because I had been along that street for SABIO, a Spanish tapas bar. I spotted Buyan and thought, "Mmm, how exotic, a Russian resto. Perhaps it's time to see if Singapore has good Borscht soup after all." And here at Buyan I did.
Apart from being on the pricey side, the place does well in terms of ambience and tastes. The menu pickings are interesting and different. Ask too for the bar menu as there are some nice dishes on that that you may not spot in the ala carte menu.
I love the fact that Buyan is actually run by real Russian folks, and in fact, we were served attentively by a lady Russian lady with a Singlish slang, and that added to the fun!
I will be back for more , especially if it's for a romantic date :)