The legendary Shashlik restaurant's cuisine can best be described as Hainanese-style "Russian" - an eatery which, by all accounts, have inexplicably survived (thrived, even) in spite of Singapore's fickle dining scene. Starting way back in the 1960s as The White Bear Cafe, it moved to Liat Towers in 1967 and operated as Troika. It expanded and moved to Tanjung Pagar but, when its original owners sold out & migrated to Australia, a group of ex-employees banded together to open Shashlik - back at Liat Towers in 1986. And there it has been since then.
The restaurant was packed to the rafters during dinner-time this evening - and the majority of its clientele weren't babyboomers as I'd expected, but young Singaporeans who're now savoring the same flavors which their parents would have tasted 40 decades ago.
Some of what we had this evening:
- the incredible Borsch soup, which (IMO) is one of the tasttiest soup in town. It's packed full of flavors from the beef, cabbage, onions, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes and spices, pepped up with a dollop of whipped sour cream;
- Beef shashlik, served on a sizzling hot serving plate and accompanied by a small dish of sweet pickled cabbage & fresh cucumber, tomato & a stalk of scallion;
- Fish en Papillote - which I think was seabass fillet, tomatoes & spices baked in a paper-bag.
- Chicken a la Kiev - fried chicken stuffed with butter, accompanied by thick-cut potato chips and a sinful thick wedge of deep-fried bread
- For dessert, the old favorite - Baked Alaska, flambeed table-side. It consisted of slices sponge-cake wrapped around an ice-cream-fruit cocktail centre, then covered with whipped cream & meringue and studded with glaced cherries.
Service at Shashlik has always been patchy, and the decor looked as if the place had not been renovated ever since it opened back in 1986. All part of its charm, I guess.
Far East Shopping Centre #06-19
545 Orchard Road