Why do you think the cafe is so popular with visitors?
In spite of the fact that the Soviet period was not an easy time for our nation, it still retains a lot of warm memories and emotions in people’s minds. Therefore, our restaurants are about the positive memories of Soviet times for those who were born when the USSR existed. For visitors from other countries, or the younger generation, our restaurants are a way of experiencing a bygone era by surrounding themselves with authentic Soviet furniture, books, newspapers, technology and, of course, food!
Do you use traditional recipes for the dishes served, or do you like to give them a modern twist?
We try to retain all the traditional features of the dishes. Our chefs regularly draw inspiration and information from the original edition of the Soviet cuisine recipe book. However, we’re also mindful that we live in the 21st century, so we include a few more popular modern dishes and drinks on the menu too.
What more unusual dishes on the menu should visitors try?
The famous “herring under a fur coat” is one of the most traditional Soviet salads, but for many it sounds deeply mysterious and unusual. I’d also recommend trying the Vorschmack, which is a cold herring-based starter, and Solyanka soup, made with three types of meat, potatoes, olives, lemon and pickles. All of these dishes are pretty unusual, and very tasty.
What can visitors expect to drink at Kvartirka?
I would definitely recommend trying our homemade liquors. These are all made in-house, using only natural and high quality ingredients. Be sure to sample traditional flavours such as hrenovukha (horseradish), cherry, cranberry or chokeberry. You can order a single shot or ask for the degustation set and get four flavours of your choice.
As for the non-alcoholic drinks, our berry drink, Mors is nice, and of course, Grandma’s Tea, which is served in a real Samovar and accompanied with some traditional sweets.
How do you think Kvartirka fits into St Petersburg’s dining scene in 2018?
Our Soviet concept continues to delight both local people and visitors to St Petersburg. We had a great 2017 and we’ve got ambitious plans for 2018, so watch this space!