Greedy Girl and gluttonous husband are ticking off some items on the bucket list next year with a trip to Russia. Where better to start planning the journey, and get some insights from others who’ve travelled independently there, than an authentic Russian restaurant in the Melbourne suburb of Elsternwick.

We’ve had a taste of Russian food before, most notably at Third Wave Cafe in Prahran, where Greedy Girl wondered if there was more to the cuisine than vodka or borscht. Warned that beetroot (one of her least favourite ingredients) was a staple in Russian cooking, she eyed the menu at Nevsky warily. She needn’t have worried.

In the heart of the Glenhuntly Road strip, Nevsky is much like the other shopfronts. The restaurant is long and reasonably narrow and even though we started quite early on a Sunday night, the dining room quickly darkened. It was a nice atmosphere, but dreadful for snapping pictures of the food. Greedy Girl will apologise in advance for the quality of the shots.

Nevsky server

Our lovely server with the homemade ginger vodka

We sat down to eat with fellow foodie friend Pucci Girl and two of her friends, who’d organised their own trip to Russia a couple of years earlier. Picking their brains required fuel; we started off with a very acceptable Cosmopolitan (for Greedy Girl), while gluttonous husband chose a Baltika dark lager from St Petersburg. Pucci Girl was far more adventurous, opting for a shot glass of the ginger vodka (pictured at the top of this blog).  Having established the required salutation was ‘Nazdarovye’, we ordered our food and started chatting about travels.

Nevsky drinks

Georgian wine, a very decent Cosmopolitan and Russian beer

Pucci Girl’s friends, Olivia and her daughter Stephanie, continue to rave about their visit to both Moscow and St Petersburg. They happily shared tips on hotels, transport, visas and food experiences and, such was their enthusiasm, Greedy Girl had booked the basics of next year’s trip within a week. Greedy Girl will write a full post on the Russian experience next year but she came away from this dinner with a confidence that lack of language skills, visas and navigating transport in either of these amazing cities would not be a problem.

And so to the food. The menu, very extensive, also gave Greedy Girl heart that beetroot was not ubiquitous. It was, however, dominated by quite heavy-sounding dishes. There are some vegetarian options but the cuisine seems to lean very heavily on meat. Both Greedy Girl and gluttonous husband started with piroshki.


Piroshki s myasom

Greedy Girl had piroshki s myasom, while gluttonous husband took piroshki s kapustoy. Both are little pasties, offering perhaps three bites each. The former is filled with minced beef and the latter is braised cabbage and egg and then baked to a golden crust.

Piroshki s kapustoy

The flavours were perfectly enjoyable, although they were both very one-dimensional. The cabbage variety (again, apparently cabbage is very widely used in Russia) was fine but not a rave. Gluttonous husband commented he’d be unlikely to order it again.

Greedy Girl, on a cool night, went for Sosiski – very hearty Polish Kransky sausages with mashed potato, caramelised onions and a port sauce.

Kransky sausages

Kransky sausages with mash

The sausages were well cooked and not at all dry. The mash was smooth and the flavours of the onions and sauce worked well together. It was an enjoyable dish.

Gluttonous husband took a dish we’d also had at Third Wave – pelmeni (pictured at the top of this blog). These were Siberian-style dumplings filled with beef and pork mince, steamed and served with sour cream and fronds of dill. Again, perfectly enjoyable but gluttonous husband thought they’d work better as a side dish because the serving was large and not a lot of flavour variation.

By this stage, Greedy Girl was scratching around for a glass of wine. Wanting to have something authentic, and not being able to face the ginger or the horseradish vodka (the only other housemade specialty), chose a glass of Tsinandali, apparently a classic white wine from Georgia. It was very drinkable.

Being a school night and feeling decidedly full from such substantial dishes, we decided against dessert.

Nevsky prides itself on authenticity. It certainly gave Greedy Girl heart that there’s life in Russian cuisine beyond beetroot.


476 Glenhuntly Road, Elsternwick

Nevsky Russian Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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