Cafe Lyubi Menya

June 30, 2012 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Cafe Lyubi Menya - Closed
175 Bencoolen Street
Burlington Square #01-05


http://www.cafelyubimenya.com.sg/


Authentic Russian Cuisine, Good Service, Poor Location

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 8
Food & Beverage: 9
Service: 7
Value for Money: 6
Spent about SGD $20 per person.


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Authentic Russian food is difficult to find in Singapore, as not many Singaporeans are comfortable eating Russian cuisine. So for those hungry for authentic Russian food, Cafe Lyubi Menya is the oasis!

But how authentic is the Russian food at Cafe Lyubi Menya? Well, the Indian (!) owner apparently travelled to Russia to hire a chef... So at Cafe Lyubi Menya, you get a Russian chef, preparing some of Russia's most well-known dishes. However, most of the dishes have slight variations on the traditional Russian recipes, partly due to the high cost and difficulty of sourcing certain ingredients. Apparently though, Russians living in Singapore don't seem to mind, as I've always seen a few Russians dining here.

So at Cafe Lyubi Menya, you'll get near authentic Russian food. But you'll also get pretty good Italian dishes, and modern Singaporean style Western food (The other chef is Italian). In general, the food is quite good, although each order is prepared fresh, so expect to wait about 10 minutes or so. Portions are quite large and filling, but I feel that prices were a little steep... An average meal at Cafe Lyubi Menya could cost between $12 and $30 per person. Recommended for weekly outings and special occasions but not regular everyday dining. Also, note that some items on the menu are available only on selected days / times.

Ambience at Cafe Lyubi Menya is modern, similar to an American diner. It's also quite cozy, as Cafe Lyubi Menya is quite small in terms of floor space, although they do make good use of the outdoor area in front of the restaurant. Great for chilling and relaxing, as the walkway is relatively crowd-free.

Being a small restaurant, service at Cafe Lyubi Menya is very friendly and personal. The chef and staff make an effort to ask for feedback, which I think is great public relations, especially for a small restaurant. They're trying to leverage on word-of-mouth advertising, which is a good thing, as Cafe Lyubi Menya is quite poorly located. Signage is barely visable from the road, and not eye-catching or attractive. And crowds from nearby Sim Lim Square or Rochor are unlikely to pass by. Cafe Lyubi Menya could be considered a hidden find as a result of its poor location.

I think that with better marketing, business at Cafe Lyubi Menya could be a lot better. Personally, I love the food and service, and I'll definitely visit again!


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I find the garlic spread on their Garlic Bread to be yummy and strangely addictive...

Garlic Bread



Traditional Borsch Soup is made with beetroot, but the version at Cafe Lyubi Menya is made with tomato instead. Hearty and fortifying, the Borsch Soup is only available on Wednesday and Friday.

Borsch Soup With Sour Cream



Another traditional Russian dish, the Beef Stroganoff is tender, and the house sauce extremely tasty. I highly recommend this!

Beef Stroganoff



I've no idea why this is called Russian Tea, but it's fragrant and has fruity notes. The aroma is just lovely. Best for sharing, as it's quite a large pot.

Russian Tea



Veering away from the traditional Russian Solyanka Soup, this version is slightly thinner, and has less cabbage. Still good though, and the sourish taste from the olives and lemon set it apart from the more savoury Borsch Soup. This warm and sour soup is great on cold or rainy days.

Solyanka Soup



A mix of chicken, eggs, cucumbers, peas, potatoes and mayonnaise sauce, the Oleaviea Salad is presented quite uniquely, packed as a cube. Tasty, but a little heavy due to the mayonnaise sauce.

Oleaviea Salad



Okroshka Soup is a traditional cold and sour yoghurt based soup, which I think may not suit most Singaporean palates. Still, it's good on a warm day.

Okroshka Soup



The Lamb Shashlik was nicely spiced, and evenly cooked, although it was a little dry.

Lamb Shashlik In Cubes



An overall average Latte, not terrible but not great either.

Latte






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