One of the best things about exploring St. Petersburg is the food. This city has a variety of cuisines not to mention the new cafes, restaurants and bars that pop up every month. The meal possibilities are endless and there’s something for every palate!
If you’re planning to visit St. Petersburg and it’s not on your list already, then grab a pen and write this down – Georgian food. You have to try it here unless you are en route to Georgia (the country, not the state in the USA) and only then I’ll forgive you if you don’t.
So what’s so special about Georgian food? First of all, it’s really good (but that’s a given – otherwise I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this post). Secondly, it’s a combination of Western and Eastern cuisine that’ll leave you fat and happy as my Granny says.
There are several places to get Georgian food, but one of the places I frequent and like the most is the Phali-Khinkali restaurant on Bolshaya Morskaya (nearest to St. Isaac’s Cathedral and not too far from Nevsky Prospect). The food there is always satisfying, the service is great and the atmosphere is pleasant. For your convenience, I’ll post a link to their site at the bottom of the page.
Disclaimer: I do not receive compensation for writing SAFS Favorites. These are places that I truly like and back because they are that good.
Ajarian Khachapuri (or po-ajarski) is a traditional Georgian bread, my favorite Georgian dish and sometimes my guilty pleasure because I can eat this whole thing by myself (and you really shouldn’t!). The soft and fluffy dough is shaped in the form of a cute little boat and loaded with egg, cheese and butter as soon as it navigates its way out of the oven. The heat from being fresh out of the oven slightly cooks all of the ingredients that were thrown in at the last-minute.
Now for the fun part of how to properly eat this cute bread boat while looking like you know what you’re doing.
- Take your fork and mix the ingredients (egg, cheese, butter) together right there in the middle of that bread boat. You’ll want to do this pretty much right when you get it, but you’re gonna want to eat it right when you get it too and that’s ok and encouraged! It’s like an appetizer.
- Once you’ve mixed all of the ingredients together, things get more vicious; Cut/tear/rip off the ends of the boat and dip it in the middle with the egg and cheese concoction and do this until nothing’s left.
I’m also in love with the Georgian dish, khinkali – juicy, spicy (but not in a hot way), meat/cheese/mushroom filled, gigantic dumplings.
These are the key to looking like a Georgian food connoisseur and someone with no clue. It’s all about the how the khinkali go down the hatch.
How not to look like a goon when you’re eating them:
- Pick the khinkali up by the stem.
- Turn it upside down and take a bite from the corner.
- Suck out all the juice on the first bite or at least before you take another bite.
- After the juice is all out, finish eating the khinkali – just don’t eat the stem.
**Disclaimer – I’m not a kharcho fan, but it is decorating our table in this picture and there are many who do like a good kharcho so why not…
Kharcho is one of those traditional Georgian main courses that you should at least try. It’s a soup loaded with a walnut sauce, spices and some kind of meat (beef/pork/lamb/chicken). The combination of flavors is a bit too far outside of my taste bud comfort zone but certainly an interesting combination.
How to eat it like a pro:
- With a spoon 😉
- Eat til it’s all gone!
Their site is in Russian, but has an English menu you can access by clicking on the British flag (at the bottom of the first slide). Enjoy and as the Russians say Приятного аппетита!