Just adjacent to the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood (a must-see attraction in St. Petersburg) is a stretch of restaurants that are very modern and chic. Lined along the road just in front of these restaurants are also the best cars you can find in the city. This is the same stretch where Jamie Oliver had opened his first restaurant in St. Petersburg (the same time as in Singapore). Having read about Paradise in a magazine from the hotel, we decided to check it out! Paradise is a new-comer in the area and we were here on two separate occasions – for tea and lunch respectively – as the food & lemonades were so good that we can’t not go back. Our curiosity was piqued when we saw a dish that was very familiar, and we found out from the service staff why: the Ukrainian Head Chef was actually trained in Nobu, London and various fine-dining establishments! Now, the missing jigsaw puzzle was found and read on to find out more about his amazing creations!
p.s.: prices are based on estimated exchange rate of S$1 = 25 Roubles.
Al-fresco dining with a overhead canopy. It has a simply, slightly rustic design that makes you feel at peace.
Interior of restaurant.
Bricked, domed walls with painted murals evoked impressions of an underground wine cellar.
A really nice bathroom they had, with sounds of chirping birds within each cubicle that had full-length mirrors on either side of the walls.
Amuse-bouche of Minced Salmon & Potato Chip – Taken in a mouthful, it was an interesting conglomeration of contrasting textures – the salmon was soft and smooth while the chip was crispy and dry.
Rice Paper wrapped Soft Shell Crab Roll (870rb/$34.80) – The most power-packed paper rice roll I’ve had (and also the most expensive)! The soft shell crab was big, fat, meaty, juicy and crunchy. Combined with the roe and mayo, it was fireworks in the mouth; well, almost literally if you imagine all the roes popping. The amount of avocado and butter lettuce was just right to balance the meatiness with a touch of freshness. Also, not forgetting how good the sauce was, we wiped the saucer all clean.
Special Salmon Maki (520rb/$20.80) – An innovative dish, thinly-sliced cucumbers took the place of sushi rice in this maki! Accompanied by the equal amount of fresh, raw salmon, this was definitely a delight. Though I’m not a fan of cucumbers, I’m happy to say that the *weird cucumber taste* was negligible and the contrast in textures was very satisfying.
Special Eel Maki (760rb/$30.40) – Another version of their special maki! The eel here was very fresh and soft – nothing like what you find in unagi dons. As the eel was not heavily-coated with the flavouring sauces, I could actually for the first time, appreciate the true flavours of the fish.
Scallops w Mushrooms (960rb/$38.40) – Found in most Japanese restaurants, this certainly paled in comparison though I have to give credits to the freshness of the ingredients used.
Black Cod w Yuzu Miso Sauce (1290rb/$51.60) – The dish that was all so familiar – a signature of Nobu. The cod was really as good as it could get with its soft yet firm meat that tears open with a slight force from the chopsticks. The yuzu miso glaze was smooth and not overly salty. The epitome of a piece of good cod, no doubt.
Salmon w Balsamic Teriyaki Sauce (910rb/$36.40) – The slab of chunky salmon was put on the grill with teriyaki sauce on the side. Both salmon and cod have very different textures and I personally prefer the latter, which also meant that I am definitely bias. However, the dish is still tasty, especially with my favourite vegetables to go with.
Pineapple & Mascarpone Ravioli served w Mango Sobert (450rb/$18) – A very innovative dessert whereby sliced pineapples are used as ravioli skin to contain the mascarpone and some mangoes. Apart from the interesting presentation, taste-wise was nothing out of the ordinary.
Japanese Cheesecake – This was a wrong order that turned out to be a blessing. It tasted nothing like it looked as it was soft, moist and fluffy! The flavour of cheese was very fragrant too. The moment I sank my fork into the cake, I knew how good it would turn out already.
LEFT: Berries Lemonade (650rb/$26) – The lemonades that kept us going for more! This must be the best lemonade I’ve tasted. The lemonade contains some soda, which makes the drink slightly gassy. As the berries were in season in Russia, they were plump and sweet. These were then lightly crushed to release their juices and left in the jar for you to savour the fruits. I wished Singapore has something like this too.
RIGHT: Pear Lemonade (650rb/$26) -The flavour of the pear was so strong and fresh! Yet another reinvigorating drink!
Paradise is my favourite restaurant in St. Petersburg! Apart from its modern outlook, I feel that the standard of the restaurant is up there for sure (and price too). It feels very chill to be dining under the white canopy and you simply look forward to each dish that is being served. Furthermore, its Japanese and Southeast Asian influences made the flavours all the more familiar.
Paradise Cafe & Bar
Конюшенная пл., д.2,
Saint Petersburg, Russia
[No English address but it’s right next to Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood]
Websites: http://paradise-cafe.ru & https://www.facebook.com/PARADISEspb