Wednesday, October 04, 2006

October 1, 2006: Borsch, Vodka and Tears

During our evening at Shakahari, Krusty and Jason raved about a hip Polish restaurant in Windsor and, just a few weeks later, they invited us to join them for a jaunt to Borsch, Vodka and Tears. In the heart of trendy Chapel Street, BVnT (as I will henceforth refer to it) is a stylish little place, moodily lit and filled with people who dress much better than I do.

The first challenge for the evening was a drinks order - BVnT have around 100 different types of vodka to choose from, along with a range of vodka-based martinis, mixed drinks, cocktails and even a section devoted to after-dinner-vodkas. After much deliberation, we settled on our choices. Jason and I were fairly unadventurous: chai for him and a vodka, lime and apple juice for me. The ladies were bolder: Krusty ordered a 'Honey on Toast':

We failed to note down exactly what went into this drink, but everybody tried it and agreed that it was quite delicious - spicy, sweet and boozy.

Cindy went for a 'Good Apple' tea:

Rooibos fruit tea with lemon and sugar, served with Kurpiowski honey wine and French apple liqueur. There was some debate as to the appropriate method of consumption - I suggested mixing all three components together, but Cindy kept them separate and sipped one at a time. It made quite an impression - she was particularly enthused about the apple liqueur.

Onto the food! After agonising over the menu for a while, we opted for a range of Przekązki, or Polish tapas to allow us to try as many of the vegetarian options as possible.

Oven roasted pide with three dips: Spinach and pinenut, beetroot and roast capsicum. The dips were so tasty that we accepted two offers of pide refills just to make sure we got through them all. The beetroot dip was simply amazing and was finished well before the other two.

Potato blintzes: panfried potato cakes served with sour cream and fresh herbs. I'm glad we shared these - they were pretty tasty, but would have been too heavy for one person to tackle in one sitting.

Crispy fetta and rice balls: crumbled fetta cheese, rice and herbs lightly fried and served with garlic mayonaise. These were demolished in seconds - crispy on the outside, luscious on the inside and covered in delicious mayo.

Last but not least - Pierogi: traditional polish dumplings. We started out with one large plate with the two vegetarian fillings available: porcini mushroom and sauerkraut with breadcrumb coating and cheese and potato with fried onion and sour cream. These were the stars of the show. Krusty had recommended them especially and they didn't disappoint. Once they were finished we sat there disappointed until Krusty was brave enough to suggest another plate. Everyone was thinking it.

By the time we'd finished off the second plate of pierogi and the last serve of pide, even Cindy didn't have room to suggest a glance at the dessert menu. So, if you throw in the hundreds of vodka based drinks and the well regarded breakfasts, there's every chance that we'll be back again.

Address: 173 Chapel Street, Windsor
Phone: 9530 2694
Price: Mains around $20, Tapas $9-$14


  1. I've only recently discovered this blog and I have to say it's been lovely reading it, although I'm not a vegetarian, merely a lover of food. This post was especially fun to read as I love Borsch Vodka and Tears- I'm always comforted by their devotion to beetroot.

  2. Thank you for commenting: I'm pleased to know that lovers of food can appreciate our blog, even if they're not vegetarian! I'd like to think that a lot of what Michael and I eat can be enjoyed by anyone, without a feeling that there's a hole in the meal where meat should be. (A cynical vegan might accuse us of filling that hole with cheese. :-) )

    If you have any other favourite food haunts in Melbourne, we'd be grateful for your recommendations.