‘Russian Revels’ – underground dinners with an attitude

Yours truly has run an underground Russo-Soviet Brunchclub since early 2011.

Things went well. So I found a comrade  to take these feasts to places bigger, more central, wild really.

‘Real’ Soviet woman.

And so the Russian Revels were born.

Russian Revels – underground dinners with an attitude.

From now on most affairs will be happening as part of Russian Revels, so register on www.RussianRevels.co.uk to be kept up to date and – most importantly – be invited.

I will still be diligently writing up about the evenings though.

Previous events:

April 2012 – ‘Cosmonaut party’. See here


Cosmonauts and rockets of food.

February 2012 – ‘Russian Dacha @ The Last Tuesday Society‘. See here

The debauchery of our Russian Dacha.

The debauchery of our Russian Dacha.

January 2012 – *Old* New Year’s eve, secret location in East London. The reportage is here.

Guests were encouraged to take roles…


December 2011 – All about the Pie: from Soviet pies to ancient Russian Kulebyaka…For details see here.

Little Russian pirozki.


September 2011 – Eating across Ukraine and it’s lard(er). For details read here.

My (half) tribute to Ukrainian mighty beast.


June 2011 we held Baltic Midsummer night feast. For all the scrumteous details see here.


March 2011 – My first inaugural Brunchclub dedicated to 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.

Meeting the spring: lark-shaped buns.

Here you will see the result: the fabulous kitsch Soviet menu with old Russian recipes, fur-clad guests and THAT cabbage flower.


8 Responses to ‘Russian Revels’ – underground dinners with an attitude

  1. David Hothersall says:

    Katrina, what a prelestnyi (wonderful) banquet you prepared! Despite the surprisingly! dry sovetskoye shampanskoe you delighted us with I have not been induced into sycophantic, Soviet champagne-induced mode so all my comments are my own and chestnie (honest) and s samogo serdtsa (from the depths of my heart). You managed to set the ambience so right I felt I had stepped back in time to a 50’s Soviet gathering. The ladies beautifully attired in that pared-down yet flamboyant style so typical of the time, with dramatic flourishes of furs and bright neckscarves along a table stunningly adorned with salads and garnishes of yesteryear. Cut glass champagne glasses clinked to generous toasts in true Soviet style as we sang the Soviet anthem and settled down to dish after dish of delicacies: ox tongue, horseradish with a sublime jelly, so delicate and quivering, offset each other beautifully; a restrained vinaigrette salad allowed all the flavours to have their say; a fantastic stuffed cabbage with meat and a hint of truffle oil was delicious and a reconstructed mimosa salad for our time by Karina, are just some of the highlights that linger in my memory, without forgetting to mention “poor man’s caviar” made with my favourite vegetable: aubergine. Things got moving after a few drinks as we all swapped seats up and down the table, until the desserts made their appearance. I loved them all. Light as air bird pastries, freshly baked, delicious syrniki with home-made tvorog, honey and raisins and a splendid lemon curd mimosa cake by Amy resembling a piece of modern art – or should that be the other way round? It strikes me that the Russians are past masters at displays, parades, shows … and this is also expressed in brightly coloured dishes that are masterpieces of show and pomp, yet deliciously down to earth, satisfying and tasty at the same time. And to finish it all off, Andrey sang us some well-honed Russian songs, that touch the deepest stirrings of the human soul “Don’t give up on love”. To Katrina and all, we can only look forward now to a bigger and brighter future! Ura!!!

  2. Amy Spurling says:

    For those of us who have previously imagined Russian cuisine as a canteen-style collection of mayonnaisy salads, doughy pies, pickles (you can only eat so many and I should know), buckwheat with cutlets and blini, a small revolution is happening in Russian food. Katrina almost single-handedly reinvented things on 13th March (with a little help from Mr J. and Karina and her cookbook). There were some old favourites like aubergine ‘caviar’, and Syrniki – but instead of being cold and cottage-cheesy these were warm and fluffy. However, it was the twists on a familiar theme that were so imaginative: the open-sandwich sprats on cake stands that were decorated with cucumber and chives, the ox tongue with individual stock jellies, the stuffed cabbage that looked like it was spewing mincemeat but in fact had buckwheat, cheese and mushrooms inside. And not forgetting the lemon-yellow mimosa-mimicking cake with happy, kitschy 100s and 1,000s. Those all-day/all-night groaning Soviet tables were reinvented with lots of positive twists that included vases of daffs and Bloody Mary with a celery tree growing out of it!

  3. Karina Baldry says:

    My dearest fellow eater and a brilliant host! You have done more and better then expected from any host undertaking a task like this!! We want more!! We want more! Ok , then we’ll give a little break and then … start again. :-) ) With admiration, Your “comrade” tovarish, Karina Bladry

  4. Karina Baldry says:

    Once again a huge thank you and praises to a wonderful host! Not only she managed to perfectly execute Estonian inspired dishes but entertain in style reviving pagan traditions of her ancestors. A knock out for me was a home baked rye bread which before this day i thought was impossible to do. But now I may try (the host permitting) to humbly replicate the craftly baked bread! Recipe, please? Well nourished and perfectly satisfied by the food and the company the guests departed in anticipation of the future announcements. Love, Karina Baldry

  5. Flying Yenta says:

    Wish I could join your Soviet Brunchclub from the East Coast (home-cured herring in London sounds delicious, as does borscht with vodka – two good things combined). Thanks for sharing your unique interpretation of Soviet recipes and making them even more authentic with your stories.

  6. Flying Yenta says:

    Wish I could join your Brunchclub from the East Coast. Home-cured herring in London sounds delicious, as does the vodka-borsht (two good things combined). Thanks for sharing these unique recipes and making them even more authentic with your stories.

    • Katrina K says:

      thanks for the kind comments Masha. I’m planning to make my way to the East Coast next year, maybe I should do a pop-up brunchclub!:)

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    A Russian, living in London, writing about Soviet kitsch, sex in food and fat' - this would be the headliner, the reality of this blog is, I hope, more delicate’ [....]

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