It’s Russian Tea Time in London
Last Sunday, I met up with an old friend for a bite. I’d been to the Russian Tea Rooms in Primrose Hill – Trojka – last summer, and, had had a nice time, nice food sitting at a table in the sunshine. Since then, a friend has been curious and keen to go. So we went.
This time of year isn’t conducive to al fresco dining, so indoors we went. It was very busy, a good sign, and we stood and waited for someone to seat us or advise us of a wait. Noone was forecoming so after some time, we decided that we should ask. We were coolly advised that we would need to wait and so we did. After a time, a table was vacated but noone advised us to sit there so we thought that we should ask again. So we did, and we were told to sit there. What hard work already and we hadn’t even ordered!
The table had yet to be cleared, not a problem, we could see that it was busy and, surely, when they came to take our order they would see? Well, that’s assuming that they would actually take our order, it is a restaurant after all, so, why would you doubt it? Twenty minutes passed and we were still waiting, so, again, we thought we should remind them that perhaps we should order and that, maybe, they should clear our table. Well, honestly, you’d think that we had setup camp in their family home and were ordering them around, they reacted with such disdain. And we were really nice about it! A Canadian girl and an Irish girl, I mean – really! So, eventually the table was cleared and we were permitted to order. I went for the blinis with smoked salmon and smetana (sour cream) and my companion went for the gypsy latke – beef goulash, but asked for rice instead of the latke.
And then we waited.
The food finally arrived and it was good: a wholesome, sturdy goulash and two large blinis smothered with good smoked salmon. Solid comfort food, perfect for winter, in pleasant surroundings. Not over priced, all the main courses are under £10, and it does seem authentic with offerings of Russian, Ukrainian, Polish and Jewish dishes.
I will go back, for the food, but will prepare myself (and you!) for the terrible service. It’s an awful shame and hopefully we caught them on a bad day. They really should sort it out if we didn’t.
Trojka,101 Regents Park Road
London NW1 8UR