Restaurant car dining on the Trans Siberian

Restaurant car dining - Trans Siberian
Restaurant car dining on the Trans Siberian – The train cabin is empty for a reason

I did mention in previous posts that our daily meals on the Trans Siberian were mostly made up of bread, biscuits, instant noodles and the occasional luncheon meat and sardines.

You may be wondering why we did not dine at the restaurant car that often, since there was quite an extensive selection of food on the Irkutsk – Moscow train. Salmon, omul, vodka, you name it, you’ve got it.

My main gripe was the price. It costs about SGD25/ USD20 per for a full, hearty meal each time, and was not a luxury an unemployed traveller could afford.

We had a meal there once, under the eye of a stern looking restaurant manager who expected us to order way more that RUB630/ SGD25 worth of food by showing us a disapproving glance. My take is to ignore her and order as little you want.

To be honest, I didn’t feel very satisfied after the meal. I might be biased as I was feeling a little sickly then. The fried potatoes were too oily, the Russian dumplings (Pelmini) too starchy, although the soup, Solyanka was tasty enough.

The Russians we met on the train did not dine at the restaurant car. Most of the time, they brought their own food, comprising meatballs mixed with mashed potatoes, chicken wings and even grapes. It’s like a picnic, and its pretty sumptuous by Phebe standards.

Here’s what we ate at the restaurant car. I remember thinking that while the place was nice, how much I longed to be in a stationary restaurant.

Trans Siberian Restaurant car menu
Restaurant car menu. A meal is will set you back by about SGD25 USD20
Vodka, which is pricey by Russian standars.. Cost SGD28/ USD 22.30 for a 375ml bottle of Russian standard. In Irkutsk, we bought a 500ml bottle (different brand) for SGD10/ USD8.
Russian restaurant car
Oily fried potatoes which taste like oil and potato :// Do not order at all cost!
Solyanka – A Russian sweet and sour beef soup – taste not bad. Not to be mistaken for Borscht (type of beetroot soup with a beef base).
That’s all we ordered and it cost us RUB630/ SGD25/ USD20. No appetite.
Spoon and fork with intricate patterns
Russian dumplings – taste like momos in India
Trans Siberian restaurant car Solyanka
Solyanka – taste like a beef and vege stew.

I am sorry, but I cannot provide recommendations on what to try at the restaurant car. We thought Solyanka was a main course and it turned out to be an appetiser. It’s probably my only recommendation. Do share, if you have more.

What is your experience dining in restaurant cars? Is the food better than what you can find in stationary restaurants in the city? Please feel free to share your comments in the box below.

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