The long-awaited chicken sashlyk at Evrasia

Evrasia: Central Asian Food in St. Petersburg

Published: September 25, 2011

Evrasia / Евразия
Невский проспект, 13
Eats for ~$4.00

After a few hours of exploring the Hermitage, SRAS students Sarah, Laura and I had worked up an appetite and decided to look for an inexpensive place to have lunch before class started. We came across the Nevsky branch of the Evrasia chain of restaurants and decided to give it a try.

Ideally located near the Hermitage at 13 Nevsky Prospekt, Evrasia impressed us the minute we walked in the door. The decor was light and a little fancy, with embroidered covers over the chairs. We spoke to a waitress who showed us to a table in the non-smoking section and we were promptly seated.

According to Evrasia’s website, they serve a variety of Uzbek, Japanese, and Mexican food at their various locations. The Nevsky location, however, only serves Uzbek and Japanese. In order to try something new, we decided to only order Uzbek food, although the sushi looked appetizing and could be ordered and split between a group. We ordered non (35 rubles – this is a type of unleavened, Uzbek bread) and cheburek with cheese (80 rubles) as our starters. They also offer a cheburek with beef for slightly more, as well as other reasonably-priced bread options. As a main course, two of us ordered chuchvara, a vegetable-and-beef-dumpling soup (190 rubles) while the other ordered the chicken breast shashlik (slightly more, at 290 rubles).

The cheburek was light and a little crispy, with melted cheese in the middle. Although plain, the non bread was tasty. The chuchvara was delicious, and came with an ample number of dumplings and vegetables, and the shashlik was also good. Although a little pricier, it was served with a flat-bread type wrap and small servings of assorted salads, such as pickled vegetables and sliced cucumber.

Initially the service was good. We were seated promptly, menus were brought to us and we were given warm, moist, Japanese-style towels with which to clean our hands. The waitress diligently read back our orders to us to ensure they were correct, and the bill was brought to us promptly after we asked for it. However, although the breads and soups were served quickly, the chicken shashlik took a very long time, so long in fact that we wondered if they had to catch and kill the chicken first. The waitress did inform us that it would take 5-10 minutes longer, but the waiting time was closer to half an hour.

During this time, we amused ourselves by taking a closer look at the restaurant, and discovered that while it was clean and had better-than-decent washrooms, their choice of music didn’t add to the atmosphere, alternating between reggae, hip hop and Justin Timberlake. However, having to listen to music that has nothing in common with the rest of the restaurant is a common complaint in Russia – especially if you are at a “fashionable” place.

We all left satisfied, and we were kept full for a few hours. There were some dishes that exceeded our 300-ruble budget, but generally speaking, the main Uzbek courses range in price from 160 to 325 rubles. Those that are pricier tend to include more and more diverse food, so it’s possible to order fewer dishes and still have a balanced meal for a reasonable sum.

For groups and faculty-led tours, Evrasia certainly has space and as there are at least two different menus, there’s enough variety to ensure that everyone will find something they want, although students should be aware that some dishes apparently take longer to prepare than others. All in all, for students wanting to either try new cuisine or experience Russian sushi, Evrasia is a good option. It’s more upscale than fast food, but won’t break the budget, and the variety means that students can pool their resources and try new dishes. The fact that it is a chain of restaurants makes it a reliable choice for different neighborhoods in St Petersburg.

About the author

Taryn Jones

Taryn Jones graduated in 2008 from the University of Victoria (Canada) with her BA in history and anthropology. During that time, she also studied Russian and art history, and was heavily involved with the university’s Russian Studies course union. In January 2012, she will begin her studies at the University of British Columbia in a double Master’s program in library and archival science. Ideally, she would like to work in a gallery or museum’s library or archive.

Program attended: Challenge Grants: Funding for Study Abroad

View all posts by: Taryn Jones

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