Frankly easier alternative is uber which has extensive service throughout the city now your driver may not speak English. And you may not speak a lick of Russian but the app will pick up the slack. And get you from point A to point B without any problems Russian food just like Russia itself has a rich. And storied history but it is a rare treat among all the cities that we’ve been to to be able to experience the hospitality of another time another era I feel like we’ve gone back in time a little bit what is this place nice to hear it that’s the emotion that we’re supposed to have from our guests because yeah really it’s a place of Soviet times there is no politics here it’s just things. And artifacts that should remind you about the Soviet times. And all the good things.
St. Petersburg Map Photo Gallery
And good feelings that you have that times. And the food. And the atmosphere. And the interior everything is just like you get back in time the restaurant serves up healthy portions of Russian nostalgia classic soup dishes like borscht. And the incomparable Salonga were followed by dishes that were frankly entirely new experiences for me this one is hearing is on the fur coat quite strange name yeah I wonder fur coat on the floor yeah on the bottom there is a herring. And then layers by layers you have vegetables. And mayonnaise. And on the top dish after dish discovery after discovery we transition from savory to sweet with the help of some traditional tea served in a beautiful Russian samovar that was amazing but now I needed very very but dear viewer we are just beginning our saint-petersburg food adventure.
So I decided to ask our friend Anna Chernova from the outst. And ing Corinthia Hotel team for some guidance we don’t always have the opportunity to talk to a local when we do this episode. So whenever we do I grab the opportunity which is why I’m very excited that we have Anna who was born. And raised in st. Petersburg. And has basically making sure that Craig. And I don’t get into trouble while we’ve been here. And has pointed us in every single direction that we need to go it’s been wonderful but I always have one question for you what is that one food that you must eat in st. Petersburg one food one. So difficult actually because the Russian cuisine has very long history.
And it was changing through the whole history. And it’s difficult to pick up one but I probably would hardly recommend smelt fish it’s very small fish we will try it later it’s very small fish. And it swims on the in the river neva which is in the st. Petersburg. So it’s the very very unique fish it has a bit strange smell it smells like a cocoon burn when it’s fresh. And it’s absolutely amazing when it’s fried everything is amazing when it’s bright yes if you’re coming to st. Petersburg you have to try smelt fish. And if you’re gonna try smelt fish you have to try it here against a project on the banks of the nebka River.
So good it’s like giant white bay you’ve eaten a hundred tiny fish. And you’re still hungry fear not like the rest of the world Street food is all over st. Petersburg. And what better way to experience a city’s street food culture than with that global Street food staple shawarma there is something wonderful about the universality of schwarmann it has gone to every corner of the earth the core ingredients remain the same pretty much which is meat some kind of sauce maybe a vegetable in a wrap no matter where you go in the world the ingredients do stay the same but there is a different take on it. And then adopt it into local street food culture this is a russians form of burrito as far as i’m concerned right now it is it’s good but there remains a russian staple that we have yet to experience a classic.
So intertwined with russia’s identity that it’s impossible to imagine one without the other vodka the russian vodka museum tells the story of this quintessentially russian libation from its humble beginnings as the spoils of a botched religious mission to its curious. And ancient. And sometimes a little sadistic rituals. And once you have learned about vodka it’s time to drink vodka although as we discovered it’s a little more complicated than that three different types of vodka. And I’m I’m to inhale out. And Hale out Boosh I believe the pronunciation it.
And then eat something you said don’t go slowly otherwise it hurts being the pragmatic people they are Russians encourage a little lining of the stomach while you enjoy their national drink things like lard with mustard or herring served on rye bread usually do the trick that’s good I love mustard perfecting a smooth vodka requires unlikely but effective ingredients smooth water from the north mountains. And deer antlers to purify them this is the most vodka I have drunk in my entire life wrap the museum is housed in the stroganoff buildings yes that stroganoff I mean beef stroganoff where it was invented we’re actually in this stroganoff complex. And here it is onions sour cream could there be a more beautiful combination our waiter Leonid suggested that perhaps there was when the when they were forbidden for drinking vodka they would order this dish there was no bottles no shot glasses no sign that of drinking the vodka of course the vodka was there.
And it was mixed in. And it would have the desired effects if you will. And they would order it again. And again I am very sure we learned a lot about vodka about stroganoff about Russia that night if only we could remember it another day dawns in st. Petersburg. And our trusted Sherpa Anna suggests she might know something that could cure what ails us on this the day after the night before I’m a fan of just about every fried batter product there is I’m on a mission. And like to try every single one of them but I think this is my new favorite the beautiful fish can I say that right Anna all right good seems a lot harder there should be it’s a really light fluffy dough that’s in deep fried.
And extremely hot oil not for very long. And then sprinkled with powdered sugar it is a wonderfully st. Petersburg treat you try. And get these anywhere outside of st. Petersburg the recipe changes the topping changes the technique changes. So this is really something you can only get here. And they are wonderful I’m going to eat one. And it’s regularly six apparently six seems unhealthy but I can see why they are wonderful before we get into the specifics on money a quick general note on currency. And exchange rates in the first few episodes of this show we would talk in specifics about exchange rates. And currencies. And say something cost X. And then convert that into another kind of currency we stop doing that ever since exid. And trump. And general financial market instability exchange rates have been all over the place.
So even just days after filming the stuff we put in an episode was out a date. And we get the inevitable YouTube comments of one pound isn’t a dollar seventy you absolute numpty. And that hurts hurts me. And it hurts Greg we stopped doing it instead you can use one of the many wonderful currency conversion tools that are out there or try this new thing called Google I’ve heard it’s very good the longest time Russia has used the ruble or various incarnations thereof as its currency the current version is from onwards any coin or note before that is no longer legal tender now a ruble is made up of a hundred Co pecks but because of the value of the ruble as it is today it is extremely rare to see prices reference copics everything is rounded up to the nearest ruble. And even one. And five. And now even ten ruble coins are such little value that you rarely see them everything is moving to notes now five. And ten ruble notes are slowly going out of production as well. And while you can have a huge stack of notes in your pocket it’s not actually that much money but st. Petersburg like a lot of Russia is a pretty cheap City yes luxury goods. And high-end food like caviar will cost a lot of money no matter where you are but you can eat.
And drink. And get around in this city incredibly cheaply. And it’s all of excellent quality if you’re looking in the right places very quick chat about tipping in the past it was generally frowned upon it’s actually coming into fashion in the last few years but it’s very very simple ten percent is more than enough in a satisfactory restaurant or bar experience. And you can round up the change in a taxi or either a service environment Visa. And MasterCard debit. And credit cards are widely accepted even in the smallest of shops American Express not. So much I saw a sign that today my a card woodworking it did not. So your mileage may vary but Visa. And MasterCard accepted everywhere there are ATMs everywhere some will charge a fee. And someone. So make sure you check that before you begin your transaction. And with that in mind let’s do the rundown cup of coffee cost around two hundred roubles fine Abril costs three one hundred. And seventy five rubles. And for the most reliable indicator of a nation’s cost a good ol Big Mac you’re gonna pay about one hundred.
And thirty seven rubles it’s in Petersburg a safe city absolutely Russian cities are saddled with this inaccurate. And unfair reputation as being generally unsafe it is an unfair characterization yes there was a terror attack on the Metro here earlier this year there’s no denying that but that was an isolated incident. And should in no way put you off coming to the city or any other Russian city or even more importantly exploring on your own at no point during our stay here have we felt unsafe w. And ering. And exploring the city during the day or during the night this is a safe city this was my first experience of Russia.
And I will admit I arrived with more than a few preconceptions but after spending time here I can say that every illusion I had of what this place might be like was shattered. And I have come away with limitless appreciation for this city. And for this country yes st. Petersburg has history. And culture in abundance of this it is. And should be proud but behind the ornate facades there’s real depth real people real Russia I will I have no doubt be back you.