99% Food, 1% Skin

Kachka

WP_20150712_20_14_11_ProPortland’s eating scene is so much fun and diverse.

After enjoying eateries such as Broder, Le Pigeon and Viking Soul Food, Kachka is my new love.

A Russian, Eastern European restaurant, Kachka features some iconic dishes such as cabbage rolls, and Russian/Ukrainian dumplings pelmeni or vareniki, with emphasis of lots of vodka.

In fact, a full huge page of different imported vodka from Russia, Europe, or our new world vodka from America.

Since I was the DD, my focus was on food, and I was thoroughly impressed: everything I had was really good.

The most stunning dish was the seven-layer appetizer called “herring under a fur coat”.

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Not only that it looked amazing with its delicate and distinctive layers of potatoes, carrots, beets, onions, mayo, dill pickled herring and egg, it was superbly delicious.

Each layer contributed to the final symphonies of flavors, and yet every bite was light, gentle and refreshing.

Cow tongue was my next favorite.

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I couldn’t remember the last time I had cow tongue that melted in my mouth.

A full cross-section of the tongue, it was confit and cooked for 15 hours to this tender goodness.

The surface was seared crispy and perfectly salted, it was such a pleasure in the mouthfeel to enjoy a thin crisp crusty layer encasing a butter-like muscle.

Fish board consisted of four kinds of smoked fish including salmon, capitan, mackerel and cod liver pashtet.

The fish had light smoke with fantastic texture, but definitely way too salty.

The true gem was in the cod liver.

Completely creamy, nice fish egg flavor plus something magical that was just savory and addictive,  I couldn’t stop eating it with the accompanied crisp rye bread.

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I believed the tomato sauce was the star of the cabbage roll.

Don’t get me wrong, the roll itself was delicious: ground meat was pillowy and flavorful, wrapped inside a soft blanket of cabbage, it could be cut through with a fork easily; and I shamelessly drank the sauce like soup.

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Perfect sweet and tangy balance, with added creaminess from the dollop of sour cream, it was out of this world.

I spotted a well-known secret ingredient to sweeten tomato sauce– raisins, and eagerly gobbled them down as well.

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Lastly, was the Siberian pelmeni.

Skin was thick, much like many pelmeni I had; but the veal, pork and beef filling was soft and creamy, with aromatic onion.

With the great quality of sour cream on top, plus probably melted butter, my Dad loved them.

When it came to dessert time, there were too many interesting ones on the menu!

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L: raspberry smentana — Top: oreshki — Bottom: Plombir sandwiches @ Kachka

We went for raspberry Smetana, Plombir sandwiches and oreshki.

Smetana is a sour cream similar to creme fraiche, paired with the tart raspberries, it was a simple and unpretentious dessert.

The Plombir sandwiches were russian-style ice cream sandwiches with wafer and a killer black currant tea milk caramel and hazelnut.

Wafer was thin, delicate and crisp with vanilla ice cream in between and generous amount of chopped hazelnut on the edges.

The black currant tea milk caramel had very strong, fragrant earl gray-like black tea flavor with sweetness from the caramel, and simultaneously a hit of black currant berry flavor, it was very delicious.

All parties were satisfied at my table with their food, and Kachka had certainly made it to the top of one of our favorite places to eat in Portland.

Our bill came in this old-style Russian cigarette tin that was a fun, nice touch.

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I saw some reviews saying Kachka was not authentic, and their price was too high.

While I was not Russian nor Eastern European, I could not comment on their food’s authenticity, just that they were delicious for my taste.

Price was not cheap, but not outrageous in my opinion either; especially for what Kachka serves prove to be delicate, delicious and unique.

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