Having only ever experienced Eastern European cooking at a Polish friend’s birthday party (quite a while ago) I was intrigued when I got a last minute invite to the Baltic Cellar launch. Nestled between Albert Square and the Town Hall, Baltic Cellar’s cosy set up was definitely very inviting on quite a chilly Manchester evening.
When we arrived Mr W, Charlie, Keeley, Sarah, Simon and I were greeted with a plentiful supply of authentic nibbles and bubbles. We were then treated to an interestingly bendy performance from contortionist Beth Sykes. After a few minutes of gawping at Beth’s flexibility (why aren’t my yoga classes making me that bendy yet?!) we were seated and greeted with a bottle of Polish Klosowka vodka
uh oh! The Baltic Cellar fun then began…
Russian drinking rules explained.
Two shots of vodka administed, we then started with herring fillets and platters of smoked sausages, cured ham and slices of salo on rye bread (which Mr W had to explain to me was effectively lardo… Just as I ate a chunk thinking it was cheese!) Aside from the mistaken identity incident the platter was fantastic and I even enjoyed the herring (usually too fishy for me).
Then our main courses arrived, which were samples of a lot of what is on the Baltic Cellar menu. I thought this was a brilliant way to show us what is on offer. Intensely herby grilled salmon, soft and buttery mashed potato and not forgetting beef goulash and pork stroganoff, which were delicious and tender.
More vodka. This time served from a kalashnikov by a Russian. Yes.
Then dessert. A mighty platter of cakes arrived, a stodgy chocolate cake (Mr W enjoyed), a deliciously creamy cheesecake (more my kinda thing), the many layered Napolyeon tort and some home made biscuits to finish. Needless to say the plate did not look like this at the end.
More vodka. This time from a birdhouse. This one goes down best, like water. If only we could have more, but this stuff’s special. It’s the end at this point, time to go home and get ready for the morning after the night before, which may I add was brutal, but worth it.
I just want to say a huge thank you to Baltic Cellar for a wonderful evening, and whilst this isn’t a review Mr W and I will be back to sample more of what is on offer. Also thank you to Team Wodka for the best evening I’d had in a long time.
P.S. Whilst writing this I learnt that nostrovia is a common English mispronunciation of Na Zdorovie (good health in Russian)!