It's been a long, long time since I'd even logged in this website.
Well, I did something extraordinary. I gave a birth to a lovely, but sleepless (so far) little girl! 9 months of pregnancy, and a true traumatic delivery, then now I'm a novice parent. Enough reason to neglect this blog, don't you agree?
Being a parent means a lot of things. And one of those is that you can't go anywhere without thinking of hassles you have to go through with a new born baby. Even going to a grocery store on my block makes me think, think, and rethink.
So, going to Brighton Beach that requires me an hour subway ride for lunch? Forget it. But it's a painful give-up because I do miss authentic, hearty Korean Russian foods there at Elza Fancy Food. This post is a true 'pre-baby' nostalgic one.
The place used to be called 'At Your Mother-In-Law' Cafe. but I saw a same chef in the kitchen before and after.
Obviously, Koreans migrated to Russia (Soviet Union then) in late 1800s to 1900s. After so many years, they do look like Korean but they rarely speak Korean. However, Korean foods did survive in their gene. Elza Fancy Food is the perfect example of this survival.
Unassuming attitude is everywhere in the place. Not so Russian feel, I would say. Just a Russian TV channel hints you they might serve you something Russian. Or Russian Korean. Or Korean Russian. On the menu you will find a handful of 'Korean' this and that.
You will notice an extensive list of Kimchi, first. They call it 'Chim Cha' or 'Hye'. It's not surprising old Korean name for Kimchi used to be 'Dim Che'. A strong connection there, you can imagine.
From the most common napa cabbage kimchi, Chima Cha ($3.40/lb), to exotic eggplant hye ($3.99/lb), Elza Fancy Food has many options to offer.
Chim Cha has a cleaner taste than regular kimchi you'd find at a Korea restaurant. My hunch is that Elza's version skips fish sauce. Theirs is more like refreshing salads. I loved it.
Eggplant hye wasn't bad, but it was oily. It also had black pepper in it, which is an odd ingredient for regular Korean kimchi. Guess it's Russian infusion.
Cucumber cha ($3.99) was similar to eggplant one. Not so spicy but oily and peppery, but you can definitely tell fermentation is part of the making process.
Now, this giant omelet isn't particularly Korean. Eggs are everywhere! Inside of this, you'd find beef, mushroom and good amount of mayonnaise. It can be little heavy for someone, but filling. It's served with carrot kimchi.
I am missing this little place, tucked in on the corner of burstling streets of Brighton Beach. Maybe I can visit with my little one soon, hopefully.