I discovered MOCKBA, a restaurant under the Ginza Project, by chance. My friend and I were on our way to another restaurant when the sky opened, and we had to seek shelter in an upmarket departmental store, CTOKMAHH.
The name, MOCKBA means Moscow in Russian. MOCKBA is located on the top floor of CTOKMAHH and it serves a wide range of international cuisines ranging from native Russian to Japanese, and even Singaporean’s Laksa. Initially, I was quite hesitant to dine at MOCKBA because I know restaurants that do not have a clear focus generally serve food that’s middle of the road – good to fill the stomach but not of good quality. Hence, I was quite surprised when the quality of the food at MOCKBA actually surpassed my expectations.
I ordered the Solyanka, a Russian meat soup, and Spicy Fried Chicken with Salad and Plum Sauce. My friend ordered the Indonesian Salad with Beef, and Dorado Grill, a grilled fish dish.
Both our appetisers were excellent. The Solyanka is a thick, spicy and sour Russian and Ukrainian soup. It has a similar taste to a thick minestrone soup but packs a lot more punch than its vegetarian counterpart. The Solyanka at MOCKBA was very flavourful. The ingredients included black olives, lemon slices, pork sausages, beef, and pickled cucumbers. Usually, people would add a touch of sour cream into the soup to make it even creamer. The soup was so good that I was so close to licking the bowl!
The Indonesian Salad with Beef was equally tasty. The sauce for the salad was very similar to a satay sauce but not as thick. The grilled beef is tender, and is sliced thinly. The dish reminded us of another Indonesian dish, Gado Gado. But instead of tofu and egg, this salad used beef, and a more Western selection of vegetables such as rocket and red cabbage. We wondered why no one in South-east Asia thought of it.
The two main courses, the chicken and fish, were very delicious. Even though it states spicy fried chicken in the menu, my chicken dish was not exactly fried and in terms of spiciness, it was nowhere close to what I’m used to. Nevertheless, the chicken was well-flavoured with herbs such as rosemary and parsley, and it was very tender and juicy. For those people who like their meat to pack more flavour, the plum sauce does the job rather well. Even so, the chicken was good even without the sauce.
The Dorado Grill is an excellent choice for those who love their fish simple. There is minimal seasoning on the fish and it is grilled to perfection. The chef salted it lightly so that the fish will retain its original taste, but the fish needs to be very fresh in order to be cooked this way. You will enjoy the fish with a dash of lemon juice.
By then, we were so full that we did not have stomach to try the desserts. MOCKBA is like a family restaurant and it has a rather casual atmosphere. The service crew was all decked out in the tee-shirt with the restaurant’s mascot (see attached menu picture). However, it is not cheap to dine here. Our bill came up to about 2,650 Rubles which works out to be around SGD$110. We didn’t mind the price especially when our focus was to get good food. When on a vacation, the last thing that we want is affordable but lousy food to spoilt our meal.
Saint-Petersburg, 114 Nevsky Avenue, Nevsky Center (above CTOKMAHH Departmental Store)