Borsht, Vodka and Tears – Chapel Street, Windsor

January 3, 2008

OK I’m not the food expert around here – I’m hiring someone with actual tastebuds for that heavy responsibility. Also, there are any number of food blogs about Melbourne.  What I am confident about is vodka.  And if you like vodka – and absinthe – this is definitely a place you have to check out. 

The theme – and cuisine – is Polish:  dumplings, goulash, soups, Polish sausages, the namesake dish borscht… I’ve tried the borscht there and can highly recommend it.   The Polish connection also instantly explains the Vodka fetish.  Their website claims to have over 100 Vodkas on offer, with many being imported direct from Poland and unavailable elsewhere.  I can certainly vouch for having seen some fantastic flavoured vodkas there and brands I hadn’t seen elsewhere.  The honey vodka was exceptional.   So, indeed was the “methode traditionale” prepared Absinthe – complete with fire, sugar and spoon.  

Drinking Absinthe is an activity around which there exists a great deal of mythology, particularly regarding the psychoactive effects of wormwood, Absinthe’s most active ingredient.  There are many websites dedicated to explaining/debating the effects of Absinthe -some say Van Gogh cut his own ear off after too much. Some say you can see the future, others say that you just get very drunk (the alcohol content is very high: approx 60 to 70% on average).  I certainly felt elevated and a little stirred (not shaken) after a glass of their absinthe: more so than most other absinthes I’ve tasted commercially.  
Whether it’s for the Green Fairy’s brew or for one of the many amazing Vodkas on offer – or even to satiate the carnivorous lusts with sausage and dumpling – I recommend a visit to Borscht, Vodka and Tears.  Do book on weekends though… it’s not a big restaurant. 

The best thing about VBT: trying a new vodka every time and knowing it will be years before you run out of new flavours to sample.  the absinthe.  

The downside: on weekends it can get pretty packed with Chapel Street types.  You know what I mean – or if you don’t you’ll soon find out.  

 Details: 73 Chapel Street Windsor 3181  Tel: [03] 9530 2694 


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