There is a tinge of Moscow with the traditional food troika of blini (Russian pancake), borsch (beetroot soup) and pelemene (steamed Russian momos) on the southern fringes of the Indian capital. But minus the customary vodka. That, however, has not deterred the city’s diplomatic corps (read mostly East Europeans) from jamming the four-table, 16-chair tiny wonder that is named Bline, opened two months ago in Delhi’s diplomatic enclave Anand Niketan. India’s first truly ethnic Russian restaurant is run by its two partners, Aleksandr Melinkov and Galina.
What prompted the opening of this eatery, especially when there is already one inside the Russian embassy in Delhi? Melinkov, entrepreneur-resident of Vladivostok, has a ready answer: "That’s for the diplomats. I have a large number of Indian clientele as well." The lanky, 6-ft-something Melinkov hopes he can tempt Delhiites with the bliss of blinis. Borsch anybody?