[Penang, Malaysia] Russian & Central Asian Specialties from Vkusno Dom - CLOSED

Vkusno Dom on 150 Campbell Street is run by a genial Penang-Russian couple. Husband, Ashraf, is a Penang-born Indian-Muslim, with a warm, friendly personality, whilst the wife, Ana, is Russian, born in Siberia, and a professionally-trained chef who can cook up a storm.

Besides Russian staples like borscht and beef Stroganoff - both very well-executed, Vkusno Dom offers a good selection of Kazakh, Uzbek and Georgian dishes to cater to the large Russian-speaking populace from the former Soviet Socialist Republics residing in Malaysia.

What we had:

  1. Svyokla salad with beetroot, walnuts, prunes & garlic. This salad has a lovely texture from the combination of beetroot and chopped walnuts, whilst the surprising amount of garlic gave it a sharp tang.

  2. Russian borscht soup - delish with a dollop of sour cream.

  3. Beef Stroganoff - you can’t go wrong with a good, creamy Stroganoff. Chef Ana’s rendition, with tender strips of beef, was truly gold star standard. She served her version on mashed potatoes instead of rice or pasta noodles.

  1. Russian pelmeni dumplings. Smaller than those I’d had at other places, but very flavoursome.

After stirring in the sour cream:

  1. Uzbek mutton plov This is Uzbekistan’s national dish - rice cooked with mutton fat, carrots & onions. The version here is truly flavoursome, on par with the version served at Restaurant Central Asia in Kuala Lumpur, the premier Uzbek restaurant in KL. I’d had more elaborate versions in Uzbekistan itself, but Chef Ana’s rendition here in Penang is perhaps the most authentic one can have in this region.

  1. Kazakh chicken shashlik - tender chunks of chicken, barbecued on skewers. I think it’s a wise choice on the part of Chef Ana to put this on her menu - suits local Penang & SE-Asian palate rather than the fatty, boiled Kazakh staples like kuyrdak or beshbarmak, Klingon-sounding, strong-tasting chunky meat dishes which may be too much for the tropical appetite.

7a) Georgian khachapuri (flatbread, topped with egg). I love this dish to bits: the dense, moist, freshlly-baked to order flatbread, topped with cheese and a sunny-side up egg, which one mixes up atop the flatbread before serving.

7b) Georgian khachapuri, after the egg and melted cheese topping have been mixed atop the bread. Good to the last crumb.

  1. Georgian khinkali dumplings. The ones here had thinner skin than those I’d tried in Eastern Europe, and the delicate skins broke when handled.

Traditionally, one can lift a khinkali up by pinching the “nipple” atop the dumpling, hold it over one’s mouth and suck the meat juices out from the soupy dumpling before consuming the rest of the dumpling, except for the large “nipple” which is not meant to be eaten.

Overall, dishes were cooked to a high standard, and our meal here was really a nice change from Penang’s usual Chinese, Malay and Indian cuisine.

Vkusno Dom
150, Lebuh Campbell, 10100 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Tel: + 6019-507 6769
Opening hours: 11am to 11pm daily, closed on Christmas Day.


Vkusno Dom has renovated recently and increased its seating capacity. Business has been on the uptrend at this very authentic Russian restaurant.

The owner-chef, Ana Kuznetsova.

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Sad to see that Vkusno Dom has decided to shutter down quite suddenly. I asked the owner, Ashraf, why and he quoted difficulty in procuring the necessary manpower to help run his restaurant. He and his wife, Ana, have decided to concentrate on other priorities at the moment. I hope they’ll make a come back in future.