Dainava Lithuanian Club
This club was set up several decades ago by post-war migrants escaping the USSR. Usually the RSL-style club serves typical English food, but every Sunday it brings in Svetlana Korsakas for a lunch menu of Lithuanian specialities.
Korsakas cooks stodgy, rich, carb-intensive food, such as cepelinai; boulders of chewy potato stuffed with minced meat smothered with sour cream and diced bacon.
Get there early – she only has time to make a certain amount of food each Sunday and when it runs out, that’s it. Usually the menu includes just seven items, most of which are based on some combination of potatoes, cabbage, mushrooms, meat and dairy. Almost everything is either showered in bacon and served with a generous dollop of sour cream or doused in a creamy mushroom sauce.
The other two popular mains at the club are the koldunai, little mohawked dumplings filled with minced meat and boiled, and balandelis, an intimidating log of cabbage stuffed with a rice and meat mixture.
The club also stocks a small range of native spirits and beers. The two most unique varieties are Krupnikas, a syrupy honey liquor and Three Nines, a vodka-like spirit complicated and coloured by an infusion of 25 herbs and spices.
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