The only exposure I've had to Minsk is from watching "Friends" - Phoebe's physicist boyfriend David (played by the brilliant Hank Azaria) decides to move to Minsk and breaks her heart. Did I know that Minsk was the capital of Belarus before that? I may have, but I doubt it. Hey, I'm part of Generation Y, we get our information from MTV and the internet!
So in case you, dear reader, know as little about Belarus as I did, a wee bit of background. Belarus is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. Its capital is Minsk. Belarus completed its separation from the Soviet Union on Christmas Day of 1991, and has a population of about 10 million. (all credit goes to Wikipedia...I'm really not doing a great job of dispelling the Generation Y notions)
Anyway, on to the food. I really didn't know what to expect from Belarusian food, although I suspected they would have borscht on the menu (they did). Thanks to Minsk, I am a fan of Belarusian cuisine. And since my meal at Minsk is the only time I've ever tried Belarusian cuisine, I have no negative experiences to convince me otherwise.
The ambience is a bit bizarre to say the least - on the night I went with a friend, the only other diners were men sitting by themselves, entranced by the tall, blond, blue-eyed musical performer, who had a lovely singing voice. Our waitress was also blond, but spoke to us in Japanese...wait, am I reminiscing on an episode of Twilight Zone or some bizarre dream? Nope, this really happened, but the strangeness of it all did feel...well, strange.
The food however, was quite good.
Chicken and mushroom crepes
Beef tenderloin with cranberry sauce - the slightly sweet, not-too-tart sauce added a wonderful contrast to the savoriness of the tender beef!
Food rating: *** and a half
Bang for buck rating: 3
Location: 1-4-2 Azabudai, Tokyo
Average price of dinner for two: 6000 yen (~$65)