Just a stone’s throw away from my hotel, W, lies a cafe that had caught my attention. The interior of the restaurant seems to cater to those who are madly in love – cupid figurines, lightings with angel’s wings and pastel-coloured furnishing against white walls. It seemed like a nice cosy cafe from the outside. So my friend and I decided to walk into The Home of Happiness – Shchastje, to have our first breakfast in St Petersburg. And I’m glad that the decision was a right one.
First morning in St Petersburg
The Home of Happiness has several aspects. It’s a cafe, restaurant and also a bar. It’s great that they have an all day-breakfast menu to cater to late risers. We ordered the Pancakes with Apples, Fresh Strawberries and Berries, and the Sandwich with Grilled Beef, Red Cabbage and Cherry Tomatoes. To accompany the meals, we had an Earl Grey Tea and Latte.
Interior of Home of happiness
The Pancakes with Apples, Fresh Strawberries and Berries were fluffy and soft. The apples were sliced thinly, slightly caramelized, and placed underneath the pancakes. The pancakes were delicious with the fruit syrup, icing sugar, fresh strawberries and blueberries. They are definitely a great way to start your day.
Pancakes with Apples, Fresh Strawberries and Berries
The Sandwich with Grilled Beef, Red Cabbage and Cherry Tomatoes is a definite “must-eat” for all carnivores. The bread was toasted to a slight crisp while the red cabbage formed the base for the slightly pinkish grilled beef. The cherry tomatoes followed next. The original dish comes with feta cheese but you have the option to remove the cheese. This sandwich was done so perfectly that every mouthful was a great pleasure.
Sandwich with Grilled Beef, Red Cabbage and Cherry Tomatoes
Not contented with the two main courses, I ordered the cafe’s cookies. They sell the cookies based on weight, starting from 100 grams. Since I wanted an assorted range of cookies, the only available size starts from a 500-gram plate. The good thing is that you can take them away if you are unable to finish them in one sitting. Frankly, the cookies will probably not suit most Asian’s taste buds especially since we are so used to crunchy cookies. Most of the cookies that they have are soft (with the exception of one). Unless you enjoy soft cookies, I wouldn’t recommend them. If you really want to try a sample, order a hot beverage. The beverage is served with a cookie.
Interior of Home of happiness
Second morning in St Petersburg
My friend and I enjoyed our breakfast so much that we decided to return on the following day. This time, I tried the Croissant with Emmental Cheese, Spalakotta Ham and White Wine Sauce. Unlike my previous breakfast choice, the croissant was a much simpler meal but just as memorable. Although the white wine sauce was not the main ingredient in this sandwich, it sharply differentiated itself from the common run-of-the-mill ham-and-cheese sandwich. I paired it with the Happiness Tea which is a black tea with a fruity flavour. We ordered the pancakes again, but on hindsight, we should have ordered the Egg White with Spinach. The presentation of the egg white was very pretty and I was sure the taste would be equally good.
Croissant with Emmental Cheese, Spalakotta Ham and White Wine Sauce
Last night in St Petersburg
On our last night in St Petersburg, we decided to return to Home of Happiness for supper.
We ordered the two soups – Mushroom soup with spelt, julienne, with porcinis and bread, and Chicken broth with chicken, zucchini, carrot and Orzo pasta. The Mushroom soup is different from the usual cream of mushroom. It is a clear soup. The taste is light but for most Russians, they would add the accompanied sour cream to make the soup thicker. The soup on its own could be rather bland for most people. I loved the Chicken Broth soup. It’s simple yet full of flavour. It reminded me of chicken soup with macaroni.
Anyone needs a pair of wings?
For the main courses, we had Fillet of chicken with baby potatoes, onion marmalade and poached eggs and Beef grilled with herbs, potatoes and fried egg. The chicken dish is full of texture. The onion marmalade was done nicely and not too sweet while the chunks of chicken meat were juicy. The beef was also very tasty. Although the presentation of beef was not that exciting, it actually tasted very good and retained its original flavour.
Fillet of chicken with baby potatoes, onion marmalade and poached eggs
But the highlight of the evening was the non-alcoholic Rose Cocktail. I couldn’t understand the Russian drinks menu and just ordered the same drink I saw on the next table. It turned out that the drink was very refreshing even though it’s slightly on the sweeter side. It’s definitely not one of those girly drinks.
Chicken Broth soup
One thing that’s for sure, I’ve found my favourite cafe for this trip. At the Home of Happiness, you will not only leave the cafe with a contented meal, you will most probably leave with a heavy dose of happiness.
The Home of Happiness
Nevsky Prospekt, St. Petersburg 191002, Russia
P/s: The Home of Happiness has three branches in St Petersburg.