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April 11, 2019
Habits

Knock off like a Russian at First Order Fridays

Finish your week with pelmeni and cured vegetables paired with vodka and minimal intervention wines at First Order every Friday night.

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  • Words and pictures: Jessica Bassano

When Anya Sereda first opened Ifould Street café First Order in September 2017, she envisioned extending the opening hours and transforming the place into a bar of an evening. A year and a half on, she’s introduced Friday night drinks to First Order’s repertoire.

“I’ve never worked in a bar in my life. So, just doing the alcohol part of it was a bit intimidating to be honest, but we were doing it anyway,” Anya says.

Remarks

First Order
52 Ifould Street, Adelaide 5000
Mon-Thu: 7am ’til 2:30pm
Friday: 7am ’til 8pm

“Friends would come over and we’d drink wine and have vodka and Russian snacks”.

Intended to mask the taste of (what was traditionally homemade) vodka, Russian snacks or ‘zakuski’ include pickles, fish, boiled potatoes and black bread.

“We’re doing herring, that is huge, and it’s just in oil,” Anya says.

“Some sprats, they are tiny little fish – maybe a little bit bigger than anchovies – and they’re smoked and thin.

“We’re doing lots of different pickles – we went a little pickle crazy – so many delicious things are coming in at the moment.

“Beans and obviously cucumbers. It’s all about chasing. You do a shot and then you chase it with something.”

Anya explains that to truly enjoy vodka the Russian way it’s important to exhale, swallow the vodka shot, grab a snack and chew away before inhaling again. Simple.

“I was born in the USSR… So, it’s just things that we do – I’d say daily but – almost daily, because you don’t get as drunk,” she says.

“There are these stereotypes of getting really drunk from vodka. That’s not what we do.

“It’s about eating and drinking together. That’s a big part of our culture.”

First Order’s owner Anya Sereda

 

As well as vodka, First Order is working with boutique wine distributors Et cetera, etc to serve minimal intervention wine from small batch producers. On the Friday drinks list is Adelaide Hills winery The Other Right and Tripe Iscariot from Margaret River. Beer from Bridge Road Brewers is also on offer.

While Anya hopes to extend First Order’s evening opening hours to include Saturdays, she’s waiting to see how the public responds to her Friday night knock offs.

“It started about three weeks ago…[and] I think it’s been hard convincing people to come to the same place where they get their morning coffee. That’s a bit tricky,” She says.

“But, I think we are pretty rare. I’m not sugar coating or presenting it any differently to how I would at home.”

Most importantly, the weekly gathering is about being with friends and sharing in an experience.

“The whole thing with vodka is everybody stops and everybody drinks together,” Anya says.

First Order’s Friday nights run until 8pm every Friday. Stay tuned to the café and part-time bar’s social media for updates.

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