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Friday, January 14, 2011

Piroshki at Adelaide Central Market - Taldy-Kurgan

Take a yeasted bun, stuff it, deep-fry it and you have a piroshki, a glorious golden street snack that originated in Russia. Piroshki can also be baked or plain, but I know I'd choose a blistering baptism in bubbling hot oil every time.

Fresh piroshki are not so easy to find in Sydney, which is why my heart skipped a beat when we  stumbled on the Taldy-Kurgan stall in the Adelaide Central Market last year.


Taldy-Kurgan is a city in Kazakhstan, found at the base of the Dzungarian Alatau Mountains.  Here in Adelaide, it is a brightly coloured stall that promises Fresh Eurasian Food. This is not fancy fusion cuisine, but an electic mix of hearty fare that hails from the region that straddles Asia and Europe: borscht beetroot soup with dumplings, bigos hunters stew, and omelettes served with Russian salad.

Owner Theodore Bai making piroshki

The biggest sellers here are the piroshki, made right before your eyes on a stainless steel counter in the middle of the stall. Owner Theodore Bai works quickly and quietly, folding over pockets of dough that are lined up like a puffy yeasted army.

Piroshki production

Deep-frying the piroshki

A small frypan of hot oil transforms these balls of dough into golden parcels of fluffy satisfaction, the final products stacked neatly in the heated display cabinet.

Beef and onion piroshki $3.50

Piroshki are easily eaten with one hand - perfect snack food while roaming the markets - but we choose the sit-down option instead, our piroshki served on a retro 70s plates and delivered to our table.

[front] Spinach and ricotta piroshki $3
[rear] Zippoly anchovied bread $3

Fluffy and light, these taste like a stuffed savoury donut, without any guilty greasy residue on the tongue. We can only find a small amount of anchovy in the plaited zippoly, but there's plenty of mince in the beef and onion version. The spinach and ricotta piroshki is my favourite.

Blini crepe filled with ricotta and sultana $3.50

We savour the blini crepe last, blanketed with a snowstorm of icing sugar and wrapped around a generous filling of ricotta and plump sultanas.

Blini crepe filled with ricotta and sultana $3.50

According to Theodore, the stall was first opened by a Russian immigrant ten years ago, homesick for the snacks he remembered from his childhood. Theodore and partner Waulice Wu took over the business four years ago.

Their customers are loyal and come from afar. One man, Theodore says, travels all the way from Canberra, arriving with an empty suitcase and packing it full of piroshki to take home.

I wish I'd done the same.

Taldy-Kurgan  owners Theodore Bai and Waulice Wu


Today Grab Your Fork is also celebrating Delurker Day. This is the day for all blog lurkers to no longer be shy and come say hi!

Every day 3,000 readers visit Grab Your Fork - this is your chance to leave a quick comment and tell us where you are reading from. Do you have a party trick? Is there anything odd you love to eat? And how do eat your teddy bear biscuits or jelly babies? Head first or last?

Everyone can play!

View Larger Map
Taldy-Kurgan on Urbanspoon

Stall 3, Adelaide Central Market
Grote Street, Adelaide, South Australia
Tel: +61 (0)404 451 648

Opening hours:
Tues 7am-4pm
Wed 9am-4pm
Thu 9am-4pm
Fri 7am-9pm
Sat 7am-4pm
Closed Sunday and Monday

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
South Australia - Adelaide Central Market
South Australia - Enoteca Restaurant, Adelaide with Antonio Carluccio
South Australia - Maggie Beer's Farm Shop with Rosemary Shrager + Maggie Beer
South Australia - The Manse Restaurant, North Adelaide
27 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 1/14/2011 02:13:00 am


  • At 1/14/2011 6:59 am, Anonymous Claire said…

    OK I'll bite... I read yr blog avidly and have recommended it to lots of friends - especially the ones that go on their own "food safaris" with friends as yr blog covers an enormous range of areas. Keep up the wonderful, mouth watering, enticing photographs and descriptions! :-)

  • At 1/14/2011 7:01 am, Anonymous Claire said…

    p.s. how did you know I was wearing a mac and trilby... lol

  • At 1/14/2011 8:48 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    Love the delurker button - will have to use that on my blog! Love the sound of the ricotta and spinach piroshki as well.

  • At 1/14/2011 9:24 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    heads first! then arms then legs! also i had a dream about ricotta last night remind me to tell you about it :P

  • At 1/14/2011 10:22 am, Anonymous john@heneedsfood said…

    I'm new to this blog and love your style ;) Would you believe my mother still has those exact retro plates!

  • At 1/14/2011 10:36 am, Anonymous Melissa said…

    ohhh didn't get to try that piroshki when i was in adelaide! thanks for introducing!! Always love reading your blog.

  • At 1/14/2011 10:56 am, Anonymous Katie said…

    *wave* Okay I think I have commented once when you did the Wollongong food tour (writing to you, strangely enough, from the Illawarra!), but for Delurker day I will quickly thank you for your review of the Kazbah breakfast feast, which I have just booked for my 25th birthday celebrations based entirely on your review and awesome pictures :)

    Something odd I like to eat...hmm, how about a recent discovery? Up until about a year ago I was completely revolted by the idea of mixing peanut butter with something sweet... then I made some peanut butter cookies, and I am completely crazy about it. I'm going to LA next year and very high up on my priorities list is the Peanut Buttercup offering from the Fresh Fries food truck:

  • At 1/14/2011 11:07 am, Anonymous Erica said…

    I'm a Sydney girl now living in Holland, and I am an avid reader. The variety and freshness of food back home is one of the things I miss most.

    I have no real party tricks, but an odd thing I like to eat is apples with peanut butter (I read about it in a Babysitters' club novel when I was young; tried it and liked it). I eat my tiny teddies by dismembering and decapitating them.. sounds morbid, but it's to make them last longer!

  • At 1/14/2011 11:25 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Looks like a trip down to the Central Markets tonight is imminent! :)~~

  • At 1/14/2011 1:18 pm, Blogger Energetica said…

    Hey! On Delurker day, here's me de-lurking! I'm from Bombay, India and I read your bog every single morning before work - it is the best accompaniment to my morning cuppa!

    I love your drool-inducing food descriptions, your love for deep-fried goodness and your wry sense of humour....they all mean I begin my day with a smile.. :)

    And its thanks to you that I have taken up food-and-travel blogging too... at http://travelandfeeding.blogspot.com

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    Urja (aka Energetica - 'Urja' means energy in Sanskrit. :) )

  • At 1/14/2011 1:45 pm, Blogger Mel said…

    I think my mother has those plates still too! I don't lurk, but love reading your blog and drooling at all the yummy posts.

  • At 1/14/2011 2:00 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Ears first!!

    I definitely love the look of the spinach and ricotta one best. Lactose intolerance be damned! (P.S. You know where I live... :P )

  • At 1/14/2011 6:57 pm, Anonymous gummi baby said…

    I love your opening line and I love your photos (we have one of those plates too)! They look so scrumptious I felt like I could bite the screen! Wonder if there's one in Sydney somewhere? There's a challenge to all bloggers! I'm a head first eater, probably something primal about that - knock off the bit that governs the rest kind of thing - most unusual thing I've eaten is a moose burger in Alaska! :D

  • At 1/14/2011 8:55 pm, Anonymous Simon @ the heart of food said…

    The prioshki look real nice. Do they make each one fresh to order?

    Look at you inspiring readers to delurk, leave comments & to start their own blog. Thanks for inspiring me to do the same. Ah, brings back memories... :)

  • At 1/15/2011 8:43 am, Blogger joey@forkingaroundsydney said…

    Oooh, interesting looking food. I wonder if there's anything similar in Sydney? The prioshki do look good, especially deep-fried to a golden crisp. ;P

  • At 1/15/2011 2:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow! That stuff looks delicious!!
    Jess : )

  • At 1/15/2011 2:46 pm, Blogger Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said…

    Teddy bears and gummi babies: lower limbs first, followed by upper limbs, torso then head.

    Or if I'm feeling particularly voracious then the whole thing shoved in my mouth at once *gasp!*

  • At 1/15/2011 5:49 pm, Anonymous Wayne said…

    I wouldn't mind some of that spinach and ricotta piroshki stuff. Yum.

  • At 1/15/2011 10:28 pm, Blogger Sheena said…

    These look so delicious, I especially love the sound of the ricotta and sultana one! I wonder if there's anything like this in Sydney as well.

  • At 1/16/2011 1:39 am, Blogger lali said…

    first time I read your blog, but not last! writing from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    I´m drolling while reading! you´re so good.
    Love to cook, love to eat,
    Come and visit!

  • At 1/16/2011 4:04 am, Anonymous bertie said…

    I really must stop reading this blog at strange hours of the night... My stomach isn't exactly pleased. I'm rather keen to try piroshki after reading this entry. I wonder if this is available in Sydney? Beef and onion piroshki, you shall be mine one day.

  • At 1/16/2011 7:25 am, Blogger Julia @Mélanger said…

    I would be shocked if I could find piroshki here in Brisbane, but rememeber it fondly from living in Boston. It was not hard to find there. Loved it!

  • At 1/16/2011 9:59 pm, Blogger over-koalified said…

    Yes. I am a self confessed food blog lurker. I guiltly scan the mouthwatering blogs Chocolatesuze, Citrus and Candy, A Table for Two, Almost Bourdain, Grab Your Fork and much much more... It's a guilty pleasure which meant I minimise my screen everytime a friend or a parent walks past. I love food blogs and it's time to come clean. As an answer to your questions:
    I'm a high schooler from Sydney. Inner West suburbs.
    My party trick is fitting 10 marshmallows into my mouth and continue to hold them there until they melt into a ball before regurgitating it onto a tissue. (Gross I know, but impressive all the same)
    I like eating peanut butter and ham and cheese sandwiches. (My mum invented them, along with stirfried vegetable sandwiches, steak sandwiches, fried rice sandwiches... yes I'm Asian)
    I eat any food human shaped limbs first, then head and finally the main body.

  • At 1/16/2011 10:34 pm, Anonymous Julie said…

    *notes down in adelaide list* those look absolutely delish!

  • At 1/17/2011 2:25 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Claire - Thanks so much for outing yourself :) Always great to hear feedback, and yes, there's nothing better than a weekend food safari adventure!

    Hi Gourmet Chick - I found the pic online so use away!

    Hi chocolatesuze - Food dreams! I like 'em!

    Hi John - lol.

    Hi Melissa - Hopefully next time. The Central Markets are so much fun.

    Hi Katie - Oh happy birthday. I am sure you and your friends will have a ball (and a feast!). And I wish we had food trucks here - they look so awesome!

    Hi Erica - I used to read Babysitters Club too! I can't remember the peanut butter and apple trick but I'm intrigued enough to try it out next time!

    Hi dbites - Lucky you!

    Hi Energetica - How exciting to hear you have started a food blog because of mine :) It looks great, and I love your blog name too.

    Hi Melba Toast - I love it when I recognise my Mum's crockery too. lol.

    Hi Hannah - Ha, I love hearing about all the different teddy bear consumption rituals!

    Hi gummi baby - A moose burger sounds delicious!

  • At 1/17/2011 3:04 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Simon - Not made to order, but fresh and ready to go from the display counter. They were great!

    Hi Joey - I've seen piroshki at delis but not cooked on the premises. Let me know if you find any!

    Hi Jess - It was. And so cheap too!

    Hi mademoiselle delicieuse - I always knew not to mess with you. lol

    Hi Wayne - Me too. Wish I'd brought some back!

    Hi Sheena - I've seen piroshki at delis but not cooked on the premises. Let me know if you find any!

    Hi lali - Thanks so much for your comment. Would love to go to Argentina one day.

    Hi bertie - lol. I think I should take that as a compliment? I've only seen cold piroshki at delis but not cooked on the premises. Let me know if you find any!

    Hi Julia - The grass is always greener. I know we are lucky to have many great things in Sydney too.

    Hi HappyHyperE - I can totally identify with having to eat your Mum's sandwiches! I will have to try that peanut butter, ham and cheese combo soon. And lol, no need to minimise that screen. Rejoice in food blogs in all their glory! Thank you for delurking you. See - that wasn't so hard? :)

    Hi Julie - Ah yes, I love compiling must-eat lists when I travel too!

  • At 1/17/2011 10:15 pm, Blogger Deeba PAB said…

    I would choose baptism by oil too. Gosh, these piroshkis and blinis both look fabulous. I love the spinach & ricotta. AWESOME!! Great great post Helen.


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