As you advance into east, quality of food becomes better and better. Russian food was pretty much crap. Russian cuisine can be excellent, if you go a fancy restaurant, but when it comes to eating out in cheap places, food tends to be pretty bland and tasteless. Potatoes, pasta, processed meat, little to no spices and bland salads. Bleh. Food in Buryatia was even worse, a poor parody of both Mongolian and Russian cuisine. As one of the locals described the differences between Russian and Buryatian cuisines: when a Russian makes a soup, they put meat, potatoes and onions. In case of Buryats, it is just meat. All in all, a pretty grim picture.
Mongolia was not any better. Meat and pasta – these two words pretty much sum up Mongolian cuisine. Ulaan Baatar offered some variety, but in countryside these two ingredients were the staple of Mongolian diet. Oh, and spices are virtually unknown to Mongols, as well as vegetables and fruits. Thanks goodness for ubiquitous Korean restaurants around Ulaan Baatar. Otherwise, it would be very bleak.
millennium egg, a transparent black ill-looking egg is a) a part of traditional cuisine b) extremely weird c) actually very good. Looks disgusting, but is very tasty, especially with soy sauce and ginger on top. Yum.