Russian Service

Russian Dolls

Published on October 13, 2016

Russian Service is a form of Silver Service.  The history and concept of this specific type of service is fascinating with order and precision being the focus.  It is an art form and one which must be thoroughly practiced to reach perfection!

So what is Russian service and does it originate from Russia as the name might suggest?  

What is Russian Silver Service?

Service à la russe (French, “service in the Russian style”) is a manner of dining that involves courses being brought to the table sequentially. It contrasts with service à la française (“service in the French style” aka French Silver Service), in which all the food is brought out at once in an impressive display.


Russian Service is the style in which most modern Western restaurants serve food nowadays. Click To Tweet

The Russian Ambassador Alexander Kurakin is credited with bringing service à la russe to France in the early 19th century, and it later caught on in England



Example of Eight Course Meal Served via Russian Service

  • First course: a selection of hot or cold hors d’oeuvres, often includes caviar
  • Second course: a variety of salads (not garden salad, see photos below)
  • Third course: soup
  • Fourth course: fish
  • Fifth course: sorbet as a palate cleanser
  • Sixth course: light green salad
  • Seventh course: main course with one or more side dishes
  • Eighth course: a selection of desserts with hot tea or coffee

Key Features of Russian Service

  1. Typically Russian service is seen in high end restaurants and 5* hotels.
  2. Silver platters hold the food displayed in an attractive way, prepared in the kitchen, and the server serves from the left side.  
  3. Unlike French Service, this service is usually one server and is faster.
  4. It does not require special equipment and it is a budget-friendly way for staff to serve guests.
  5. Russian service requires less service space.  
  6. The table setting is similar to the setting of French Service, but less informal and more flexible.  
  7. In a private home setting, Russian service is slightly different. The meat or fish is placed on the plates prior to coming into the dining room, the principal is then presented with dishes of vegetable and he will serve the person to his right and then his left and then himself.  He will then pass the dish along the table.  When the whole table has been served the dish is then placed in the centre of the table.

Learning Russian Silver Service

The art form of silver service is taught and learnt by working in 5* establishments and other private homes and yachts which encourage this service for specific meals and events.  However if you are interested in learning the art form, you can enroll in our Silver Service training course – The Russian Service module is one of the most entertaining modules and students gain a great deal of knowledge and hands on experience during the course.  If you’d like to know more or book, just get in touch.

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