Five restaurant recommendations in Moscow as FIFA World Cup fever hits Russia
With the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicking off this month in Moscow, it’s fair to assume that a few conveniently timed business meetings have been placed on the itinerary. Whether you’re in town for the football, or really are just flying in for business, here are some classic dining options to try in Russia’s capital city.
Housed on the second floor of the historic National Hotel, Beluga opened at the beginning of 2017, replacing the former Italian restaurant. Moscow isn’t short of places serving caviar, but this has the most extensive menu of caviar in the city, as well as Russian and international-style dishes.
The design by Anastasia Panibratova “was inspired by the Swan Princess from the fairy tale of Tsar Saltan, depicted on the canvas of Mikhail Vrubel”. It’s a beautiful space. The bar counter is in the shape of a giant crystal caviar dish, which is a lovely touch, and there are bespoke chandeliers of Lalique crystal. At one end, in front of an antique mirror, is a clever art piece depicting Russian models in kokoshniks (traditional Russian headdresses) taking selfies. It was created by an artistic duo known as the Recycle Group, who examine contemporary culture through a “quasi-archaeological lens”.
Try the caviar, and maybe Sosva herring and anchovy mousse (650 rubles/US$10), followed by a main course of salt-baked sturgeon with Abkhaz lemons and thyme (1,600 rubles/US$26) or stewed lamb tongues with bulgur (920 rubles/US$15).
Open 12pm-12am; Hotel National Moscow, 2nd floor, 15/1 Mokhovaya str. bld. 1, Moscow, 125009; tel +7 (495) 901 0336; national.ru/restaurant-beluga
If you are travelling with your family, or just want a more relaxing environment but with excellent food, Seven is the place. The restaurant’s menu has been designed for families; it combines dishes of Russian, European and Asian cuisine in a friendly format meaning even the fussiest children will be happy, while their parents can enjoy delicious cuisine. Sample dishes include chicken breast with “Romano” on the grill and homemade mayo (490 rubles/US$8), and half a Rostov duck with Hoisin sauce (890 rubles/US$). The two floors of the restaurant have been designed by architectural studio DBA-group, with wood, concrete, blackened metal parts, glass pendants and lots of greenery.
Open breakfast weekdays 8am-2pm, weekends 10am4pm; main service 11am-11pm; Dmitrovskiy Ln, 7, Moscow 125009; tel +7 (495) 205 0277; sevenrest.ru
Situated in the Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow, Café Kranzler is named after the legendary Berlin coffee house (once operated by Kempinski). Despite being refurbished last year, the venue’s modernity has been successfully disguised with styling reminiscent of its famous 19th-century namesake. You can enjoy sophisticated
European cuisine here such as Vienna schnitzel (2,200 rubles/US$35) and beef stroganoff (2,000 rubles/US$32) of course, but also Russian favourites such as a three-deck caviar starter – served with three different Beluga vodkas (prices vary) and orecchiette pasta with Kamchatka crab, lemon and red caviar (1,600 rubles/US$26). A dessert of Russian blinis with berries, sweetened sour cream and vanilla ice cream (700 rubles/US$11) will provide the calories.
Open 10.30am-3am; Hotel Baltschug Kempiski, Ul Balchug 1, Moscow 115035; tel +7 (499) 503 0043; kempinski.com
Georgian cuisine has a very special reputation in Russia, and new restaurant Kazbek champions this with a mother-and-son team from Tblisi running the kitchen. Located on the third and fourth floor of an old factory building – a space that was a nightclub until recently
– the design of the two-storey restaurant is a triumph. The top floor has aged ceilings, columns and plenty of greenery as well as a terrace with seating for 150 guests and views over the Moscow River and the Radisson Royal Hotel. Try khinkali kalakuri – dumplings with pork and veal (100 rubles/US$13) – as a starter. The mains might be Megrelian khachapuri – a delicious cheesy bread (590 rubles/US$75), black seaperch with dzhondzholli (980 rubles/US$125) or a chicken shashlik (690 rubles/ US$88).
Open 12pm-12am; 1905 year Street, 2, Moscow 123022; tel +7 (495) 401 7653; mykazbek.ru
Translated as “Honest Kitchen”, this is a modern Russian restaurant by chef Sergey Eroshenko. The two-storey restaurant feels like the kitchen of a country house. It’s unpretentious, with a Russian tiled stove in one corner upstairs and simple wooden tables. Chef Eroshenko has also chosen to share his love of hunting, with some of his trophies displayed on the walls. But the simple décor belies the food, which offers great subtlety and sophistication. Sample dishes include Dagestan lamb loin kebab marinated in sweet herbs (920 rubles/US$117); whole Volga sturgeon smoked in a Russian wood stove (1,450 rubles/US$185), and Siberian river fish with forshmak (herring) on rye bread (590 rubles/ US$75). Fresh ingredients, a friendly atmosphere, reasonable prices and of course “honesty in everything”. Open 12pm-12am; Sadovaya-Chernogryazskaya, 10, Moscow; tel +7 (495) 607 5090; chestnayakuhnya.ru
OPPOSITE PAGE: Seven
ABOVE: Café Kranzler
FROM TOP: Kazbek; and Chestnaya Kuhnya