Teremok, Moscow 06-2019

On the first day wandering through 32C Moscow, Teremok was a cheap easy meal enroute to the Kremlin. Easy turned out to be not so easy as we discovered the underground tunnels and shopping areas to find it. But time wasn't of the essence, so it was ok.

Seredipidity that Teremok was my last Moscow meal in 2013 (http://eatlikeushi.posthaven.com/teremok-moscow-06-2013) and first (well ok, second) this time around.

The gelatinous crepe was thick with good texture, but the filling is nothing like the pictures. They display it as a roll full of meat. It's actually flat full of sour cream or sauce. Overall alright.

Beef pelmeni were better than vegie ones, which were just potato mash.

I think I'm done with Teremok too (unless extreme circumstances...)

Orda, Moscow 06-2019

Before the midnight train Red Arrow to St. Petersburg, we had pletny of hours to kill. Plenty. Considering the forecast was for a 30C humid and rainy day, it made sense to pay £21 for a room even though we didn't use it for the night. The station is Krasnye Vorota, and I can't imagine they see a whole lot of tourist traffic.

Nearby there was an Uzbek place (Uryuk) that interested me, but also a Buryat one which seemed a bit more unique and harder to find elsewhere. The Buryat region of Russia bordered Mongolia and it seemed like the head staff and a lot of customers were Buryat or Mongolian.

None of the staff spoke English. None of the menu was in English. My Google auto-translate struggled. We chose food based upon pictures. Even though we may not have chosen that well in the end, I wouldn't have the experience any other way.

A simple beef soup started us off. Meaty and delicious. Chewy soft pieces of beef and bits of noodles.

The meat platter comprised of some fried small dumplings which were nice, and some big ones which tasted of Australian dim sims (odd, but I'm sure the quality of ingredients was better...) with some liquid. Fish shaped fried parcels had mutton pieces with a boiling hot very fatty delicious liquid inside that congealed when it spilled on plates underneath. Lamb cutlets were boiled/braised with a slightly sweet flavour, cooked throughout (rather than the Western medium-rare) but still remained soft. A sweet tomato sauce accompanied the lot. It was all nice but a bit too similar in flavour - meat and meat.

I'd happily go back and select individual dishes rather than the platter (would be cheaper overall too I think).

Cafe Pushkin, Moscow 06-2019

Our Airbnb was just off Tverskaya street and only a few minutes walk from Pushkin. After my last reasonable experience there in 2013 (http://eatlikeushi.posthaven.com/cafe-pushkin-moscow-06-2013) I was quite keen for my fellow travellers to see the place. Unfortunately the experience was not to be.

The setting is nice but only really unique in the library. They are selective about who to let in there and when they denied us the library because of my friend's shoes, instead of explaining what the issue was so he could walk back to the flat in 3mins and change, they said "it's our rules, you can stay if you want" (in the downstairs standard area). Waiter paid us minimal attention. When going up the library to look around (as they said we were allowed), staff eyes followed us as we didn't belong.

- Dessert Elene 500rub - I liked this white chocolate cup of pieces of cold cubed mango;
- Lemon pie 540rub - quite tart and bitter like there was a lot of rind. I actually liked it although my fellows less so;
- Dessert Cafe Pushkin 960rub - a chocolate covered layer dessert with pistachios down the bottom.

Dessert expensive and average overall. It was fine but not worth paying and going for given the attitudes of the staff.

Such a haughty place considering the staff aren't high class themselves (even if they were, that wouldn't excuse it).

Service not included he said. Service definitely not warranted.

Khinkal'naya, Moscow 06-2019

After a Moscow free walking tour, we were looking for somewhere to eat before going to the Armoury of the Kremlin (which I don't think is worth it to be honest). Nonetheless my offline maps directed me to a closeby central Georgian restaurant which was a little tucked away and in an underground cavern. Interestingly for such a central place, the prices were remarkably reasonable.

- Kharcho 300g 350rub - beef soup, slightly spicy, warming tomato;
- Chanakhi mutton (lamb baked with vegetables in a pot) 300g 500rub - tender mutton in a hot little pot;
- Khinkali 55rub each - smaller, quite average and not nearly having the depth of flavour of those from Khachapuri (http://eatlikeushi.posthaven.com/khachapuri-moscow-06-2019).

Overall it was ok and convenient, but I wouldn't seek it out.

Lepim I Varim, Moscow 06-2019

This little dumplings place was nice for a cheap and fast meal.

- White bull black ear (black-white dough with cuttelfish ink, black angus marble beef) 340rub for 10 - strong flavour of beef;
- Of course, Uasya! (yellow dough with turmeric, lamb, cilantro) 290rub for 10 - strong flavour of lamb;
- Famous shrimp (black dough with cuttlefish ink, prawns, chicken) 390rub for 10 - strong flavour of prawn and chicken.

The dumplings had soft coatings and essentially they tasted of the base ingredient. The Sour cream with pepper sauce 50rub was a very mild chilli sauce with a good garlic touch. Probably should have gone for the Flame sauce instead.

Not the best, definitely not the worst, but one of the cheapest.

Depo Moscow and Batman & Uzbeks, Moscow 06-2019

I read about this food hall in the Aeroflot plane magazine and I'm glad I did. Otherwise I would have had no idea it existed. It's a large venue with food stalls all over the place and minimal English to be found. Luckily after strolling through the entire place, I came across a map that directed me to the Uzbek stall I was interested in and past many others too. The Azeri place was closed for some reason, but no matter, there were plenty of choices.

Batman & Uzbeks was a revelation. I have never tried this cuisine before. The samsas were outstanding pie-type pastry and some of the most delicious I have ever had. Chicken 100rub was not hot and average. But the beef 100rub and lamb 130rub both flavoursome, with the beef probably better to my surprise. Pilaf soft lamb (200g 280rub) but not much meat in my serve. It was quite sweet with onions and maybe fruit, and a mild flavour savoury. Still good overall. I didn't realise until now that this was created by the Chaihona #1 group - had I known I would have made more effort to eat at the restaurant.

I didn't expect to have Vietnamese food in Russia, but the staff were clearly Vietnamese and the prices are the cheapest we've seen (outside of Vietnam I suppose). Single nem but definitely not what nem is, but the flavour was ok. The noodle dish was served with decent nuoc mam, lots of chewy noodles, a flattened grate of charred meat that was quite good. Giant pots of noodle broth simmered in the background. Unfortunately the watered down mango drink was quite bad.

LavkaLavka, Moscow 06-2019

The most expensive meal of the trip was at a nice looking cafe type that served Russian cuisine. They like to source local ingredients and impressively pay credit to them throughout the menu. The English-speaking staff were pleasant.

I had my first taste of honey wine/beer, which was quite sweet, very nice, and not beer-ish at all (great for me).

- Borsch (with beef from Ksenia Petukhova with green onion & sour cream) 650rub - sweet with soft beef;
- Haunch of Deer (with red & black ashberry) 1050rub - I ordered rare and it was served largely medium or more. I didn't really feel like complaining, but was overcooked for my liking. Strangely also my friend ordered the same and received a bigger piece that was more medium-rare. Moderate game flavour. Ok overall. Probably should have sent it back...;
- Zander steak from 'LavkaLavka' fisherman (with chatney from vegetables) - excellent fish like cod. Good strong flaking texture held well.

There were oddly no sides or salads to pick and the mains didn't come with much either.

Dessert was a traditional 8-layer honey cake, two sorbets of blackberry and beetroot (great) and a strange herby sorrel on a fennel crumb.

The food was ok overall. For the price, I much prefer the simpler foods of Georgian. Modern Russian isn't really my thing.

Khachapuri, Moscow 06-2019

The first night of arrival into Moscow was quite late after a long commute from London. I couldn't wait to have Georgian food since my venture in St. Petersburg many years ago (http://eatlikeushi.posthaven.com/khochu-kharcho-st-petersburg-06-2013). Luck would have it that the Airbnb would have a Georgian restaurant just down the quiet road.

The downstairs has a pleasant atmosphere complete with an ATM and a piano guy. The upstairs is brighter and more open. One waiter spoke reasonable English but all the staff were pleasant enough.

- Spinach pkhali 330rub - a cold ball of spinach, nuts, garlic, herbs. Takes a bit to get used to but not my cup of tea in the end;
- Classic Adjarian khachapuri (topped with raw egg regular) 320rub - bread like Turkish pide rather than the circular pizza style I've had previously. Really delicious bread, lightly salted cheese and egg runny but not completely raw;
- Khinkali - large dumplings with potato and cheese 70rub each (smooth mash, quite plain, average), mushroom 90rub each (strong mushroom with herbs, excellent), salmon 99rub each (soft salmon with herbs, more shrunken). Served with no sauces. Thick handles to pick them up and a bit undercooked inside.

A great meal to start off the trip. The kharcho or hot dishes would be on the list next time.

Eliseevskiy, Moscow 06-2013

After enjoying the decor of the famous Cafe Pushkin, my attentions turned to my other food interest - the supermarket. Eliseevskiy is more of a gourmet store particularly well known for its adornments more than the food.

I spent a good while in here, taking photos, admiring the layout and also looking at the food items naturally. I didn't end up buying anything although I came closest to succumbing to the crab and lobster meat in jars.

There's also a branch in St. Petersburg (http://eatlikeushi.posthaven.com/yeliseevskiy-gastronom-st-petersburg-06-2013).