Pelman Cafe, Moscow 06-2013

I walked toward Gorky Park in search of a particular food place. It was supposed to be near the intersection of Krimsky Val and Leninsky Ave but sadly after 30mins of walking up and down I couldn't find it (nor can I remember the name of it). Luckily I had a backup in mind (honestly I was going to eat there anyway) in Pelman Cafe within Gorky Park itself.

Pelman Cafe served handmade dumplings. In the end I didn't know what I was ordering, and a older Russian lady who spoke English ended up suggesting a standard savoury and an after sweet option. They were quite nice and eating outside made the experience more pleasurable.

Gorky Park has a large decorative entrance, water fountain displays and lots of paths to walk. On a beautiful sunny day, it was an excellent change from the industrial and hectic streets of inner Moscow. There are also a few stands that sell some kind of icecream (the young female serving had no patience to tell me anything about it - ie. generally rude as hell).

Cafe Belaya Rus, Moscow 06-2013

After a very busy morning marvelling at the incredible Kremlin, I went in search of this cafe known to serve Belarusian cuisine. The setting and decor seems quite traditional with some decorations similar to those in Moscow's famed train stations. Considering the close proximity to the tourist sites, I was surprised there weren't more in here. It's nice having some time and space to yourself and only overhearing local languages.

- Salata Belavezhskaja Pushcha (slices of boiled tongue, fresh cucumber, hazelnuts, corn, egg)
- Torby Paleshuka (pork fillet stuffed mushrooms, onion and cheese, with marinated cabbage)

Traktir, Vladimir 06-2013

The first stop along the route of the Golden Ring is Vladimir for the very impressive Assumption Cathedral. For reasons unknown to me, it was actually closed but the outside veneer stunning nonetheless.

Walking away from here toward the bus stop to continue onwards, I had one food stop listed and that was Traktir. If my memory serves me correctly, there were two places identically named across the road from each other. After going into one, my lack of Russian skills meant they wouldn't seat nor serve me. A tour guide nearby spoke French and she was useless and refused to help me too. In the end I went across the road to the other one where I was seated and served by a really excellent young man. Even though my food took a while to come, he explained (as best he could), apologised and was well deserving of the tip I gave him.

- Vladimir entree (chicken fillet on skewers with a sauce made of sour cream, mayonnaise, white wine and saffron with fresh cucumber, tomatoes, onions)
- Salad At The Golden Gates (lettuce, fried salmon, caviar, cherry tomatoes, black olives, bell pepper, fresh cucumber, onion)

The food was ok but the service was great. I'm not sure what other choices there are in town but this seems a decent option.

O2 Lounge @ Ritz-Carlton, Moscow 06-2013

The best views of the sunset, Red Square and the impressive walls of the Kremlin are seen from the rooftop O2 Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton.

In my best holiday bum gear, I was allowed up the stairs to join the tourists and rich locals enjoying the views amongst cocktails, bar snacks and a ferrari that happened to be stationed up there (no idea how it got there...)

The atmosphere was enhanced by two young drunken trashy Russian girls who were loud and gave me an alluring finger to join them. I smiled and politely declined. Soon after they were joined by 3 men who I'm sure would only be so happy to pay for all of their indulgences throughout the evening.

Cafe Pushkin, Moscow 06-2013

One of the most mentioned restaurants in Moscow is Pushkin. The reputation is of an extremely ornate interior, high food prices, possibly the attraction of tourists and only a select group of locals. The prices aren't actually all that much compared to typical Australia ($10 entree, $20-25 mains are quite cheap given the setting) so I wasn't too fussed.

I had read about the mushroom pelmeni, but thought I'd try something more unique to the restaurant. The French-Russian cuisine wouldn't be on my food trip anywhere else. The dishes were well presented and nicely cooked. I think the flavours were fine but nothing that made the meal more memorable than other places in Russia. I suppose I preferred the things more simple and homely during that trip.

- Trout stuffed with vegetable mousse, crayfish, mushrooms and asparagus garnish;
- Cafe Pushkin dessert - a dome of chocolate and sliced almonds with an ice-cream and sponge.

Apparently I was seated in the Pharmacy, and there is a whole differently decorated section called the Library (which looks even more spectacular and has the same menu with higher prices). I suppose I would go again to enjoy that atmosphere, although the prices between my experience and now seem to have gone up by 20% and the Library menu is another 10-20% more than that. I'll have to consider...

Volkonskiy Bakery, Moscow 06-2013

A well known bakery chain with multiple locations around Moscow ( The black currant pastry was something I read in a post that gave me some good ideas for Moscow eating ( Luckily for me one of the branches was right around the corner from my cosy accommodation Apple Hostel.

It gave me a good place to find my morning breakfast before the short walk to Red Square.