The Russian Food Revolution

Photo courtesy of White Rabbit

Once dominated by luxury imports and the opinion that overseas foods were superior, Moscow, is seeing a transformation to its dining scene, following the 2014 sanctions placed on most imported foods. Slowly but surely, Moscow is leaving behind its reputation for bleak and unimaginative cuisine, and is undergoing a renaissance of its cuisine, embracing local produce and rediscovering, and reinventing traditional Russian dishes. Many restaurants such as the world recognised White Rabbit, and the farm-to-table LavkaLavka, are celebrating the country’s locavore movement, and others such as Syrovarnya, are bringing back production processes not used since before the sanctions.

 

LavkaLavka

Moscow, Petrovka str 21/2

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(L-R) Founder  Boris Akimov, Photograph by Sergey Ponomarev; LavkaLavka Restaurant Photograph courtesy of LavkaLavka

Founded by Chef Boris Akimov, LavkaLavka honours Russian gastronomy in its full. This farmers’ cooperative sources and delivers organic fresh food which has been produced throughout some of Russia’s small farms. LavkaLavka comprises a chain of food stores alongside a restaurant embracing true farm to table philosophy. Situated just behind Kursky station, in an old gasworks known as the Arma complex, LavkaLavka restaurant is proud to celebrate various areas of Russia from which the produce is sourced, and in doing so brings these more secluded regions to the city of Moscow.  The Russian journey this restaurant takes you on is not simply limited to the produce; the dishes themselves are created to revive the lost Russian gastronomic traditions. Featuring gourmet delicacies such as Bottarga from Crimea and profiteroles made from goose liver with homemade apple jam, LavkaLavka aims to delight its customers with its innovative spin on old Russian recipes.

Syrovarnya

Moscow, Kutuzovsky ave., 12 , bldg. 1

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Photo courtesy of Syrovarnya

Specialising in the production of high quality cheeses to create stylishly executed dishes, Syrovarnya was a welcome addition to Moscow’s restaurant scene following the sanctions’ elimination of Italian cheeses. Syrovarnya (Creamery), a Novikov Group member, opened on the site of owner Arkady Novikov’s own cheese factory, within the Badayevsky Brewery complex. Producing cheeses such as burrata, ricotta and mozzarella, the restaurant has successfully reunited the Russian market with excellent cheeses, using Italian technology to master cheese production, without any use of Italy-imported products. Dishes such as the classic ricotta ravioli have been carefully crafted to bring out the full-flavour of each cheese. The restaurant is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palette, with charmingly rustic interiors which incorporate some of the old factory’s original features as well as featuring more modern sleek features.

White Rabbit

3 Smolenskaya square, 16th floor, Moscow, Russia

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Photo courtesy of White Rabbit

Situated on the 16th floor of central Moscow’s Smolensky Building, the White Rabbit is a leading restaurant both within Russia and more globally, positioned 18th in the World’s 100 Best Restaurants. Steered by Chef Vladimir Mukhin, this Alice in Wonderland themed restaurant features a menu which honours Russian cuisine and local ingredients. The passion for Russian food has forever been at the heart of Chef Mukhin’s family, from which five generations of chefs have been born. Using local ingredients such as Black Sea oysters and crabs from Kamchatka, this award-winning chef has seamlessly blended traditional Russian gastronomy with innovative, modern technologies, embodying his philosophy “Traditions are eternal, innovations are endless.” Synonymous to the unique menu, the restaurant’s setting is equally impressive, encased by a glass dome offering 360 degree views over the city.

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