Troubled spring restaurants: Japan, Caucasus and Old New Holland

In difficult times, writing about restaurants is weird – eh, what kind of restaurants, when … On the other hand, “people meet, people fall in love, they get married” – and no one cancels weddings, birthdays and bargains. And generally they still eat in the city. And restaurants employ a lot of people who try to maintain – for themselves and their guests – a regularity. And hope for better times.

Whatever one says, life goes on with the belated heat, the increased prices for… almost everything, with empty niches on supermarket shelves, covered with “expected goods” signs and even popular delivery. But the usual precursors of summer – road repairs and paving – are also with us. Like the old new terraces in old and new restaurants, where visitors – and with the staff – greedily expose their pale faces to the sun, indifferent to politics. In general, everything is almost the same as always – new old seasonal menus with floating scent, rare molds and asparagus, new and old restaurant names and faces – and discoveries, discoveries, discoveries. Even without the previous noise and passion.

How did the menus change, who came or who left, what new places appeared in the winter city, what was it (in the spring), what will it be (in the summer) and what will calm the stomach? Here is a small and “random” selection of news and restaurant trends.

Kiku Izakaya – a little Japanese on Little Mall

“Halfway from Babylon to the Corner” – this is the milestone for the new Japanese island under the Russian protectorate in Maly Prospekt PS And yes, the “Japanese” and the “small” in this case are not figure of speech and is not underestimated, although the Russian Antonina Smirnova directs the kitchen here, but she studied with the famous Munechik Ban of Megumi, who considered her his best student.

© Photo by IA Rosbalt

The tiny restaurant looks more like a small elegant bar with an open kitchen and expensive “natural” interiors – wood, stone, wood fireplace – and is perhaps too sophisticated for the designer’s izakaya drink and snack form. Ksenia Smirnova was inspired by. About the chrysanthemum (this is how “kiku” translates) is reminiscent of an inflorescence of dozens of pendant lamps made of white frosted glass.

© Photo by IA Rosbalt

The food is “yours and ours” to enjoy: afternoon miso soup, hearty ebi ramen in fish broth or yakiudon chicken you can enjoy during the day. In general, everything is the same as in expensive Japanese restaurants – with an emphasis on fresh seafood – and the “fresh” in this case is not so much the freshness as the quality. It is impressive, but so are the prices. Many places are accompanied by sauces by the chef, in addition to the sea, there are several dishes with meat and poultry – wagyu beef tataki, duck breast with yuzu and black mushroom sauce. The dessert menu can be called Japan meets Europe: miso creme brulee and yuzu panna cotta are a perfect example of a successful blend of traditions.

© Photo by IA Rosbalt

Bar – Japanese sake, whiskey and beer, as well as signature cocktails by Ilya Netsvetaev (COCOCO team, Four Seasons Moscow, BURO TSUM). There are few “sorrows” – high prices and a complex entrance through a glass cube, in which you will not immediately see the door. But Japanese lovers will love this place: the local cuisine is authentic and unlike any other in the city.

Askaneli – “Caucasus” in Solnechny

A new large Georgian restaurant at human prices in Solnechny, and even on the eve of the summer season, is exactly what the doctor prescribed in a St. Petersburg that is tired of the current events. The restaurant is easy to find, has a large car park and is within walking distance of the beach. Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either, Looks like BT aint for me either, Looks like BT aint for me either.

© Photo by IA Rosbalt

Moreover, despite the size of the main hall, its interior with selected authentic details from Georgia – antique sideboards and carpets, tables and mirrors – does not look like a “station”. For “occasional” parties there is an elegant room at the back for 25 people. Add a scene for Georgian artists here and the picture will be complete.

Thanks to the open kitchen, you are immediately intoxicated with the wonderful aromas of Georgian dishes and spices. Why it exists: every gourmet knows full well that a good restaurant always starts with smells – and a bad one ends immediately with them. The aromas of the contents of the dish correspond perfectly. It’s delicious here – and no restaurant critic will hold back. What kind of Georgian “umami” is mixed in khachapuri, khinkali and shkmeruli is unknown to you, but they put you in easily and immediately.

© Photo by IA Rosbalt

Umami is not the only Asian association that comes to mind. Renowned chef Maxim Galishnikov not only traveled extensively in various parts of Georgia, but was also the head of the SUPRA Georgian restaurant chain in Vladivostok. In the author’s kitchen, the Georgia textbook coexists with seafood and Asian versions of well-known dishes. Hinkali with crab or scallop, khachapuri with seafood or chakhokhbili with shrimp will not only surprise you, but also make you come back here.

Drinks; Let us just remember the name and clarify that among the founders of the restaurant is the winemaker and restaurateur Gocha Chkhaidze (Askaneli Wine House, Tarkhun restaurant). So – Askaneli wines and Georgian spirits in stock.

© Photo by IA Rosbalt

Defects? Friendly, but homely, effortless and slightly reluctant service, so state your order clearly and do not hesitate to repeat. However, among the “parents” of the restaurant are a couple of restaurants Svetlana Guz and Artem Gudchenko (Eclipse), who will surely solve this problem.

Cococouture: old hits in New Holland

I do not want to repeat the trivial “there would be no happiness, but misfortune helped”, but just in difficult times we owe the return to the brilliant Cococouture of many successes of old Cococo. But how many spears were broken and tears shed in an attempt to convince the invincible Igor Grishechkin of the vital need for Kasha to return to us from the ax, and the piggy bank, and of course, “mom’s favorite flower.” And also – the opportunity to order not only unique seasonal sets, which have long been transformed into a real theater with special utensils, a unique presentation and a fun entertainer of educated waiters, but also individual favorite dishes a la carte.

© Photo by IA Rosbalt

It can not be said that Grishechkin, one of the best chefs in the world of new Russian cuisine, is happy with such a turn of events and a change of idea, but he, like no one else, understands the need for a visitor who is concerned about what happens to find his inner gastronomic emigration, which can bring the comfort of familiar and favorite dishes.

No, the chef has not abandoned his luxurious sets – the menu still contains long and short sets, where you can enjoy beef tartare with bone marrow and sturgeon caviar, foie gras ice cream and a la Stroganov beef with lightly salted pineapple – no it’s worth listing everything to avoid invading my front door.

© Photo by IA Rosbalt

But on the other hand, the fish stuffed wafer rolls are with us again – now instead of spinach pate they have forshmak mackerel (Igor would not be Grishechkin if he was not constantly perfecting the perfect) – and porridge with a melting ax, and of course, favorite desserts, including – in addition to the successes already mentioned – and Tula gingerbread, and the wonderful “Anna Pavlova” on a magic plate.

Defects? At Cococouture ?! Have you been there at all?

Tamara Ivanova-Isaeva

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