Heading a new wave of Russian chefs that is embracing the vast country’s amazing natural produce, chef Vladimir Mukhin claims to have borscht running in his veins. The famous beetroot soup certainly flows at his Alice in Wonderland-themed restaurant on the 16th floor of the Smolensky Passage building. The Russian staple is given a modern makeover, served with beans, fried crucian (carp), sour cream and turnip chips. The dish is emblematic of Mukhin’s philosophy of re-imagining Russian cuisine using contemporary techniques and international ingredients.
The wide-ranging menu blends traditional Russian produce – from borodinsky black bread to barrel cucumbers – with luxury ingredients such as caviar, truffle and foie gras. Highlights include buckwheat porridge served with fried duck hearts and reindeer moss sauce; rabbit and mini cabbage rolls in foie gras sauce with potato crisps and truffle juice; and a playful take on veal tongue, which is cooked in the shape of famous Russian ‘Lakomka’ ice cream in a bird cherry dough and served with morel sauce.
The dining room could itself have been taken from a Lewis Carroll fairy tale with quirky paintings of rabbits and rococo furniture. However, it’s hard to tear your eyes away from the stunning 360-degree views of the historic center of Moscow.