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Russian dining at Moscow’s Matryoshka restaurant

In the shadow of Moscow’s landmark Radisson Royal Hotel, and right in the heart of historic and business district of the city, lies the two-storey Matryoshka restaurant by Maison Dellos. It opened its doors in February 2017 under the supervision of Vlad Piskunov – an author of various cookbooks and presenter of a number of culinary shows on TV, as well as the man behind the historical and gastronomical “Moscow Dinners” project. The interior design of the restaurant design is inspired by the 1920s, the era of so-called “industrial palaces” that were once popular in London and New York. The interior of the “Matryoshka” harmoniously combines modern fashion trends, elements of antiquity and industrial motifs such as custom-made cast-iron stairs and handrails, lamps and aged tiles, and an antique fireplace and boiserie. There are also large panoramic windows with views of the Moskva River and an open kitchen. The bar has been reclaimed from a French pharmacy and is headed by Denis Kryazhev, the chef mixologist of Maison Dellos – one of the best mixologists in Russia, and winner of Diageo Reserve World Class 2012 and Bartender of the Year 2013 according to the GQ magazine. The wine list includes about two hundred items with the main focus on the older wines from the northern regions and, of course, a great selection of Russian wines. The menu is centred around the best products from different parts of Russia, such as white salmon from Yakutia, Zander from Volga River, salmon from Murmansk, black nut from the Caucasus, cloudberries from Arkhangelsk, Altai honey and so on. The emphasis is on food from the 19th and 20th centuries – local Russian produce and traditional Russian cuisine, whilst at the same time, with a contemporary touch making it sill relevant today. The dumplings – something I hadn’t previously associated with Russian cuisine – were a real highlight for me. Pictured are pork dumplings and scallop dumplings; the latter, stuffed with Sakhalin scallops, sea kale and oyster sauce, were particularly good. Lard (salo) with onion, brown bread and mustard was also on offer. I tried it again but still need some convincing with this one! For my main I had the ‘lamb rack with porridge’ – rack of lamb ‘with buckwheat porridge, roots and soaked-baked apples’, with the sweetness of the apples complementing the dish well. I forewent dessert, but the menu included temptations such as igingerbread with berries and curd cheese’ and ‘apple-almond cake with ice cream’.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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    1. Yes, they were particularly good, Ryan. I’d always previously associated dumplings with Asia (apart from the ones we get in stews in the UK which are totally different). I hadn’t realised it was a Russian thing, also.

  1. The architecture of the building is just stunning. The decor of the inside really does the building a lot of justice too. The dumplings look delicious I have never had scallop dumpling but now I need to. I am a huge fan of lamb and this one looks yummy. Even the sides accompanying the meal like buck meal porridge with the lamb sound so good.

    1. Hi Melissa… thanks for dropping by. Note that the first picture is just of the vicinity, and that building is a nearby hotel that towers over the restaurant. Nevertheless, the interior is still beautifully done. And yes, those dumplings were delicious! :-)

  2. This restaurant is just so stylish. There’s a touch of Art Deco Design with some of the glamour of the great ocean going liners of the 1920s. I love that era, it had a romance that seems to have fallen by the wayside. And the exquisite presentation of the food is very appropriate for the sophisticated surroundings. I guess there was some top-notch vodka around too?

  3. Generally the ingredients are quite run-of-the-mill, nothing particularly exotic here, but the presentation is exquisite. A think I could learn some lessons here about how I dish up my food.

  4. Travelling in Moscow can be hungry work especially in chilly weather. Is the restaurant open for lunch? If so is there a separate lunch menu? Would I have to book at lunchtime?

    1. Yes, it is open for lunch. We were there for lunch, in fact, and it wasn’t too busy. Whether it would be different in high season, I’m not sure, but I would think that usually you probably wouldn’t need to book ahead. I am not sure if the menu we were given is the same for evenings also… I’ll try to reach out to the restaurant to see if they can help on this one. Thanks for dropping by and hope you make it there some day!

    2. Hello Fred! Greetings from Matryoshka Restaurant!
      Thank you for your interest! Look forward to welcoming you!

      The restaurant is open from 8am till midnight. We have a separate breakfast menu and offer up to 50% off the main menu at lunch time from Monday to Friday (from 12pm till 5pm) – Monday – 50%, Tuesday – 40%, Wednesday – 30%, Thursday – 20%, Friday – 10%.

      You can learn more about our special offers and menu, as well as book a table on our website.

      Please let me know if I can be of any help.
      Have a wonderful trip to Moscow!

  5. I like breakfast and I love brunch. I’ve brunched all over the world. I’m a big fan of brunch – too big if truth be told! Does the restaurant do brunch?

    1. Hello Will! For some reason brunches are not very popular in Moscow, so not a lot of restaurants offer them. But breakfasts are extremely delicious here at Matryoshka! From 8am till 12pm week days, 8am till 2pm weekends. We have four breakfast sets, but you can also pick and choose from the breakfast menu. Check it out on our website.
      By the way, we offer 30%off on bubbles during the breakfast time ;)
      Look forward to welcoming you!

  6. I wouldn’t have passed up on dessert! And I would have loved to see some sort of gourmet take on my favorite Blini or Pastila. The place is so Old World, it feels like you’ve been transported to the past. Also, the whole vibe is very speakeasy.

  7. I have been to the Matryoshka Restaurant before. An amazing place. The dishes were also amazing. Well done getting great shots of the establishment and some of their dishes.

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