It was past lunch hour when we reached Moscow by train and we headed to a pedestrian street near Ritz-Carlton Hotel Moscow (located at near Red Square), where we stayed 3 nights at! We were spoilt for choice as there were many restaurants and cafés enticing us. We settled for the Vogue Café eventually, just because of its restaurant name. Though it’s a café by name, the pricing was that of a top-tier restaurant.
p.s.: prices are based on estimated exchange rate of S$1 = 25 Roubles.
Classy interior with mismatch frames on not one, but two rows of shelves.
Evidence for you – there were shelves of countless issues of Vogue magazines all around the restaurant!
Fragrant, warm bread with generous topping of sesame seeds!
Green Asparagus Salad w Avocado Puree & Poached Egg (600rb/$24) – Vegetarians will be pleased with a salad like this one! Greens with avocado puree was a first for me but a pleasant one as the buttery texture and sweetness of avocados covered the bitterness of rocket leaves. Poached eggs with asparaguses has always been a winning combination for me too.
Black Cod Baked in Bamboo Leaf (1700rb/$68) – This dish made me suspect that the chef had some Asian roots in him/her as the strong influence in Chinese cooking was obvious. The side of stir-fried vegetables and carrots had strong tastes of oyster and sesame sauces, which had complemented the bamboo-leaf-infused grilled cod beautifully. This was a stellar dish if I may say so. The cod couldn’t get any fresher and even though it was chunky, it was well-cooked right to the centre of the fish while the bamboo leaf provided an unexpected organic flavour to it.
Roasted Quail w Asparagus & Mushroom Sauce (850rb/$34) – I don’t take quails but this was said to be one of the best quail dish ever!
Duck Leg Confit, Buckwheat & Mushrooms (950rb/$38) – Not the usual fried duck confit with mashed potatoes, this was an Asian rendition with braised duck leg and buckwheat, which tasted exactly like barley. Interesting, but I still prefer the traditional duck confit.
To the desserts table (nope, I wish it was a dessert buffet too)!
Fresh fruits in portions.
Oh my macarons!
Forest Berries Tart (1500rb/$60) – Yes, it’s not a typo, this slice of tart really did cost S$60. Most expensive tart in my entire life but nowhere can I get this anywhere else.These strawberries were wild forest strawberries, considered to be exotic. If you are doubting how different they would taste from the usual strawberries, I would say that flavour-wise they are similar (I mean they are the same fruits) though there’s this indescribable “wild” taste to them. However, what really drew them apart was the texture and size. The size of these forest strawberries were that of blueberries, hence they did not contain a lot of juices, yet were still sweet. On texture, they were firm and compact within – similar to gooseberries – with a rough exterior. The cream and crust were light and toned down. I guess there’s always a price to pay for curiosity?
Prune Tart – Well-balanced flavours of tartness and sweetness. The texture of the tart was akin to those of financiers, yum!
Blueberry Cheesecake (350rb/$14) – Light and fluffy, the cheese cream mousse was delicious!
Tarte Tartin (French Apple Pie) – One teaspoon of this tasted like 10 tablespoons of sugar. Worst dessert ever, period.
Macarons – Pretty decent.
Green Apple & Mint Lemonade – I can’t stop raving about their summer drinks in Russia! This was so rejuvenating on a sunny day!
Vogue Café was top-notch in terms of food and ambience but the major downfall was its service standard. It would have been alright if there was negligible service across the board, but what irked me so much was the difference in service attitudes provided for Caucasians/Russians and us, Asian-Chinese. Though there is so much more I wish to express with regards to this issue, I doubt this is a good platform to do so (or check out what others have to say on TripAdvisor). This problem was not encountered in St. Petersburg though. To my readers, I hope to raise this as a precaution. Nonetheless, there are still restaurants which had trained their staff professionally, which I will be sharing more in due time. If you’re lucky, Vogue Café will be worth the time!
Kuznetsky 9, Moscow 103031
Metro: Kuznetsky Most.