Wednesday 4 December 2013

Restaurant April Cafe, Bolshaya Spasskaya, Moscow

Images from April Cafe's web site
Tucked away in a residential area with large apartment buildings, April Cafe can be hard to locate. In an unlikely spot, near Moscow's inner ring road, is a carefully and expensively designed restaurant. The eclectic interior mixes timber, glass, plastic, huge prints and even fake grass to create a slightly surreal ambiance. In December, the red fairy lights and a wildlife documentary, playing on the big screen, accentuate April Cafe's eccentricity. The menus offer a broad selection of dishes, covering both international and Russian cuisine. As well as the price, each dish is annotated with two or three mysterious numbers, which may signal the weight of the key ingredients. Although it can take a long time to arrive, the decent food is precisely and attractively presented. To start, the herrings (210 roubles), served with hot boiled potatoes and spring onion, are very fresh and have zing. The lamb stew (590 roubles as a main course) isn't as good, however. Firstly, it doesn't look like a stew - it comes as pellets of lamb and vegetables, coated in sauce, neatly arranged on a plate. Secondly, the meat can be bit tough in places.  For desert, the mixed chocolate desert (270 roubles) will be a real hit with cocoa lovers. Although far from perfect, the April Cafe is good value for Moscow. 7/10