Moscow Restaurants: Krasnodar Classics at Yuzhane

Yuzhane

Yuzhane (“Southerners”) is the latest venture from seasoned butcher and meat connoisseur Tahir Kholikberdiyev. Kholikberdiyev, a Krasnodar native, utilizes the meat, fish and recipes of his home region — like the famous “Kuban meat” that Kholikberdiyev is known for — and brings it to the heart of Moscow.

This fastidious approach to provenance ensures that Yuzhane is one of the few places in the capital you can eat as if you were in the south of Russia. Meat and fish are bought from farmers then aged to perfection in fragrant spices from the Black Sea region within the restaurant’s large curing chambers. But the spectacle really begins at the open grills, where chefs prepare dishes to the delight of hungry diners.

A warning: it’s not for the faint-hearted. Yuzhane promotes the concept of eating “snout to tail” — which for Kholikberdiyev means never opting for appearance over taste. Ears, tails, ribs, shank, tongues, brains, necks, groins, hearts and liver — the kitchen doesn’t shy away from the more grisly parts of the animal. This lends the menu to certain notable dishes: lambs tongues with tomatoes and basil (550 rubles) “kovbyk” — thinly sliced pig stomach with offal, served with two pieces of classic Krasnodar bacon — (300 rubles) and a hamburger made from a large rodent called coypu (490 rubles.) Those looking for something more classic should opt for one the steaks which are tender, flavorful and perfectly prepared (from 690 rubles).

Meat may appear to be the staple of the Yuzhane menu, but you’d be foolish to overlook the less carnivorous options. The marinated grapes, plums, sauerkraut, pickled tomatoes and salted cucumbers offer an addictive crunch (100 rubles each) while the salads are fresh and inviting. And the fish could rival any of the steaks. Classics from the Krasnodar region include the baked mullet with vegetables (650 rubles) and the Black Sea turbot (1200 rubles).

The interior is unfussy, yet stylish. Yuzhane has shrugged at ostentation in favor of heavy wooden tables and warm contemporary light fixtures that offset the industrial walls.

Gourmands on the hunt for an authentic southern Russian meal in the center of Moscow need look no further.

+7 (495) 926 1640

facebook.com/yuzhanemsk

10 Prospekt Akademika Sakharova

Metro Krasniye Vorota, Turgenevskaya

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