Moscow Restaurants: Playful Pan-Asian at Mahjong

Mahjong

Mahjong may only be a 10-minute walk from the Kievskaya metro station, but when you enter the snug little eatery you could easily fancy yourself thousands of miles away. Situated in one of the city’s most prestigious neighborhoods on Kutuzovsky Prospekt, Mahjong offers a journey through the Orient from the comfort of your dining table.

The restaurant is the latest project of Kirill Gusev, the illustrious restaurateur who went from high-profile and opulent establishments like the now-defunct Zolotoi (Golden) and Entrecote at Hotel Metropol, to more low-key cafes, like Biggie and Zhizn Pi (Life of Pie). The same approach to quality but in a relaxed setting characterizes his latest venture.

A pan-Asian restaurant, Mahjong is named after the eponymous board game popular across Asia. Just as the tiles of the game are jumbled together, so are the six cuisines on the menu.

On entry to the restaurant try not to stumble over the painting of a waterfall on the floor. The visual illusion supposedly has a 3D effect if you look at it through your smartphone camera, giving the impression you’re standing over an abyss on a hanging bridge. The rest of the interior is rather more subdued, with some street art on the walls and tables that imitate a traditional Mahjong board.

Start with impeccably executed Vietnamese nem rice paper spring rolls with duck (450 rubles), shrimp (550 rubles) or Japanese salmon tataki (seared and marinated fish) served with cold green noodles (450 rubles). Adventurous types should opt for the well-balanced hot and sour soup (350 rubles).

Choose murghi masala for your main dish tender chicken in a tomato-based curry masala sauce, served with rice (450 rubles). Vegetarians won’t be disappointed with the vibrant palak panir spinach with fried panir cheese (450 rubles).

There are some interesting desserts too, like the exotic mango coconut mousse (450 rubles), best paired with a pot of steaming masala chai (400 rubles). If you really want to embrace the experience order a traditional tea ceremony (550 rubles) and enjoy three varieties of tea from different regions of Asia.

+7 (985) 588 5500

facebook.com/mahjongrest

17 Kutuzovsky Prospekt, Metro Kievskaya

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