An estimated 14,000 Indians currently live in Russia — most in Moscow — and an ever-increasing number of Indian tourists visit the capital every year. Consequently, while perhaps not a staple of the native Russian diet just yet, Muscovites are familiar with Indian cooking, and there is an array of restaurants available to satisfy a craving for a curry. The Moscow Times has been speaking to Indian nationals to find out their recommendations for the very best authentic Indian restaurants where you should dine at in the city.
Opened in 1995, Darbars is one of Moscow’s oldest Indian restaurants. Having undergone two changes of premises since then, the restaurant now has a new site on Prospekt Mira, just outside the Garden Ring. The dimly lit restaurant is decked out in authentic Indian style, and the whole place is permeated by a fantastic smell emanating from the kitchen. The average curry with rice will set you back around 1,000 rubles, but the beautiful aromatic flavors shouldn’t leave you worrying about the expense for long.
12 Prospekt Mira 12. Sukharevskaya Metro. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/darbars.mira/
Located in the Azimut hotel in Moscow, Jai Hind has an extensive menu with a notably large number of vegetarian selections. The restaurant itself is very spacious, large enough for occasional live music performances to entertain the diners. The price of a curry is pretty reasonable (between 400 and 900 rubles), though you will want to supplement your choice with satellite dishes of rice, dal and naan, which increases spending. The flavor, however, is almost universally praised as incredibly authentic.
18/1 Olimpiiskiy Prospekt. Metro Prospekt Mira. Website: http://jaihind.ru/en/
Okay, you got us – Gandhara is technically a Pakistani restaurant, but this place is too good to leave out! The restaurant is stylish and modern in layout, which is matched by the beautiful presentation of the food. Yet given these luxuries the prices aren’t ridiculous, with the average main meal costing around 750 rubles. The menu is very diverse, with a grill section, noodle dishes, rice dishes, and notably the authentic Pakistani “Dum Biryani” which is well worth a try. Meats are halal.
17/7 Rochdelskaya Ulitsa. Metro Ulitsa 1905 Goda. Website: http://www.gandhara.ru/en/
A quiet, cozy restaurant, Khajuraho has heavy-set wooden furniture, Hindu statuary and bright plants, creating a peaceful ambiance in which to enjoy your food. The staff are very hospitable, and although the pricing is relatively expensive (790 rubles as a base price for a hot main), this is undoubtedly a hidden gem of Indian cuisine.
14 Shmitovsky Proyezd. Metro Ulitsa 1905 Goda. Website: http://khajuraho.ru/
A lunch option for Indian lovers on a budget, Devi Café offers a business lunch until 4 p.m. for 410 rubles (or 375 rubles for a vegetarian option). The surroundings are simple as is the food offered, but the dishes pack a punch in flavor. Located within the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, the café gives you a chance to mix with students during term-time. But be warned that the restaurant has recently undergone a change in management and quality is sometimes hit or miss.
21A Ultisa Mikluho-Maklaya. Metro Yugo-Zapadnaya. Website: http://devicafe.ru/
Talk of the Town
A TripAdvisor "certificate of excellence" winner in 2018, Talk of the Town is located in southwest Moscow on Leninsky Prospekt. The high-end presentation of the dishes stands out whether you order a curry, biryani or a basket of naan. Vegetarians are well catered for in their extensive menu, and they even offer pizza for any non-spice lovers you may dine with. The average price of a curry and rice comes in just under 1,000 rubles.
113/1 Leninsky Prospekt. Metro Yugo-Zapadnaya. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tot.resto/
Located within the Crowne Plaza hotel on the bank of the Moscow River, Fusion Plaza, as the name suggests, serves a mix of Indian and European dishes. However, it certainly specializes in the former, particularly the authentic curries. While the most expensive of the places listed here for evening dining, a more reasonable price can be found for the business lunches, with deals ranging between 375 and 770 rubles.
12 Krasnopresnenskaya Naberezhnaya. Metro Ulitsa 1905 Goda. Website: https://fusionplaza.ru/