FOOD&DRINK

Expedicia:

Your table at the end of the Earth!

Moscow’s culinary map has a place that can be considered a real sanctuary, even though it’s located just three kilometers away from the Kremlin. This sanctuary is a restaurant called Expedicia (“Expedition”), and it has adopted a fitting and original motto: “Your table at the end of the Earth!”

When you cross the threshold of this unique establishment, which is located at Pevchesky Pereulok 6, the first thing that comes to mind are lines from a poem by Alexander Pushkin: “There is Russian spirit, it smells of Russia there…”. The dizzying aroma is especially strong on the rooftop of the restaurant, which houses a summer veranda and a cozy grill-house. There is also a smokehouse, and the smoke smells so delicious that your appetite kicks in immediately.

The Expedicia menu is so extensive that it seems even the restaurant’s chef doesn’t know how many dishes are listed. In any case, when I asked about appetizers, main dishes, and desserts at the restaurant, chef Evgeny Iskandarov paused to think, then told me there are a lot of options.

But of course the number of dishes is not nearly as impressive as the quality of the food. Quality is at the very foundation of the restaurant. Over the course of our hour-long conversation, the word “quality” was mentioned several times, with pride. Undoubtedly, there is a lot to be proud of. For example, the menu includes Sosva herring, which is delivered here exclusively from Igrim, located in Western Siberia. No other restaurant in Moscow has exotic herring like this.

This applies to just about everything you can get when you come to Expedicia. All of the food here is exclusive, because most of the products are shipped from Siberia. Northern cuisine is what this restaurant does best, and has been doing since it first opened its doors in 2002. “Everything here is authentic,” Evgeny Iskandarov stressed during our conversation. All the meat and fish is wild-caught. The menu includes deer, moose, roe deer, wood grouse, black grouse, wild boar, and wild duck. However, there is no bear meat. Why? “Bear meat is taboo in our restaurant. The bear is the keeper of the taiga,” the chef explains. There are a lot of fish dishes at Expedicia - they make up about 70 percent of the menu. The restaurant has excellent stroganina - raw, thin, long-sliced frozen fish that is prepared according to the original Siberian recipe. The fish is caught and immediately fresh frozen in order to avoid the formation of ice crystals in the meat. This delicious fish, along with the other products from Siberia, is delivered to Moscow on special vehicles.

In spite of the fact that Expedicia serves meat and fish caught in the wild, this is not a hunting restaurant. No wonder they don’t serve bear meat here - it’s usually a staple at hunting restaurants. Hunters like to exaggerate their accomplishments, but Expedicia is far from any kind of exaggeration. Everything is real, even the Mi-2 helicopter in the hallway on the second floor. “We are all about truth. We are absolutely honest with our clients, we don’t make anything up,” Evgeny Iskandarov says. No wonder he and his colleagues frequently travel to Siberia to find products. In fact, all of the restaurant’s staff travel to Siberia in order to learn about local customs and traditions, including the culinary traditions of the people who live on this prosperous land. A lot of the restaurant’s recipes were collected during trips like this.

Of course, the atmosphere in Expedicia is unparalleled. When you walk into the restaurant, it’s hard to believe that you’re still in Moscow. You get the impression that you’ve been suddenly transported to the taiga, the tundra, or some other Northern land! Even though the restaurant can comfortably seat 82 people, you feel like you’re surrounded by close friends… a hearty meal cooking in a huge pot by the fire. In a word, it’s a true expedition!

There is also a shop called “Taezhnoe Zimovye” next to the restaurant, where you can buy fish, wild game, mushrooms, berries, and delicacies prepared by the culinary experts of this legendary restaurant.

 

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