Dzhagannat Express Vegetarian Restaurant
11 Kuznetski Most
Recently I spent a long weekend in Moscow as a detour on a business trip Ц flying
back to Canada seemed pointless when I had two major events in Germany with just few days
separating them. There I stayed with
Olesya and Bubsik (a rather ratlike but happy dog) Ц all vegetarians except I
suspect the latter. One evening we decided to check out the new vegetarian restaurant, and
headed out from their apartment on Ovchinniovskaya Naberezhnaya, through the Red Square
and towards the Bolshoi Theatre Ц the restaurant is at 11 Kuztentski Most (Blacksmith
Bridge) behind the Bolshoi.
Located behind a vegetarian cafe and food store, the Dzhagannat Restaurant can be a
welcome relief from the overwhelming beef, ham and chicken dishes that make up such a
large part of the Russian culture. The place is an interesting clash of classical Russian
features and a mainstream vegetarian restaurant that would not look out of place in most
university neighborhoods in North America.
On entry, we were greeted by a uniformed doorman. The entry hall had a bulletin board
on the wall advertising various New Age activities taking place in Moscow Ц certainly
not my cup of tea but an excellent resource gathering much disparate information in one
place. This was followed by a cafe and vegetarian foods store Ц if you need such common
staples to take home like soy chunks, rice pasta, good vegetable oil, soy sauce Ц this
is the right place any time of day or night Ц it is open 24 hours. Before or after
shopping you can get yourself a coffee and a desert.
Past that is the restaurant proper. We did not have to wait Ц the hostess showed us
to the table right away. The decor was that of a trendy cafe Ц complete with Japanese
paper lamps and Ikea furniture Ц the Western patrons will find the environment familiar.
The menu was in Russian only, so this is an excellent opportunity to practice your
The service was fast Ц a little overly so. It seemed that the staff was actually
overdoing what they perceived as Western efficiency Ц they will no doubt learn that it
is possible for a waiter to be too efficient. We ordered a miso soup, a borscht, and a
salad bar plate with three forks, and masala chai to start. The waitress came back to
inform us that the same salad bar plate (this is not an all you can eat salad bar) costs
triple if three people eat from it. Without questioning the logic involved we decline the
The borscht was a bit too cold and too sour, and the Miso soup seemed to be a bit weak
Ц and used the firm tofu rather then the soft Japanese tofu which usually works better.
The masala chai was good but not inspired.
For the main course we ordered a Greek salad, a vegetable curry and a vegetarian
shashik (the common Russian term for a kebob). The Greek salad was good. The vegetarian
shashlik used both soy protein chunks and tofu cubes. The former were excellent, while the
latter indicated lack of familiarity with tofu cooking Ц it was a bit tasteless in the
middle. In the land of fur hats and sausages, the vegetarian curry was welcome Ц but
leaving plenty of room for improvement. It was on par with a shopping mall food court
curry Ц except the latter will never get any better.
We did not feel like desert, and the bill came to 650 [approx. $40] roubles for the
party of three.
SO WHO EXACTLY SUBMITTED IT? MICHAEL V.? IS IT THE FINAL VERSION FOR POSTING?