Update: This restaurant is no longer kosher!
I recently ate at the newest kosher restaurant in Moscow, Zucker. The name means “sugar” in Yiddish. There was lots of excitement for the opening because Zucker is the first kosher restaurant in the Ginza Project group. They are involved in some of the trendiest restaurants in Moscow and have a reputation for serving great food.
When you walk into the restaurant the only sign that you are in a kosher restaurant is that there are a few menorahs as decoration. Otherwise the decorations are modern art, bookshelves and very comfortable overstuffed chairs and sofas.
I was disappointed to find that Zucker does not have an English menu. Luckily, one of my dining companions (my husband) was able to help me figure out the words I did not know. Before our starters arrived we were served bread and a delicious eggplant dip. There were three different types of bread and they were all delicious. The dip was so good too, we cleaned our plates quickly. It is rare to get freebies in Russia and it was a nice treat.
For a starter, I along with one of my friends ordered the chicken noodle soup and my husband ordered the pumpkin soup with sea bass. The chicken soup was good. There were nice, large chunks of chicken and carrots in the soup. Russians love to add way too much dill to soups but this soup had just the right amount.
The pumpkin soup was delicious. It had a nice rich pumpkin flavor with large pieces of sea bass and big croutons. It was expensive at 480 rubles a bowl, but worth it if you want a smaller main course.
The main courses were hit or miss. My husband ordered the asparagus risotto. My personal feeling is that you should never order risotto at a kosher meat restaurant because you can’t use butter or milk. I tried to warn him, but it was a mistake he had to make for himself. The presentation was pretty, but it was flavorless. No matter how good the dairy substitutes, it is almost impossible to replicate. I would not recommend ordering.
The second dish was grilled chicken with potatoes. Again, Zucker scored points on presentation, but the chicken was mostly dark meat and on the bone. There was a decent amount of meat on the chicken, but it was nothing spectacular. There was a bbq type sauce on top that was flavorful.
I ordered the steak. I was frustrated when I ordered it that they wouldn’t let me order it rare. The only option was medium. This is Russia so there is only so much I can question it. When it arrived it was still pink inside, but I would have preferred it a little more rare. Regardless it was delicious. The steak was just fatty enough to give it flavor, but I didn’t have to pick around huge chunks of fat. It was cooked on a grill and you could taste the nice flavors a grill gives to steak. It was served with red and yellow peppers grilled to perfection, an onion (that I didn’t touch), and a nice sprig of rosemary.
By the time we finished, none of us were hungry for dessert. In general, I usually think pareve desserts aren’t worth the calories. They had a display case of the desserts and they looked nice, but I can’t vouch for the taste.
Pros – one of the cleanest bathrooms of any kosher restaurant I have ever been to, free bread and eggplant dip, great service – all of our meals were served at the same time, great location in the center of the city, very nice atmosphere
Cons – very expensive food and drinks, only Russian menus, the food isn’t excellent
12/2 Bolshoi Kozikhinskiy Perlouk
Metro: Tverskaya, Pushkinskaya