“Would you like to try some of the reindeer meat?” my husband asked. “It’s served frozen” he added as I reached for a slice. Frozen it was, and served with lots of onion and horseradish. Having never had anything frozen that wasn’t dessert, I was about to reach for a second piece when my husband chose to mention it was raw reindeer meat. “There’s something for you to blog about it.” he said. Indeed!
We were eating at the Siberian restaurant, Expedicia, and apart from the opportunity to try some very different cuisine, the big attraction is the real helicopter parked at one end of the dining room. Beanie-boy was in heaven. Not only can you look at the helicopter, you can go inside, sit in the pilot’s seat, press buttons and flick switches! This is no museum-piece with “Do Not Touch” signs and Beanie-boy eagerly grasped the opportunity to pretend he was flying a helicopter above a snowy Siberian landscape. As well as the helicopter itself, the restaurant employs a very nice lady on Sunday afternoons to occupy the children. Beanie-boy took a real shine to her and, once he’d finished being a pilot, he sat at a table in the back of the helicopter quite happily colouring.
Our toddler was less fussed with the helicopter, in fact Little Pickle’s favourite part of the restaurant was the floor. The central section is glass and underneath is a pretend river-bed. From other reviews, it often has water running along it but although it was dry when we went, my daughter was fascinated by it. I don’t think she’s ever walked on glass before and she kept bending down to touch it.
The menu had a wide-range of food that I haven’t eaten before and I opted for the Kamtchatka crab pelmeni (pelmeni is similar to ravioli), which was by far the best pelmeni I have tasted – the pike caviar sauce served with it was a really tasty addition to the dish. And my husband had clearly not eaten enough reindeer so opted for the reindeer burger (this time cooked) served with some delicious little roasted potatoes which Little Pickle thought were fabulous – I think she stole most of them. The childrens’ menu itself had some much more familiar items on it and our two had the chicken and prawn kebabs and french fries. Because the children were so happy, I had the opportunity to indulge in dessert and I went for the
Cedar-nut ice-cream which was delicately flavoured and really nice. Sometimes though one of the best bits of a meal is something you didn’t order, and one of my favourites came in the bread basket: thinly sliced Russian black bread, toasted with garlic, sprinkled with salt and served with a dill butter – absolutely delicious.
Because individually hunting Elk is considerably more labour intensive than farming a chicken, this is most definitely not a cheap eat (a bowl of Pelmeni starts at 1300 roubles and most main courses are between 1500 and 3500 roubles). However, on the plus-side the childrens’ meal was completely free, and because the helicopter kept Beanie-boy so happy we stayed for almost two hours – definitely my kind of value for money.
The restaurant is located at 6 Pevcheskiy Pereulok and their website is at http://expedicia-restaurant.com/