Chinese and Asian food in Moscow

In my blog i write about interesting places in Moscow (for ex. best top restaurants). Here is a list of chinese restaurants and japanese cafes to eat or take away sushi, noodles, soba, udon and other asian food.

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The oldest, well known and popular Chinese restaurant in Moscow is «Drujba» (Дружба, Friendship), which is located near metro Novoslobodskaya (entrance is to the right from the shopping centre). I remember this place since  it was decorated with fake flowers, with holes in the floor instead of toilets, plastic tablecloths and chairs. The waiters did not understand a word in russian, menu was in Chinese with pictures and “stars” meaning spice. When we came there for the first time (about 7 years ago), we did not guess what did those stars mean and nobody could explain a word. Swallowing the thick layer of red pepper from the bottom of the soup immediately set everything in its place. Only there you could buy a box of Tsingtao beer. But since then Drujba became very popular, it was renovated, entourage was gone and it turned into expensive overcrowded place. I remember my American friend who spent 10 years in China suffered for dumplings, according to him Дружба: «Seems good and authentic, but damn, so expensive!». Anyway, you can still enjoy huge selection of more than 150 positions including pig ears and Peking duck. Average bill will be from 1200 rub. for two.

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But it’s good that nearby there is a cheap Noodles Place called “Udonyansan”. It’s a Japanese francise network. Regular visitors from Asia confirm it’s reputation. It’s more like a small glass pavilion specializing in noodles and rice. Back then it was a novelty to watch cook in front of you throwing long coils of noodles in a huge boiling VAT with clouds of steam coming out. One more accurate cafe ofthis network is right by the Kurskaya subway station. It’s self catering, prices are very cheap – about 150 rub. for Udon.

The most common and extended noodles network in Moscow is Menza, such a «domesticated» european place same as “Yaposha” or “Yakitoriya” by its style. It has a menu and served by waiters. They have rolls, soups, sashimi etc. As for me this place is too refined and sensless (i’d go there with mum) for such typical companies of girls – visitors of Shocoladnica or Cofeehouse. But their tweak is in many varieties of noodles : beet, buckwheat, carrot, egg, wheat, spinach and even with cuttlefish ink. + 14 fillers and 8 different topings.

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The most «authentic» place with self-service (take, eat, go) and open kitchen is “Marukame” (Марукаме) near Novokuznetskaya subway. The main menu is Udon (noodles) and Domburi (Rice). You take noodles and add fillers: salad , tempura, meat, fish. The sauces, toppings and Sencha tea can be taken in unlimited quantities free of charge. It’s very fast and cheap (from 120 to 180 roubles for noodles).

Young people prefer «trendy» “Lucky Noodles”. It is called «Noodles as in Hong Kong». It’s the most hipster place. Perhaps, it will be the third instagram and chekin favourite after Gorky Park and Kamchatka. It was founded by famous, beloved, rich restaurateur (Entire Moscow Food Provide) Novikov. Nobody knows, whether it was as a mockery, experiment or just a bet, that he can do everything. Anyway it became very popular, though it has no place to sit (one wall table and 4 chairs), almost no menu and mostly take-away.

There’s another chain of two restaurants (on Sukharevskaya and Taganskaya) called Kitayskiy Kvartal (Китайский Квартал, «Chinatown»). But it is perhaps equally simple and ordinary like Mensa. However at Sukharevskaya it works 24 hours and in summer there is a great patio.

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You can also go to Chinese store next door. I buy rice sticks, prawn chips and Tsingtao. Of course, all of this can be found cheaper in Auchan or other specialized stores. But here it’s all gathered in one place (see full range).

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