Twins: Old Russian cuisine made new again

Dinner 19 August 2016

Forget all the hype about the twins; this is a serious destination for real foodies. The minute you walk through the door, Sergey and Ivan’s relaxed nature is evident and sets the scene for an exciting journey through old becomes new, modern Russian cuisine. If you have never tasted real Russian food this is probably the best place in Moscow to begin.

Twins

Chefs: Sergei and Ivan Berezutsky

Malaya Bronnaya ul,13

Moscow

+8 495 695-45-10

http://twinsmoscow.ru/en/

email: not supplied

The worlds best restaurants 51-100 2016: Number 75, Sergie: San Pellegrino cooking cup 2014

vibe: Modern Russian

The décor does not shout designer, more it sings with youthful energy and exuberance, of a time past where maybe it was all hands on deck just to get the place up and running.

The tennis racquet light fitting in the front room adds a playful touch and there’s scattered memorabilia living a second life as decoration.

There are 3 main areas, hopefully its not raining and you can enjoy the terrace or you can move to the front room with the lively bar or the third space that looks into the kitchen. Copper pots hang from the ceiling a reminder of the chef’s formal training, Sergey trained under Grant Achatz in Chicago and Ivan under Ferran Adria at El Bulli in Spain. After Sergey won the  San Pellegrino Cooking Cup in 2014, opening the restaurant with his brother was the promise he would  keep.

There is a standard menu or give two days notice and you can partake in the 10 course degustation.

If you don’t understand Russian and a concierge does you booking, the need give notice may escape you and the standard menu is on offer. There’s plenty to choose from but you will need your wits about you. The menu is divided into four sections, Vegetables, Cereals, grains and pasta, Fish and seafood and Meat. Each section has an appetiser and main course to choose from, so it’s a bit of mix and match.

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The relaxed decor of the front room that overlooks the Terrace.

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Cocktails

While you are working your way through the menu, have a treat yourself to specialty cocktail such as a Twin Pix or Red Moscow. Don’t ask what’s in them as the cocktail menu is in Russian!

Twin Pix

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Red Moscow

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Beef  tartare with past-smoked sweet cherry

Veal tartare smoked on coal and cherry tartare have a similar texture, eat them separately then together a proverbial match made in heaven.

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Bread and butter

A beautiful wooden bowl of bread will appear, its described as “grey” bread, but you will soon realize that the colour description is somehow lost in translation. Looks and tastes like a light rye, easily upstaged by amazing fine flaky and light as a feather seaweed crisps made from 5 types of seaweed from the Northern and Black sea, and two warm donut like pancakes filled with home made slices of chewy goose leg cured an dried aged for months, jamon like.

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House butter tasty and perfect with the toasted bread crumbs

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Kvass roasted eggplant with Baku tomatoes, Sainte -Maure cheese and hemp seed sauce

The first of the vegetable courses, twice cooked eggplant pieces marinated and cooked in Kvass, a wheat based Russian wine, it will be described as Russia’s cola, sweet succulent tomatoes and Sainte- Maure goats cheese, sprigs of pffern and an orange baba ghanoush, and a hemp seed sauce. The flavours, delicate, the dish perfectly balanced.

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Barley cooked in celeriac in salt dough

A special treat, and the chef’s version of old meets new Russia. Grandmothers used to cook celeriac and barley in fire ovens for hours resulting in a nutritious porridge like dish, eaten by the twins after school. The modern version combines barley, celeriac root and onion baked in a salt dough and brought to the table with a plate of pickled celery leave and stems. The salt crust is cracked open to reveal a delicious porridge of white creamy barley and celeriac, spooned over the pickles. The first mouthful will be a wow moment.

At this point you will become aware of the ceramic plates the food is served upon. The brothers are not only talented chefs but also made the ceramic plates themselves, each decorated with a flower or herb to match the dish.

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Scoops of the celeriac and barley porridge with pickles.

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Far eastern scallops, tomato consommé, zucchini ravioli with feta

Wild Far Eastern Russia scallops perfectly cooked, delicate and succulent combine with pea shoots, zucchini ravioli filled with feta, baby peas and pea shoots over which a refreshing tomato consommé is poured.

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Beetroot and pomegranate

Forget the sorbets, Russian palate cleanser, of simply a beetroot jelly decorated with pomegranate seeds to be eaten before drinking a light beetroot tea.

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Light Circassian cheese mousse with grape sorbet

Looks can be deceiving; inside each dolomite a red wine or white wine vinegar sorbet, silky cheese mousse and sugared leaves. The cheese is from Adyghea, basil a perfect contrast to the sweet cheesy flavours.

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Chocolate, veal meat and cranberry

Complex flavours in the cranberry jelly coated chocolate truffle. The cream infused with dried veal meat, mixed with chocolate ganache and the chocolate takes on the subtle smokiness of the veal.

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Coffee

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Ivan and Grigory, front of house and translator.

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The third space looks onto the kitchen.

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If you are ever lucky enough to find your self in Moscow, visit Twins and then the next day after checking out the famous St Basils Cathedral and wander up to the Twins latest venture a few blocks and take a gastronomic tour of Russian crab at the the beautiful, eclectic Wine and Crab.



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