With all the changes and new openings in Moscow becoming quite bewildering, the Moscow Good Food Club were delighted to be invited to one of our long term favourites for our September gathering. Scandinavia Restaurant has been at the leading edge of service and quality since itâs opening way back in 1995 and many long-term expats can regale stories of the wild days. However the past is the past and we are back in the present as and the gallant members of the MGFC made their way to Scandinavia eagerly awaiting the magical culinary skills of Jonas Grip who had promised us an extra special Scandinavian autumn menu. Little did we know what was in store for us!
A Kir Royale proved to be an excellent opener and the conversation immediately flowed fulfilling the traditions of the club, Good Food, Good Wine and Great Company.
Soon we were called to our tables and the feast commenced. We were presented with a bowl of a half dozen Crayfish that had been perfectly boiled with beer and dill and accompanied by other Scandinavian specialities of Boxholm spice cheese and home made crisp bread. We imbibed on the traditional drinks for this dish, Gold of Lapland Beer and Aalborg Jubileums Aquavit from Denmark.
Executive Chef, Jonas Grip said a few words of welcome and then proceeded to show the eager members how to properly eat the crayfish. So with this instruction in our minds we attacked the succulent Crayfish and enjoyed the spicy Boxholm cheese. Fortunately all traditions were recognised and with the assistance of another Swedish member, Jonas led us in the Swedish song that has to be sung at such a meal.
With the carnage of the first course removed we were served with a superb crayfish soup, served with an amazingly flavourful slice of cress and spinach pie. In observance of Scandinavian traditions this was accompanied by an Amontillado Jerez elegante medium sherry.
It should be noted at this time that the service in Scandinavia was flawless, the girls, many of whom have been with the restaurant for more than 10 years are quiet, unassuming yet amazingly efficient, friendly and professional.
The main course was a triumph for Jonas. Roast Pheasant with a Calvados creame sauce, apples, cep mushrooms and a delightful potato galette. The succulent pheasant was complemented by the light, creamy calvados sauce. The wine pairing was excellent and the Chateau Gaillard Grand Cru 2007 Saint Emillion had the exact attributes to bring out the full, autumnal flavours.
Following to the main course we were offered a short reprieve whilst the dessert was prepared. When it appeared it was a work of art of cloudberries and parfait flavoured with Swedish Punch accompanied by a crisp Baron de Vitrac 2008 Sauternes finishing the excellent variations of the Scandinavian autumnal menu. Full and highly satisfied it was time for the memberâs comments.
Each of the delegated spokes-people for the tables took it in turn to provide their âcritiquesâ. All were unanimous in their delight of the meal and the accompanying wines with great praise for Jonas and his team. There were some minor comments, which every Chef actually likes to hear as a way to learn tastes and to improve.
In the meantime teas and coffee had been served and yet another alcoholic flavour to be enjoyed as we were all offered a Drambuie to round off a truly excellent meal.
As is customary, our guests were asked for their comments on our topic of the evening. As sanctions had been recently introduced the questions was relevant: We are living amid a major political âsituationâ. Has this had any effect on your daily life in any way? If so please advise. Have you noticed any effect from the sanctions? Any products that you canât find now?
Due to alcohol consumption some of the comments had to be deleted but generally the feeling was that life had not changed that much. Some specialised products, especially dairy, were not available at the time, however short supplies of other vegetables now seem to have been addressed on subsequent shopping excursions.
So Scandinavia and Jonas Grip proved that an old friend is a good friend! An excellent meal in cosy surroundings as good as any that we have enjoyed for many years.