Moscow Good Food Club: Sever Yug Restaurant, Hotel Standart

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Kim Waddoup

Foodies love new culinary experimentation and we were eager to try the new Sever Yug Restaurant located in the newly opened Standart Hotel on Pushkinskaya. With Tverskaya and most of Pushkinskaya looking like a battlefield as work for the new pavements started, intrepid members of the Moscow Good Food Club made their way to Moscow’s first Design Hotel.

Located on the first floor, the Restaurant Sever Yug features large windows looking over Pushkinskaya and a bright show kitchen presided over by Executive Chef Angel Pascual. Angel comes from Catalan and arrived in Moscow speaking very little English or Russian. However he fell in love with the staple products of Russian food and as a culinary master he has taken some relatively simple products and breathed his magic upon them!

We were welcomed by a well deserved aperitif of Cava Catalonia ‘Marques de la Concordia’ accompanied by canapés consisting of Mini Chicken Burger, Serrano Ham with white mushrooms & cucumber, roots with Smoked Salmon and cream cheese and Codfish a L’Orly with Sauce Bernaise. Old and new members were quickly meeting and talking in true Moscow Good Food Club relaxed style.

At precisely 20:00 we were called to our seats. A beautiful long table had been prepared for us and members eagerly awaited their culinary voyage. First course was the Chef’s signature dish, his own discovery of Buckwheat Humus with Sun-dried tomatoes. Having heard a lot about this dish, members were most inquisitive to discover what is was and how it tasted. Most agreed that it was a masterpiece of creative cuisine. This was perfectly paired with a Torres Mas Rabell Alquimia Catalunya DO.

To follow was Octopus on Sautéed Cabbage with Ginger. Probably the most provocative dish of the evening it consisted of bite sized chunks of crispy octopus on a bed of relatively sweet cabbage with ginger decoration. This dish caused a great deal of discussion but in true style, all plates were cleaned. This dish was provocatively paired with a Hacienda Zorita Vega de la Reina, Verdejo. Surprisingly a red wine, a little young but a superbly well balanced complementing the octopus and sautéed cabbage.

The next dish again was greeted with anticipation, whilst quite simply entitled Quinoa with Champions it was a delicate dish bursting with flavours.

The main course was another sensation, not only for the beautiful presentation of the Lamb marinated with Pomelo, bread crumbs and Truffle Honey Butter served on hand crafted plated that more resembled the White Cliffs of Dover than a plate. The effect however was spectacular. Soft, fragrant lamb that melted in the mouth with a broad mixture of complementary flavours from the accompanying pickles and butter. The crowing jewel of this dish was the Hacienda Zorita Criado en Barrica a most perfectly balanced white. Another indication of Angel’s provocative style of recommending a well balance and mature white wine with the lamb.

Dessert consisted of a delicate Chocolate Pancake with Caramelised Buckwheat. This worked for some members but left others un-impressed.

After a delicious and controversial dinner, it was time to call out and thank the kitchen team who had worked so hard to prepare the meal. This was followed by the presentations of the Critiques from our eminent members. The comments were lively and constructive with Angel Pascual being able to offer his explanations of his reasons and choices.

The meal was excellent and the wines well above average. Some of the tastes and combinations were debateable but all were unanimous in their praise of the brave style from Angel. The service was extremely friendly but one can see that the restaurant is very new and that the slick teamwork that is so necessary for this style of dinner was lacking. With training and experience this will improve quickly.

Congratulations to Angel Pascual and his team, we wish you great success with Sever Yug!
However the evening was not quite completed as we had asked our erstwhile members to mention their favourite restaurants in Moscow. The recommendations included:- My Wife’s kitchen(!), Bjorn, Mari Vanna, Café Margarita, Orangetree, Funny Cabany, Erwin, Twins, Donna Margarita, Zodiac, Baan Thai, Cantinetta, Mos, Café Pushkin, White Rabbit, Chicago Prime and Pinocchio.

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