We started our second day in Moscow with a splendid brunch at Grabni, a cafeteria style restaurant where you self-serve from so many offerings that it’ll make your head spin.
Everybody loved the french fries:
Don’t mind the random pony on the street.
We then headed to Sanduny Bathhouse, Moscow’s oldest and most frequented local bathhouse/sauna, where for top class and around $45 USD we got 2 hours access to the saunas.
You can add on a platza massage where they beat you with platza leaves in a 190F sauna for 15 minutes (which, despite a suspect description, was amazing — I felt so rejuvenated afterwards!) to increase your circulation, then dunk you in freezing cold water to finish the job, before ending with a soap massage for 45 minutes where its essentially a deep tissue massage (they really mean it; it was one of the only massages where I immediately walked away feeling sore in my legs).
The whole session ended up costing us around $150/person which included a few drinks and food.
FYI you go full naked here. That’s the Russian way.
Afterwards we did a Metro tour of Moscow, similar to the one we did in Stockholm. This was the custom guide I made for the metro tour after a few hours of research.
The circled stations are the recommended unique ones to visit, the numbers in blue are the ones we did in order, and the numbers in black are the designated metro line numbers.
Start on the Brown line (5) at Novoslobodskaya:
Take the Brown line (5) 3 stops west to Kievskaya:
Switch to the Blue line (3) in the same station (Kievskaya):
Take the Blue line (3) 3 stops east to Ploschad’ Revolyutsii:
Walk across the platform to switch directions on the Blue line (3) and take it 1 stop west to Arabatskaya:
Switch to the Red line (1) and take it 1 stop southwest to Kropotkinskaya:
Switch to the Red line (1) and take it 5 stops northwest to Komsomol’skaya:
Switch to the Brown line (5) of the same name (Komsomol’skaya):
and take it 3 stops to Belaruskaya, switch to the Green line (2) and take it 1 stop south to Mayakovskaya:
Afterwards we took the metro to Smolenskaya, where we got off to dine at Chef Vladmir Mukhin’s White Rabbit, currently ranked at #18 of San Pellegrino’s list of the world’s best restaurants and Russia’s top fine dining venue located in a domed glass roof with sweeping views across the city.
EDIT: There’s now an episode on Chef Vladmir Mukhin and White Rabbit on Chef’s Table!
The tasting menu, themed chronically to the history and evolution of Russian cuisine:
Let the hunger games begin.
Pear, aged mead and vendace caviar:
Loaf, guda cheese, dried salmon paired with a test tube with watermelon vodka:
Swan livers ryazhenka (original Russian marshmallow) and Antonovka apple paste:
Birch bread and herring milt with hare forschmack butter:
Sour shichi (traditional Russian soup) made of herring fat, with smoked herring, paired with king crab:
Slices of horse meat wrapped around persimmon and cheese:
Crab, carrots, pike caviar from a remote far eastern Russian island in the Arctic, and salted egg yolk topped with sliced salt hardened over years, plated ontop of a rare mineral dish designed to represent an island in the sea:
Turnips & Parsley soup with wild duck:
Sturgeon topped with white caviar, sour corn, and fried crucian sauce:
Tavranchuk – Beef ribs cooked in kvass paired with a glass of Côtes du Rhône:
Black bread on the bottom topped with baked milk and mushroom foam, surrounded by caramelized black currant:
Sea buckthron and willow herb. This delicate candy dessert literally exploded sweet nectar in my mouth:
Finally, we finished with offerings of complimentary perfume/cologne to take with us back home:
Then, we ended our night at Leto Lounge, a popular late night hookah lounge (which is apparently the thing to do in Moscow as every bar and club serves hookah) that seemed to have all of Moscow’s youth congregated together on a Wednesday night.
We also made random friends with 3 Swedish medical students who were walking around looking for a place to drink.
Naturally, we invited them to join us on our last night together in Moscow at Leto Lounge, where as you can see, I’m blogging this very post at this very moment.
We all stayed up until 5am, moving to Shisha City after Leto Lounge closed at 2am. Some of us feel Moscow is best in the middle of the night:
Tomorrow we head onwards to Siberia! See you in Irkutsk.
- At time of posting in Moscow, Russia, it was -7 °C - Humidity: 95% | Wind Speed: 28km/hr | Cloud Cover: snowy