I Have Chosen

September 30, 2013 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

I Have Chosen

Thankful for being able to visit 4 cities in 3 continents within 1 month, all for work... And still got to stay 9 days in Singapore!

"I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws." - Psalm 119:30

I made a commitment to follow the Lord Jesus whole-heartedly. Father, help me not forget it and slip back into old habits and bad patterns. Holy Spirit, help me choose the way of truth again today, tomorrow, and always.


Cafe Pushkin

September 30, 2013 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Cafe Pushkin
26A Tverskoy Boulevard
Moscow 125009


The Best In Russian Fine Dining

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 10
Ambience & Setting: 9
Food & Beverage: 10
Service: 10
Value for Money: 10
Spent about SGD $100 / RUB 2500 per person.


If you want to impress in Moscow, go to Cafe Pushkin. Doesn't matter if it's a date, business partner, clients, or even the Russian media (not mafia... media), a meal at Cafe Pushkin will help your cause trememdously. And if you're looking for the best in Russian traditional cuisine, made using the freshest ingredients, then this is the place for you.

The first thing that strikes you about Cafe Pushkin is the fantastic ambience of the place. This award winning 5-star restaurant, which is open 24 hours daily for 7 days a week, is built in the 18th century classical Baroque style, resembling the homes of wealthy Russian aristocrats. Complex yet elegant and charming all at once, with spacious interiors, good floor layout, comfortable furniture, opulent surroundings, low lighting and private spaces. Cafe Pushkin even has throwbacks to years past, with an olden style elevator, ornately carved wash basin, an antique library with 15,000 old books, maps, globes and telescopes, and a cellar cloak room.

Many will agree that the service at Cafe Pushkin is among the best in Moscow. As befits a fine dining establishment, staff are professional, knowledgable, efficient and impeccably dressed in olden style Russian frock coats. You'll be treated like a member of the elite ruling class at Cafe Pushkin. Amazingly, staff are well versed in not only English, but a pre-Soviet romanized Russian as well (The language of the elites)! Cafe Pushkin staff are trained to wait personally upon the table, as well as being proactive and attentive. I like that the menus have English translations as well.

The food at Cafe Pushkin is excellent. High quality, fresh ingredients are used to maximise the taste of each component in your dish, such that is mouthful is just delightful. Portions are decent, you won't be hungry, but you won't be very full either. While there are traditional Russia and Moscow dishes, which are prepared according to 18th century recipes, there are also Russian takes on French dishes, made using French cooking techniques. The menu is quite extensive, and there is good variety throughout the day. Depending on where in Cafe Pushkin you choose to dine, the menu may also differ (The Pharmacy Hall VS The Library Hall). Prices are of course, on the high side, expect to pay about SGD $72 / RUB 1800 per person, or more. Good value for what it's worth.

Although Cafe Pushkin has a reputation for being a 'tourist' place, locals often frequent the place as well, albeit those slightly more well-heeled, or for special occasions. Cafe Pushkin is located within a 10 minutes walk from either Pushkinskaya Metro station or Tverskaya Metro station. Making a reservation in advance is highly recommended before you visit Cafe Pushkin, as the place is constantly packed.


French singer Gilbert Becaud wrote the song 'Nathalie', about a French tourist (himself) who falls in love with his Russian tour guide and interpreter Nathalie, and brings her for hot chocolate in the (then) fictional Cafe Pushkin. The song became famous all over France. Famed Russian restaurateur Andrei Dellos, inspired by the fictional Cafe Pushkin mentioned in 'Nathalie', decided to make it a reality in 1999. Gilbert Becaud was invited to sing 'Nathalie', on Cafe Pushkin opening day on 04 June 1999.

Credits to Catherine

Food is beautifully presented, and while each component of the dish is tasty, eating it together is just delightful. Expect robust tasty dishes, crafted with perfection, and served with finesse. While prices may be high, they aren't as steep as other fine dining establishments.

Borscht 01

Borscht 02


Honey Cake 01

Honey Cake 02

Honey Cake 03


Roasted Pig With Pearl Barley, Cepe Mushrooms And Sun-Dried Tomatoes 01

Roasted Pig With Pearl Barley, Cepe Mushrooms And Sun-Dried Tomatoes 02


Zander Fish Cutlet Stuffed With Crab, Mashed Potato With Cheddar Cheese, Asparagus In Creamy Seafood Sauce


Red Square was white
The snow made a carpet
And I followed, through this cold Sunday

She spoke in serious phrases
Of the October Revolution
Meanwhile, I was thinking
That after Lenin’s tomb
We would go to the Pushkin cafe
To drink chocolate

Red Square was empty
I caught her by her arm, I smiled at her
She had blonde hair, my guide

In their apartment at the university
A gang of students
Were impatiently expectant
We joked and laughed a lot
They wanted to know everything
Nathalie translated

Moscow, the plains of the Kremlin
And the Champs Elysees
We got them all mixed up
And we sang
And then they were opening
And we were laughing in anticipation of it
Some French Champagne
And we danced

And when the flat was empty
All the friends were departed
I was left with just my guide

No more questions, sober phrases
Nor October Revolution
I am no longer there with her
Finished, Lenin’s tomb
The chocolate in Pushkin
It is, it was, long before

As my life seems empty to me
Still I know that one day in Paris
It is I who will serve as her guide


Madame Galife

September 29, 2013 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Madame Galife
26/1 Prospect Mira
Moscow 129090


Russian And Central Asian Food In A Scenic Garden

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 9
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 8
Value for Money: 7
Spent about SGD $60 / RUB 1500 per person.


Located about 5 minutes walk away from the Prospect Mira Metro station in downtown Moscow, and about 15 minutes walk away from Renaissance Moscow Olympic Hotel, Madame Galife is a charming mid-range restaurant that specialises in Russian and Central Asian cuisine. The actual entrance of Madame Galife is easy to miss, as it's tucked away behind a wall, so you could pass right by outside and not see it. Rather, look out for the beautiful Aptekarsky Ogorod park, and you'll find Madame Galife, as the restaurant offers a wonderful view of the garden.

Ambience at Madame Galife is fantastic. Besides the garden view, the interior of the restaurant is painstakingly designed by artist Rezo Gabriadze. The decor within Madame Galife is largely hand crafted, including the center show piece 'Fountain of Bakhchisarai', and has a rustic yet regal charm. Lighting is used to complement dark shades, casting purposeful shadows about the place, while keeping the important areas (tables, corridors) well lit.

Service at Madame Galife is personal and friendly, yet methodical. Staff provide fine dining quality of service, addressing you as individuals, and offering advice on menu selections. Tableware at Madame Galife complements this 'fine-dining' mood well. Staff are able to converse in basic English, and the menu has English translations. I like that they were attentive, and checked that our meal was going well.

Food at Madame Galife is predominately Russian and Central Asian, with several Western style dishes. Dishes tend to be quite tasty, although the quality varies depending on whether you're ordering a specialty, or just another dish from the menu. Portions are decent, not too small or large, and prices befit a typical mid-range to upper-end restaurant in Russia. Expect to pay about RUB 1000 / SGD $40 per person. The menu has enough variety to justify several visits.


Rustic charm is evident in the open grill and kitchen laid out like a farm. But the rest of the interior looks elegant, and the garden view is very good during the day. This is also a pretty good place for a business lunch or dinner.

Russian and Central Asian dishes are the mainstays on the menu, although the manner in which they are done isn't very traditional, but has more of a modern slant. Several Western items also make an appearance on the menu. Taste of dishes vary, the specialities tend to be much better.

Baked Eggplant With Walnut Sauce 01

Baked Eggplant With Walnut Sauce 02

Beer Khamovniki Unfiltered

Herbed Rye Bread

Khachapuri Imeruli 01

Khachapuri Imeruli 02

Shashlik Mutton With Bukhara Rice And Pickled Onions 01

Shashlik Mutton With Bukhara Rice And Pickled Onions 02

Smetana Sour Cream

Sorrel Soup 01

Sorrel Soup 02


Elki Palki / Yolki Palki Traktir (Firs Sticks Tavern)

September 29, 2013 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Elki Palki / Yolki Palki Traktir (Firs Sticks Tavern)
39/2 Prospect Mira
Olympic Plaza II
Moscow 129110


Home Style Russian Comfort Food

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 8
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 7
Value for Money: 8
Spent about SGD $23 / RUB 577 per person.


Located just next to Prospect Mira Metro station, within the Olympic Plaza II shopping centre, is Elki Palki / Yolki Palki Traktir, otherwise translated to mean Firs Sticks Tavern / Tree Sticks Tavern in English. Elki Palki / Yolki Palki Traktir is a short 10 minutes walk away from the Renaissance Moscow Olympic Hotel, and is a good place to sample traditional local Russia and Moscow cuisine, as their menu has English translations, and several of the staff speak English.

Ambience within Elki Palki / Yolki Palki Traktir is akin to a country farm house, with fake greenery, comfortable and functional wooden furniture, and slightly dim lighting creating a cozy atmosphere. A large part of the appeal is the open concept All-You-Can-Eat Salad Bar in the center of Elki Palki / Yolki Palki Traktir, which is designed to look like a farm wagon carrying produce to the market.

Service at Elki Palki / Yolki Palki Traktir is a notch above most other places in Moscow, as several of the staff are able to communicate in basic English. Staff are generally friendly and polite, and quite knowledgable about items on the menu. Ask for their recommendations if you're unsure what to order. I find the staff to be efficient and proactive, though not so observant. As a franchise with outlets all over Russia and Moscow, service at Elki Palki / Yolki Palki Traktir may differ from outlet to outlet.

Food at Elki Palki / Yolki Palki Traktir is defined by 3 phrases, which almost all customers will agree on; 'Cheap and affordable', 'Unexciting but decent traditional Russian food', and 'Good range of food options, especially the Salad Bar'. Because of this, Elki Palki / Yolki Palki Traktir not only attracts tourists, but locals searching for a quick, casual, home cooked meal. I highly recommend Elki Palki / Yolki Palki Traktir if you're planning to sample local Russian cuisine, and the food quality here can be used as the base measurement against which other Russian restaurants are compared.


The All-You-Can-Eat Salad Bar is the centerpiece of the restaurant, and with a spread of more than 30 different items, is an excellent show piece as well. As Russian salads are famous, and known for more than just plain vegetables, this is a really good deal, especially since it only costs approximately RUB 395 / SGD $16.

Elki Palki / Yolki Palki Traktir (Firs Sticks Tavern) Logo

Elki Palki / Yolki Palki Traktir (Firs Sticks Tavern) Address & Contact

You be able to find a good range of traditional Russian and Moscow food and beverages on the menu, and yes, even cigarettes, which you can smoke indoors! Dishes are tasty, and portions are quite large, while prices are reasonable.

Kvass 01

Kvass 02

Salmon Hot Plate And Potatoes With Cream Sauce 01

Salmon Hot Plate And Potatoes With Cream Sauce 02

Salmon Hot Plate And Potatoes With Cream Sauce 03

Solyanka 01

Solyanka 02