From Buckwheat Porridge to Sushi

Alexander Sysoyev, famous restauranter, picks his top 5 Russian dishes

By Federal Agency for Tourism

GUM by Bosco di CiliegiFederal Agency for Tourism

Russian cuisine can boast a rich history and a baffling mix of cultures. It thrives on combining modern technology with artistic freedom. 

Every city has traditional recipes alongside culinary inventions straddling trends, local food and preferences.

Alexander Sysoyev (21st Century)Federal Agency for Tourism

Alexander Sysoyev one of the most prolific entrepreneurs on the Russian dining scene. A restaurant owner, he has his own SysoyevFM radio station about food, and has been a partner of numerous Russian food-tech projects, developed the Privilege loyalty programme and launched the Russian Restaurant Festival.

He seeks to enable urban residents to try their city’s best establishments at an agreeable price, discover new and long-popular places, and get ready-made solutions for travelling all over Russia, or discounts at hotels and restaurants. The Russian Restaurant Festival brings together 35 cities and 500 diners with sets of between 8 and 15 euros for 3 to 5 dishes.

This selection highlights a raft of Russian chefs’ most prominent approaches, respecting and appreciating history, local food, and mixing cultural trends.

Belyashi by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Belyashi | SibirSibir

Pirozhki, a Russian food classic, have hundreds of differing recipes, cooking techniques, fillings and names all over the country. A belyash, originally a kazakh and tatar bun, changed its recipe on Russian soil and added a dozen more.

Belyashi (21st Century)Federal Agency for Tourism

At SibirSibir, you can have 10 varieties of your choice. My favourite is with meat filling. A yeast dough bun fried in butter, a belyash is a quick and hearty fix for a winter evening.

Buckwheat porridge with parmesan (21st Century)Federal Agency for Tourism

Buckwheat Porridge with Parmesan | Severyane

Buckwheat has been a staple in Russia since ancient times, but practically non-existent in other countries until as late as five years ago. It can be boiled in water or milk and mixed with butter or other ingredients of choice. More often, buckwheat is consumed as it is.

Severyane took things one step forward by rounding it out with a major umami product, parmesan — more out of a desire to highlight a familiar flavour than as tribute to Italian cuisine.

Pelmeni by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Pelmeni | Lepim i Varim

Many attempt to explain pelmeni to non-Russians as meat-filled ravioli. The simple formula belies a real cult following. There is more to pelmeni than just a piece of minced meat wrapped in dough and boiled in water. Pelmeni can be boiled, yes, but also fried, and mixed with sour cream, ketchup or vinegar.

Pelmeni (21st Century)Federal Agency for Tourism

They are also a vodka side dish. ‘Mamin-Sibiryak’ is the real deal offered by the affordable and stylish cafe chain Lepim i Varim. The name references both a famous Russian writer and Siberia that pelmeni are associated with.

Original Pozharsky cutlet (21st Century) by tm agencyFederal Agency for Tourism

Pozharsky Cutlet | Selfie

Named after Yevdokim Pozharsky, who owned an inn in the Russian town of Torzhok, this cutlet is a mouth-watering combination of minced chicken and breadcrumbs. 

Original Pozharsky cutlet (21st Century) by tm agencyFederal Agency for Tourism

A rare veal recipe is practically unknown today, but a delicious take on this may be found at Selfie that ranked as the world’s 70th best restaurant.

Chef Anatoly Kazakov mixes 30 percent veal with 70 percent chicken to produce a delicate cutlet you will surely want to try agai

Sushi (21st Century)Federal Agency for Tourism

Sushi | Cutfish

Why is sushi on the list of Russian cuisine favourites? The answer is simple. 

Since the 1990s, when sushi first made its way onto the country’s dining scene, it has become little short of a national dish. Sushi has dominated restaurant and takeaway menus alike spurring a never-ending expansion of sushi diners.

Sushi (21st Century)Federal Agency for Tourism

Cutfish serves the classics of warm rice and delicate salmon at a premium price matching premium quality ingredients and offers a chance of real sushi.

Credits: Story

Сhief Сonsultant — Ekaterina Drozdova, restaurateur, gastronomic entrepreneur, food and social activist, Photo production — tm agency, Contributors — Alexander Sysoyev, Proximity Russia, Denis Yershov

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Related theme
Eat Your Way Across Russia
Discover how Russia's vast size has led to its delectable range of flavors and traditions
View theme
Google apps