[Moscow, Russia] It was one of those conversations when I asked ”Which is that one restaurant in the world you consider to be the best?”. The answer brought me on a sudden crazy trip to Moscow Russia – in reality somewhere I never quite imagined that I would actually visit one day.
White Rabbit is a beautiful, multi-awarded upscale modern restaurant. It serves European cuisine and each dish from blends respect for tradition and high gastronomic exploration.
(Click PLAY for highlights of White Rabbit, Moscow)
Magnificently located at the top floor (16th) Smolenskaya Plaza. This modern Russian restaurant appears to be under a glass dome, and offers one of the most spectacular views of Moscow.
It is the first joint project of restaurateur Boris Zarkov and chef Vladimir Mukhin, hailed as a “Legendary Chef” by French guide Gault & Millau.
Chef Vladimir (who has cooked for President Vladimir Putin 3 times) is a strong advocate of Russian ingredients.
He is from the southern part of Russia where he usually sources his ingredients. If he cannot source it locally, he will make it himself – like jams, pickles, cured meats and cheese.
Every season is opened with a tasting menu, usually introducing something original or new, whether a dish like Black Sea Oysters or a new flavor combination.
Together with chief-bartender Oleg Reshetnyakov, he weaves fascinating stories in their gastrobar, pairing food and cocktails like art.
White Rabbit specializes in a refined take on old school and modern Russian dishes, from pike caviar to ‘swan livers’.
It may not have a Michelin star, yet it was awarded 4 Toques (the highest grade) by the experts at Gault & Millau. They have concluded, “here, traditional Russian dishes are intertwined with the latest gastronomic trends, and local products vie with recognized world delicacies.”
In 2017, it once again earned a spot in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, thus a 3-year winning streak. It is the only Russian restaurant which has steadily kept its position – placed 23rd in 2017, 18th in 2016, 23rd in 2015, 71st in 2014.
After a drop at Smolenskaya Metro Station (Arbatsko–Pokrovskaya line), navigating through the heavy snow fall, getting across the road to Smolenskaya Square, then taking two elevators up to the 16th floor… I finally got there.
Perched atop the skyscraper, the restaurant pampers its diners with sweeping views of Moscow through a clock face-like arched windows on both ends.
The dreamy interiors blended well with the Alice in Wonderland-inspired décor of the space, and the rabbit theme echoing throughout.
Even as you exit the elevator, classic-style artwork of a rabbit in military uniform greets you. Rabbit print wallpapers adorn the restrooms. Even your bill is presented in Russian Matryoshka doll with a rabbit.
Multi-colored vintage-style furnishings are everywhere, accented by oversized floral arrangements.
No wonder flashy parties are also often held here. The elegantly flamboyant ambiance has attracted key figures in the music and film industry, aside from travelers from all over the world.
Everything on the menu is grown, raised or produced on Russian soil. It’s a combination of tasting menu, seasonal offerings, and original dishes.
For 8500 RUR (SGD195.12), you can have the 9-course Tasting Set, featuring Scallop, Pomegranate & Salted Tomatoes; Caviar of Sea Urchin, Sea Buckthorn & Sea Water; Cabbage & Caviar; Cod, Sour Malt & Sour Spelt; Gooseberries and Aged Honey; Duck, Elderberry & Coffee; Borodino Bread, Sour Cream & Sea Water; Sea Buckthorn Pearls; and Willow Herb & Honey.
This comes with complimentary Salty Napoleon with Beluga Caviar, Pumpkin and Truffle, Swan Livers ryazhenka and Antonovka apple paste, and Birch bread and herring milt & hare forschmack.
There were many delightful surprises in the meal, with the use of intriguing ingredients, that led to a greater understanding of Russian culture.
I probably won’t let too much of a cat (or rabbit) out of the bag, but I had a good laugh that I went home with a bottle of scent made of their signature Borodinsky Bread.
“You like the aroma of the bread?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Here’s a bottle!”
One of the most impressionable dishes was the Cabbage & Caviar, of baked buttered cabbage topped with three types of caviar (Moscow is famous for its caviar).
It was elegant in its presentation, retained the fresh crunchiness of cabbage, with slight smokiness and fantastic flavours from the rich, salty caviar which would pop in the mouth.
Recognized as one of the Top 10 restaurants with an exceptional wine card, White Rabbit will take you to a journey through the best vineyards of the world, from old world to new wines.
It is not easy to find this restaurant, especially if you’re a non-Russian speaker/reader. But the search will be worth it.
Take the Metro to Smolenskaya Station to reach Smolenskaya Square, the block where you’ll find White Rabbit. You can also drop at Smolenskaya Station which is a short walk away.
The first four floors are shopping areas, where you won’t find lifts. Enter the shopping centre and look for the back door (the sign says “Business Centre”) or look for a side door to the right of the shopping centre. That is where you’ll find the lifts going 5th floor. From there, take the lift that goes up to 16th floor to reach White Rabbit.
Reserve a table via their website.
3, Smolenskaya Square, Smolenskaya Passage, Floor 16, Moscow, Russia 121099
Tel: +7 495 510 5101 / +7 495 782 6262
Opening Hours: 12:00pm – 12:00am (Mon – Wed); 12:00pm – 2:00am (Thurs – Sat)
Google Maps – White Rabbit (Smolenskaya Square)