Wild Rice Can Be Tame

MTWaitresses approaching the open kitchen in Diky Ris' main dining hall.
The concept behind Diky Ris certainly looks like a winner. Besides the usual sushi, there's a good range of Chinese; the menu even stretches to include a little Southeast Asian and some original creations.

The modern interior shuns tacky bamboo cliches. In this regard, Diky Ris, which is soon to become a chain, could be compared to the Daikon sushi and noodle house network. The similarities, however, are only superficial.

Daikon may not be expensive, but Diky Ris reaches down to another level of affordability. Sure, the prices are cheaper, but then again the portions are smaller -- very small, in fact. And being a restaurant-for-the-people kind of place, it packs the people in pretty tightly. The overall atmosphere is bustling.

Diky Ris has none of Daikon's relaxed spaciousness, but it does have both smoking and nonsmoking rooms. Rather incongruously, the open kitchen faces onto one of the smoking sections. There is a separate children's playroom.

The walls are hung with large black-and-white photographs of different Asian peoples posing for the camera, reflecting the menu's pan-Asian spread. The huge selection of sushi, sashimi and rolls is at bargain prices, starting at 40 rubles for salmon or haddock. Of the non-Japanese offerings, a serving of three house-specialty rolls with duck in plum sauce, reminiscent of Peking duck, costs 180 rubles. Steamed spring rolls include vegetables, tofu and coriander for 150 rubles and with sea scallops marinated in orange for 195 rubles. Steamed dim sum with prawns and bamboo shoots go for 200 rubles.

There is a decent selection of wok-

prepared dishes, such as calamari in oyster sauce with basil (195 rubles) and prawns with chicken and vegetables (195 rubles). Dishes prepared on the grill include salmon teriyaki (240 rubles) and "Thai-style" lamb chops (360 rubles). Southeast Asia is represented by a mild seafood laksa with coconut milk (250 rubles).

As Diky Ris is aimed at the mass-market sushi-loving crowd, don't expect anything too authentic or spicy -- just some simple Asian at low prices.

68/10 Leninsky Prospekt, 730-5250, 11 a.m.-6 a.m., M. Universitet.