Dumplings in Demand

MTGuests lining up for an inexpensive, hot lunch at Pelmeni Boom.
The pelmennaya genre has been changing rapidly over the last several years. These old-fashioned eateries have been revamping with such ever-increasing speed that the latest incarnation of the dumpling house has broken the pelmeni sound barrier, hence the name -- Pelmeni Boom.

This new pelmennaya couldn't be more different from its predecessors of yesteryear. It's not Soviet, or even ironic retro-Soviet. The interior is thoroughly modern, bright, well lit and spotless, with slick pine furniture and glass dividers. R'n'B is pumped over the sound system while plasma televisions broadcast extreme sports. There's not an aluminum fork to be found in the place.

The menu is extremely simple and extremely cheap. Customers serve themselves from large pots of pelmeni and big bowls of salads. The cashier weighs up the servings by the cash register. There are five varieties of pelmeni (although the full selection is not always available) -- classical, chicken, "spicy," cheese and fried with cheese -- all 60 rubles per 200 grams. The pelmeni are nothing to write home about, resembling those that you might find at your local supermarket. The salads are fresh, however, and include olivye, cabbage, vinaigrette and other typical canteen offerings, all for 30 rubles per 100 grams. Soups may include similarly familiar choices such as borshch, cabbage, noodle and mushroom and so on, all for 38 rubles a bowl, but only one might be available. Beverages include juice for 35 rubles a glass and espresso goes for 40 rubles. Draft beer is cheap at 50 rubles for half a liter of Klinskoye.

Pelmeni Boom may not be fine cuisine, in fact most business lunch deals are probably tastier, but if its pelmeni you're after then the Boom has got 'em and at prices that make local lunch deals seem expensive.

26 Novoslobodskaya Ul., Bldg. 1, (499) 973-4647/44, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., M. Novoslobodskaya.