Fish Tanks and Fugu

MTMisato's interior boasts fabulous aquariums in place of windows.
Yet another Japanese eatery opening may not seem very remarkable in a city that is host to hundreds of sushi bars, but the new Misato restaurant is noteworthy for several reasons.

For starters, it is huge, occupying three floors with several halls and VIP sections with plasma screens and karaoke. Its highly polished interior may follow a conservative Japanese styling with a dark wood and granite minimalism, but one feature does stand out -- its fabulous fish tanks. Running along one wall are aquariums that act as windows onto the street, with semiopaque outer sides stopping passers-by from stealing free peeks at the wonderful collection of sea creatures swimming about inside. A further rarity for Moscow is the presence of the potentially poisonous fugu fish sashimi on the menu, which, rather more typically for Moscow, sells for a hefty 2,135 rubles.

In fact, Misato stands out as one of the most expensive Japanese restaurants in town. A large portion of the dishes on the menu go for more than 1,000 rubles. The sashimi starts from 945 rubles for bay scallop sashimi, while sushi begins at 350 rubles for two pieces of prawn sushi, and rolls start off from 210 rubles for cucumber or marinated Japanese pumpkin.

For those looking for the most inexpensive options, cold starters begin at 210 rubles for sesame tofu, and 280 rubles buys a hot starter of boiled salted soybeans. Hot mains start from 945 rubles for yellow tail fish stewed in nitsuke sauce. Boiled rice costs 175 rubles. Draft beer costs 315 rubles for a half-liter of Kirin, and sake starts at 490 rubles for 150 grams.

One further novelty at Misato is the unusual ice cream selection, which includes jasmine and wasabi flavors (both 210 rubles for 50 grams), as well as prawn flavor (350 rubles for 85 grams).

Misato: 47 Myasnitskaya Ul., 725-0333, noon-midnight, M. Krasniye Vorota.