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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ask the Chef

Natalie Horsting, from London, is head chef at Simachev Bar.

Best dish
"Everyone raves about the Thai green crab risotto, but it's quite funny because it's something I just threw together at the last minute. A lot of my friends come in just to eat that."

Most popular dish
"It used to be chicken sandwich, now it is steak sandwich -- but Russia is so unpredictable: we sell just steaks, hundreds of fillets of steaks, and another week we won't sell any."

Favorite food
"Thai, my dad lives in Thailand, I love it."

Favorite (other) restaurant in Moscow
"For good fish, Nedalny Vostok ... but for a burger with a hangover, probably Starlite Diner."

Favorite restaurant worldwide
"There's so many, but a beach bar with fresh fish is always excellent."

What's the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?
"There's too many, all sorts of beetles and stuff in Thailand. The worst thing I ate, actually, was a live octopus -- it's disgusting. They do it in Japan. They basically get an octopus, they cut it up, and you eat it all including the slithering legs. It still moves, in fact it can still cling to your throat. It's not very nice."

Do you try to be authentic or adapt the cuisine to the local market?
"A bit of both. You have to adapt a little bit -- you can't come to a city like Moscow and just say, 'This is what you're going to eat.' It's nice to work with the cuisine and put your own take on it."

Most surprising thing you've learned as a chef about food
"It's such a cliche but you never stop learning."


Nedalny Vostok, 15 Tverskoi Bulvar, Bldg. 2, 694-0641/0154, M. Pushkinskaya.
Simachev Bar, 12 Stoleshnikov Per., 629 8085, M. Pushkinskaya.
Starlite Diner, 16 Bolshaya Sadovaya Ul., 290-9638, M. Mayakovskaya; 9a Korovy Val, 959-8919, M. Oktyabrskaya.