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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Simachev Strikes Again

MTOrnate lampshades and Persian rugs add some coziness.
For London-born Natalie Horsting, head chef at Denis Simachev Bar, Moscow was not a place that she ever expected to end up -- and when it was suggested it to her, she was reluctant.

"I had worked all over the world but to me Moscow just sounded too cold," she said over a bowl of soup in a curtained booth of the bar.

But eventually the concept of the premises was explained to her, and she was seduced by the idea. "They said it was going to be like a toilet, surrounded by designer stores."

Denis Simachev Bar is in the basement of the Denis Simachev boutique on Stoleshnikov Pereulok, surrounded by Chanel and Louis Vuitton.

Downstairs there are black-and-white tiled walls, a central table with taps separating each eating area, and disco balls suspended from the ceiling. A cheeky mosaic in one corner and a toilet bowl complete with chain in a guarded booth set the tone, while ornate lampshades, a fireplace and Persian rugs add coziness.

Igor Tabakov / MT
Simachev Bar's cheeky toilet-themed interior design concept includes a central dining table lined with taps.
Horsting said the menu was initially going to be small -- soup and sandwiches -- but it just grew and grew. Salads include beetroot carpaccio with mixed leaves, goat cheese croute, grilled pear and red onion chutney for 280 rubles.

Igor Tabakov / MT
Chef Natalie Horsting
Soup and half a warm chicken sandwich costs 355 rubles, while soup and half a grilled rib-eye steak sandwich goes for 460 rubles. Mains hover around the 500 ruble mark; a favorite among Horsting's friends is Thai green crab risotto for 480 rubles. There is an all-day breakfast menu with items including American pancakes with blueberries and maple syrup for 190 rubles.

Her favorite thing about Moscow is still being able to surprise the customers.

"They have had this type of food in England, Australia the U.S. for a long time, but many people here try the combination of goat's cheese and chutney and just say 'wow.'"

Horsting said the designer himself was happy with the restaurant. "Denis loves it, he eats here every day."

12/2 Stoleshnikov Per., 629-8085, 24 hours, M. Pushkinskaya.