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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tanuki Takes Over Goa

MTTanuki has a stylish interior and an expansive, but inexpensive, menu.
It lost its mojo and went the way of the dodo -- Goa is gone. Once a hip restaurant and bar that attracted the likes of Mumy Troll front man Ilya Lagutenko, the Indian restaurant's popularity slowly slipped until it was finally finished off, to be replaced by Tanuki.

Run by the same restaurateurs as Goa, the budget-priced sushi chain has been expanding rapidly of late. In principle, the chain differs little from most of the other sushi chains around town, but it does have a few touches that set it apart. Moreover, this particular branch is of a class that sets itself above others of its ilk.

First and foremost, this latest Tanuki has an impressive and spacious interior. Running the length of the restaurant are huge floor-to-ceiling windows, next to which small tables provide a pleasant view out to the small lane outside. The two-level red interior features ample amounts of bamboo, mostly used to separate the various seating zones, and an open kitchen provides a good opportunity to watch sushi chefs at work.

As would be expected, Tanuki offers all the usual sushi (30-55 rubles), sashimi (120-275 rubles) and rolls (60-285 rubles) that you find elsewhere. But even better, Tanuki offers an above-average range of other Japanese dishes. Excluding rice, noodle, shashlik and teppanyaki dishes, there are still more than 30 different dishes listed in the hot mains section.

The sukiyaki (780 rubles) is a good choice for two to share -- and watch. Right by the table, the waitress (all the wait staff are women at Tanuki) will light a gas flame and slowly simmer beef, tofu and a variety of vegetables in pan of broth with special sukiyaki sauce.

As is traditional, a raw egg is provided for dipping each morsel as you eat it.

During a visit on the day after opening, everything that could go wrong did go wrong when it came to service, but nonetheless the food was tasty. Given that the wait staff is up to speed at other outlets, this Tanuki should soon find its form.

8/2 Myasnitskaya Ul. (enter from Bolshoi Zlatoustinsky Per.), 504-4031, noon-midnight, M. Kitai-Gorod.