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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Alchemy and Ali Baba

MTMiddle-Eastern motifs in Alkhimik's design are not reflected in the food.
Alkhimik is a rather strange sort of restaurant. Its name means alchemist and the interior design attempts to explore this theme. The general feel of the place is somewhat Ali Baba, with several larger-than-life Middle Eastern characters and genie-like bottles painted on the wall. Another wall is painted with the huge, bearded head of a Nostradamus look-alike, flanked by a sun and a moon. There are columns made to resemble stacks of antique hardcover books. The overall effect is quite impressive, in a theatrical kind of way.

Given the interior, you might assume that there would be Middle Eastern cuisine on the menu, but this is largely not the case. With the exception of a few dishes prepared in a tandoor oven or on a grill, most of menu consists of the regular European popular hits found in most fashionable cafes around town. The prices at Alkhimik are high -- a fresh vegetable salad with mustard dressing costs 400 rubles, and a smoked duck salad with slices of citrus fruit under a raspberry sauce costs 550 rubles. Porcini cream soup goes for 460 rubles, while tomato soup with mixed seafood costs 450 rubles. The mains are similarly pricey -- dorado stuffed with spinach costs 780 rubles, and duck breast under a forest mushroom sauce will set you back 800 rubles.

Wine starts at around 300 to 400 rubles a glass.

The beer is better value and the selection is good: Alkhimik's own house beer goes for 180 rubles a half-liter, Krusovice dark and light for 190 rubles and Blanche de Brussels for 195 rubles. The restaurant is currently offering a special on its draft beers -- buy one beer and receive a second for free.

43 Ul. Pokrovka, korpus 2, 644-4929, noon-last guest, M. Kurskaya.