Address: Kaluzhskaya pl., 1
Tel: +7 (499) 238-5848
Open from 12:00 until 06:00
All major credit cards are accepted.
Fruity Daytime Clubbing Experience
By Alice Babington Hill
Having been briefed to specifically review Mio's food, rather than its music or ambience, I decided to make a reservation for lunch rather than in the evening in the hope that I wouldn't be distracted by the atmosphere and could therefore concentrate 100% on the food. I should imagine the place is really quite buzzing at night. Reservations are essential on Friday and Saturdays and recommended at all times for larger groups.
Mio, fashionable among the young trendy Russian set, launched itself as a DJ cafe, but is now trying to establish itself as a worthy eatery too. One method of food marketing they have adopted is a weekly mail out of lunch menus to regular customers, who also include diplomats from the nearby French embassy. Slightly apprehensive about hanging out in a nightclub during daylight hours, imagining dingy, smoky surroundings, I was pleasantly surprised by the light, fresh and clean restaurant area. The comfy sofa we collapsed onto was very welcome.
As lunch was scheduled for the Morning After The Night Before, Natasha and I were both in need of detox so ordered fresh carrot and apple juices (140rbl). We then studied the very extensive menu which includes summer dishes, meat, fish, pasta, salads and the inevitable standard page of sushi. The cuisine is mostly Italian and French (with the token Japanese) and it is perhaps worth noting that the menus are only in Russian at the moment, although they are in the process of being translated into English.
I sampled the Duck Salad with Pineapple (210rbl) which was fruity and yet light and filling. It included cranberries, lettuce and tomatoes and had that too-good-to-be-true yummy but healthy taste; always an unlikely combination and one I can never quite trust. Natasha opted for a Caesar Salad with Salmon (220rbl). The dressing was wonderful and the parmesan good, although apparently the salmon could have been a little less chewy.
I then chose Pork Shashlik (120rbl) which was deliciously tender and just the right size as the main course of a light lunch. I personally think garnish is a waste of time, but my shashlik was accompanied with the most exotic looking carrot gratings I've ever seen. They looked far too glamorous to actually eat.
Natasha's main course option brings me round to a common complaint of Moscow restaurant reviewers: Why can't the Muscovites leave sushi to the experts? Her tuna rolls (170rbl) were mediocre, while her salmon sushi (80rbl) and yellow tail fish sushi (210rbl) were really below average, and one even had to be returned to the kitchen with a comment that the fish may have been off.
I am loathe having to grumble about this because I honestly enjoyed my Mio meal and would like to recommend the place, however I do feel obliged to warn any potential patrons to avoid the sushi there.
My advice is to stick to the modern European options, and your experience should be good and definitely worth the slight challenge of finding the venue.