Friday, 12 October 2018

EATING VEGAN IN MOSCOW | RUSSIA


Hotel Vega
I stayed in a hotel called Izmailovo Vega for three days in Russia. When i arrived I was knack knack, so I really just wanted room service. Needless to say, the room service options were very limited as the only option was french fries. So, I got the french fries - haha! The Breakfast options were much more varied and an actual dream for vegans, from hot foods to dried. They had all the fruits and vegetables with a huge salad bar. There was lots to choose from and I certainly didn't go hungry the days in which I had breakfast there. It made me think as well, had I had not been vegan, I would have been eaten all of their sugary cakes and biscuits for breakfasts instead. Sometimes you forget how healthy you're being simply by cutting out all of the crap veganism just doesn't have. Anyway, I digress, on the first night, we were all rather tired, so we ate in the hotel restaurant downstairs on the first floor. My, my - the mushroom dumplings were divine as was their potato stir fry dish. I washed it all down with a virgin apple mojito and loved life a bit.




The following day, whole exploring the city centre, we went to a little cafe at the bottom of the ''Oknothy Riad' shopping centre - it's the one that is underground right underneath the Kremlin Museum and opposite the red square. They didn't have many vegan options and were rather confused as I 'moo-d' and did impressions of eggs alongside google translate in order to tell them I didn't eat any animal products... but this was their vegan option entitled 'the green roll'. Now, my expectations were low, I can't lie to you, but I was wrong to doubt them, very wrong. The green roll is in fact one of the best lunches I had eaten in a very long time. It was a chickpea and vegetable mild and sweet curry in a beautiful spinach wrap. I adored it and could have eaten ten, but I managed to refrain.


Forgive me, as I cannot remember the name or location of the place in which I ate this, but I am sure you can find it in more than one place as it's the Russian traditional soup 'Borscht' - veganised of course. It's usually cooked with an animal's body, however for me they made it with boiled pear, which was strange to say the least. I didn't know how I felt about boiled pear, and for a while, I thought it must have been a translation error and just agreed after finding out it was definitely vegan (my students always struggle with the word pear lol), but I was so pleasantly surprised. Boiled pear loses it's sweetness and becomes a little more chewy. Now that I am writing this, I wonder if they used boiled pear to take the piss, but they did me a favour haha... so the jokes on them for giving me free advice if so! =) It was lush and I might actually use them in my own cooking now! 


The Supermarkets:
I went to a few supermarkets and they all had a selection of vegan milk alternatives, which I was happy about. They had oat, soya, almond, coconut and rice mylk in the places I visited. There were lots of pickled goods, which of course are great for your gut. One of the days I made a tomato, gherkin and olive sandwich and it was delicious. They sold houmous, which I was so happy about. There were of course lots of fruits and veggies. They sold your standard abroad *definitely-vegan* staples such as oreas and pringles. None of the noodles were vegan friendly, but I bought a sauce and didn't put the packets into the noodle mix. Also, at the hotel, there wasn't any cooking facilities, however, if there would have been, then there would have been plenty of options for dinners. 

Before you go to Russia: Moloko (молоко) is milk, yaytso (яйцо) is egg, Myasa (мясо) is meat, syr (мясо) is cheese, krem (крем) is cream, med (мед) is honey, ryba (рыба) is fish, ne (He) is not and finally 'I am vegan' is ya vegan (я веган).

Peace Out Potatoes! xo
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