Fitting right in among the upscale shops of Moscow's New Arbat district, the Cafe ANGARA gives shoppers and wanders alike the opportunity to relax, watch the shoppers stroll by, and enjoy fresh beer. The great outdoor patio is Plexiglas enclosed and houses a dozen black Formica tables and padded chairs on green synthetic turf. Imitation plants and vines serpentine around the ceiling but fail to conceal the security camera observing all silently in the background. Ashtrays abound and for good reason, all the local patrons and the staff are chain smokers! Inside, the large 40 by 150 foot room is more elegant, with patterned carpets over the hardwood floor. A currency exchange window lies along the left wall near the small bar. Two copper brewing vessels of German origin lie behind the glass wall at the rear. The restroom, a larger full bar, and lots of dining seating occupy the second floor. To reach that more secluded setting with its burgundy and dark work decor everyone must pass by two burly security guards who pass handheld metal detectors over patrons from head to toe.

The menu features a wide variety accompanied by a an equally wide price range. Hot and cold appetizers include caviar and run from $5 to $10 while Main Courses of meat or seafood can be had for $10 to $80. German-style game dishes dominated the line up but Russian soups and various Julienne's were well represented. The Russian/English menu also includes a Sushi Bar selection and takes two pages to list all of the deserts available and a rotating display case highlights some of the more visually attractive ones. Just to remind smokers that there's no need to forgo their habit for a minute, the menu also lists cigarettes. Although the "dressed to kill" natives found it fashionable to order the bottled Heineken and Corona, the real reason for a stop here is the house beer. The KLOSTERBRAU is unfiltered and yields a deep golden color with a medium body and reasonable carbonation. A full mouthfeel is accompanied by a pronounced but smooth malty flavor where only a slight hop bitterness is detectable. With a very clean finish this well-rounded brew comes across like a respectable Bavarian-style Lager. The house dark beer is the TEMHOE. Well carbonated, its medium body and full mouth feel is matched to a rich, dry malty flavor with a chocolatey character and clean, dry finish. While a half liter bottled beer might cost you less than one dollar at a nearby kiosk, this is the trendy Arbat district and prices show it. A .25 liter glass of the "dark" costs about $1.50, a .4 liter mug is $2.25 while the 1 liter size runs $4. The "light" carries a price premium over the dark. Closing time is 10 PM weekdays and 11 PM weekends.

While the experience inside might be similar to any three or four star restaurant, the patio seating outdoors, with its view of the Arbat Mall will have summertime patrons believing that they're sipping great lager beer seated along the runway during a Victoria Secret fashion review. The Cafe ANGARA offers a quality beer tasting venue and a cultural experience like no other.

19 New Arbat
Moscow, Russia
203-6936 291-2209 FAX

Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - September, 1999

[Reviews] Brewpub Reviews [Home] NM Virtual Brewpub