Moscow Tea Room: a middling lunch

IMG_9686The day was glorious and the Moscow Tea Room was barren — inside, anyway. The lavishly decorated, grand cafe room, which I imagine bustles with the Beautiful and the Young at night, did have patrons, but they were all on the patio. I walked through the room — admiring its many assets — and found their courtyard humming with a decidedly middle-aged crowd, plus a couple of exhausted mommies-with-babies. (It all made the server stand out as someone more suited to the nightlife at the cafe than during their midday service.)

The lunch had its moments, but was mostly mediocre. My tea choice — Kimicha’s Jin Jui Mei — was, however, splendid. I also loved the pierogies, which I believe are house made.

IMG_9662Much of what the Moscow Tea Room serves seems more assembled than cooked, brought in from elsewhere — I was told — and plated up. In this category goes the cheeses, charcuterie, smoked fish, baked goods, pastries, scones, and cakes.

There was borscht, which was pretty thin on flavour, and then a salad for which the smoked sturgeon was the standout. I’ve had this product before (from New Brunswick’s Acadian Sturgeon and Caviar), but what a treat to see it again.

The salad was generous, a nicoise of sorts, with boxed greens, potato, onion, grated beet in a vodka dressing. It would improve with fewer dull greens, more guts, and less fridge cold.

IMG_9663But the pierogies were terrific and generously served for six bucks. Stuffed with cheese and potato, boiled then fried, topped with clean tasting sour cream, snipped chives, and roasted onions. Bacon would have made them even better, as bacon tends to do. But so be it. This was the best of the few things I ate.

I don’t know where they get their desserts (“a Market bakery”), but they should consider another source. The chocolate mousse cake tasted like an edible oil product, lacking in chocolate flavour with a too-sweet fake tasting cream. I didn’t want to finish it. (An occupational hazard, averted. Thank you.) Instead, I ordered more hot water for that great tea.

Pierogies, $6, Salad, $10.50; Soup, $5.50

Moscow Tea Room, 577 Sussex Street, 613-723-6216





2 responses to “Moscow Tea Room: a middling lunch”

  1. Kay Avatar

    A curious observation – the title of this article on the Ottawa Magazine article is “Moscow serves up great brews and terrific pierogies” which seems to give the reader a very different summary of your first impressions of the Moscow Tea Room; even more so for those who just skim the headlines instead of reading the entire article (not me!). Was that a conscious decision on the part of the magazine or yourself? As I find the title featured on your blog for this article is much more fitting to the overall review.

    1. Anne Avatar

      Glad to hear you read the whole darn thing, Kay. I agree the headline OM chose doesn’t match the thrust of the report and could be misleading if read by someone less thorough than you! Thanks for taking the time to drop me a note. All best.

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