What to order in an Italian restaurant in Moscow, Russia - Kidding Herself
Mouse at La Gatta Moscow

What to order in an Italian restaurant in Moscow, Russia

Mama would not like you to think that she doesn’t like Russian cakes – they have one which is layers of meringue sandwiched together with cream and covered with peanuts which is her most favourite thing to eat ever – but for some time she was itching to introduce Papa to the glory that is a proper British sponge cake, because sponge cakes in Russia are made largely without the help of baking powder and invariably tasted a bit stale to Mama’s refined sponge palate.

So it was a bit of a shock when she finally triumphantly served him a slice of moist, light, spongy goodness and Papa was unimpressed. It all goes to show that food is one of those things that can cause someone to go into a tailspin of culture shock like nothing else.

Which brings me to a restaurant called La Gatta.

La Gatta Italian Restaurant Moscow

‘La gatta’ means ‘cat’ in Italian. I know this because the restaurant is covered in funny cat pictures, something that definitely makes it a good place for our family to eat out as just the wall art keeps us amused while we wait for our food to arrive.

Cats at La Gatta restaurant Moscow

And I know the La Gatta restaurant is Italian because pizza features highly on the menu, along with pasta. And very nice pizza it is too, although because we are in Russia, it is often liberally sprinkled with dill.

Pizza at La Gatta restaurant Moscow

Mind you, La Gatta also serves sushi.

Sushi and Pizza at La Gatta Restaurant in Moscow

Because we are in Moscow.

And in Moscow, sushi and pizza are the two most popular carryout food items, if you don’t count street food from the Caucuses. Many takeaways, cafes and restaurants may have started out serving one but have long since shrugged and decided to offer the other as well.

This is one of those things that strikes expats as extremely bizarre, wrong and demonstrative of a fundamental something or other about their host nation. Much hilarity generally ensues the first time someone pins a flyer for the local sushi’n’pizza place next to the lift of their new flat.

Mama, however, having recently eaten in not one but two separate restaurant chains in the UK whose menus cheerfully combine burritos, curry, koftas, burgers, pies, lasagna and jerk chicken as well as steak and fish and chips, decided recently to just go with it and order the damn fish rolls if she didn’t feel like a bread overload.

So she did. Nice huh? Go on, you know you are secretly thinking that this sounds like a good idea.

Sushi at La Gatta Restaurant Moscow

She has no idea if warm tempura-battered fried rice rolls with cream cheese inside are authentically Japanese, but they were very nice so she just does not care.

And if you don’t fancy either the Italian or the Japanese food then you can get the German-inspired sausage platter instead.

German Sausage Platter at La Gatta Restaurant Moscow

While ordering from the extensive beer menu. Because in this Italian restaurant they don’t serve wine.

Beer at La Gatta restaurant Moscow


More information

The restaurant’s website.

This is what the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has to say about pizzaburgers with spam – a culinary treat from the school cafeteria.

Address: At least three locations in Moscow for La Gatta and every fifty feet for a sushi, pizza or sush’n’pizza place.

Opening: As you would expect for a restaurant.

Getting there: No need to take the car, they will bring a selection of sushi rolls and pizzas to you if you don’t fancy leaving your flat.

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What to order when you dine at an Italian restaurant in Moscow, Russia - pizza, sushi, sausages, beer and pasta.


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Kidding Herself is (nominally) written by Herself, a seven-year-old girl, and describes an AngloRusski family's local travel adventures in Moscow, Russia (and the UK).

25 thoughts on “What to order in an Italian restaurant in Moscow, Russia”

  1. That sounds like a very interesting combination of food for a place with an Italian name. But as long as it’s good and the atmosphere is nice, who cares, right? 🙂
    Love the way you write, with some English humour. It gives a very realistic look into a local culture. Haven’t been to Moscow for years… Would go back for the food alone – this place seems to have a menu to please everyone.

  2. Great post! You make me smile and giggle. Borsch, pelmeni and vatrushki are not popular anymore? Moscow became an international cuisine hub I guess. Thanks for the laughs and for your sense of humor. : )

    1. Well, places which mainly feature Russian cuisine are also popular, but they tend not to serve sushi there for some reason. They do have pelmeni on this menu too though! (To be fair, the foody scene in Moscow is the real deal. I’m just not part of it, and neither are your bog standard takeaways).

  3. I’ve noticed people often comment on abundance of dill we put in our food in Eastern Europe. Yesterday I happened to buy a bunch of dill here in India (it’s not always easily available), and added it generously to fried mushrooms. What a bliss it was :))))

    1. Dill certainly has its place, and either I am almost completely used to it, or it’s not quite as ubiquitous as we expats like to pretend. But every now and again in Moscow I realise that dill has crept into a dish where dill has no place in being, and one of thoese places was a pizza at this restaurant, although to be fair, it’s only been like that on one of the pizzas we’ve tried so far. The mushrooms sound lovely, and I support the dill use there completely!

  4. It looks like a cosy little place. And a place that has a cat name has to be good! Not sure about the combination of pasta and sushi though….

  5. I am thinking that UK restaurants are missing a trick – I love pizza and sushi so the chance to have both together would work for me. Then a small slice of sponge and one of that nutty meringue cake please. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  6. I’m not sure I’d have a good time with food in Russia. Aside from the fact that I’m vegetarian there are very few things that I dislike – but dill is one of them!

    1. They don’t put dill on *absolutely* everything. And Russia’s not too bad for vegetarians – quite apart from anything else, when they fast, it involves cutting out things rather than not eating, and meat is the first thing that goes. So there are quite a lot of veggie dishes about in Russian cuisine generally, and that’s quite in at the moment. The problem used to be that they weren’t too strict about not making them with meat stock and such, but there are even veggie restaurants here now. We haz civilisation!

  7. Sushi and dill… Okaaayyyy…. Actually I think I would rather like it. My Luxembourgish kids and wife are always highly amused when we go back to Ireland and see things like pizza with sweetcorn (which raises eyebrows but is generally accepted) and lasagne with chips (which crosses the line and is severely frowned upon). Cultural differences indeed. Great post, again. Thanks! #CityTripping

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