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Moscow restaurant guide

Restaurant: Café Wok Studio

Contacts
Address: 10 2nd Tverskaya-Yamskaya Ul.
Metro: Mayakovskaya
Phone: (495) 234-1953 / 234-1954
www.wokstudio.ru

Cuisine
Average cost:
Cuisine: Asian
Services:


Open 24 hours

Moscow’s only restaurant serving authentic Filipino cuisine is now open! Fans of pan- Asian food can sample many gastronomical delights, including mung bean soup, pork and chicken adobo, Cebuano lumpia, and banana-almond spring rolls, to name just a few. For those who like to start their day with breakfast in the city, Café Wok Studio presents one of its signature dishes, Manila Toast, a mouthwatering combination of coconut-coated fried toast stuffed with butter crème berries, served with crispy bacon and honey maple syrup. Spearheaded by Philippine national Ronald Pangilinan, the former executive chef at Starlite Diner, this tasty new venture promises attentive service along with great value. Conveniently located a stone’s throw from Mayakovskaya metro station, Café Wok Studio awaits this city’s connoisseurs.

 

 

The New Filipino

Text Charles W. Borden
Photos courtesy Café Wokstudio

The new Asian-Filipino restaurant Wokstudio is a little hard to find hidden behind a construction fence behind the new north entrance to the Mayakovskaya metro station on the Green Line. However, the bright, open restaurant is not only pleasant but, sources tell me, one-of-a-kind – Moscow’s only establishment offering Filipino cuisine. The executive chef is Richard Punzalan, and the co-owner is Ronald Pangilinan, the former sous chef for “Big Tim” Freeman, the Asian specialist who opened the trendy Soho Rooms.

Philippine Ambassador in Moscow Victor Garcia III
and his wife cutting the ribbon at Café Wokstudio’s opening

With a section labeled Burgers and Panini (all served with steak fries), the red menu at Wokstudio is not entirely Asian. The big Studio Burger is served with 1000 Island dressing (225 rubles). You can have an American breakfast: an L.A. omelet with sautéed mushrooms, apple wood smoked bacon, and avocado (250 rubles) or Pancakes (200 rubles) with sides of maple syrup (75 rubles) and grilled steak (195 rubles). The Filipino breakfast items include an intriguing Manila Toast, a coconutcoated fried toast with bacon and maple syrup (200 rubles) and Crepe de Coco made with coconut milk (200 rubles).

We ordered an array of items from the sections labeled Wok, Stir Fry, and Rolls. First out were plates of sticky Jasmine white rice (75 rubles) followed by Islands Pork-Chicken Adobo (395 rubles), slices of tender marinated meat stir-fried with caramelized shallots and adobo sauce. In the Philippines, adobo means a coating of vinegar, garlic, and soy sauce. Next up was Boracay Fried Noodles (350 rubles), wok-prepared thin glass noodles (made from mung bean starch) with small tofu cubes and vegetables.

Leche flan

Cebuano Fresh Lumpia

Next out was the highly anticipated pancit, Pancit Palabok (350 rubles), described as boiled thread rice noodles topped with cocktail shrimp, boiled egg, prawn crackers, hot smoked mackerel, scallions, paprika, and cream. Passport publisher John Ortega, who as a kid hung out in his grandfather’s Filipino restaurant in Southern California and knows his way around a pancit, pronounced Wokstudio’s version up to snuff. A vegetarian guest ordered the Vegetarian (295 rubles), a plate of wokfried sweet peas, celery, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and shredded carrots with rice noodles in a soy and garlic sauce.

We did not try the four soups available – Won Ton, Mung Bean, Tomato, and Sontanghon (ranging from 175 rubles to 250 rubles) – or the salads, which include the Caesar and Caprese present on most Moscow menus. We’ll have to go back to try Wokstudio’s straightforward lineup of Grill and Seafood such as the Rib Eye Steak (899 rubles), Rack of Lamb (699 rubles), and Chilean Sea Bass (750 rubles).

We were stuffed with pancit when the dessert plate came out with Leche Flan (225 rubles), Banana-Almond Spring Roll (225 rubles), and Maja Blanca (195 rubles). Leche Flan is a Filipino tradition from its Spanish colonial heritage, in this case a firm disk of egg custard with a sweet dark rum and caramel sauce. The spring rolls were a pleasant surprise with the traditional crispy rice paper wrapped around a banana section, fried, and lightly coated with a rum sauce. Huge slices of homemade Apple Pie (225 rubles) finished off the meal.

Maja blanca

Shirmp Tempura

We were generally pleased with the quality of the food at this new Asian restaurant, with its light, open, clean atmosphere. And it’s nice to have another chef-owned restaurant in town. Wokstudio has its alcohol license and features live piano music, so now it is missing only a children’s menu, a shortfall that hopefully will soon be remedied.



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