Top 4 ‘culinary theaters’ in Moscow

Combining culinary and theater experience. 

Combining culinary and theater experience. 

Culinary theater 'SVET'
In Moscow, fine dining is now literally an art form and a spectacle. With the help of food, video, and audio, directors in cooperation with top chefs tell wonderful stories about the world, the country, and the viewers themselves.


This restaurant and bar can only accommodate 20 people, and unifies immersive and culinary art. Sitting at a sizable round table, the diners watch large-scale shifting video projections. For example, in the “Imaginary Russia” performance you can travel, just like in a time machine, from the era of paganism to the USSR and the 21st century. 

The guests find themselves in a dim room without windows, the placement of dishes on the tables is dynamic and doesn’t allow any time to get bored. The action happens both on the plates on the table and all around you. A video sequence on the walls and tables immerse you in corresponding historical moments, making you feel nostalgia or rethink the events of the past. 

“In this project, we experiment on how to decipher images into dishes and how to evoke various emotions,” says Vladimir Mukhin, the chef for this project as well as the White Rabbit Family holding. “Success is achieved only thanks to a genuine human experience. For example, my personal experience of getting caught in a horrific storm when sailing in Norway allowed me to convey the feeling of a safe harbor in Aivazovsky’s painting, “The Ninth Wave”, during one of our dinners.”

Krasota has already hosted dinners dedicated to Russia and to the work of eight Russian artists. For example, ‘Imaginary Art’ rethinks the works of Repin, Petrov-Vodkin, Chagall, and others. In January, it will host the premiere of a new set, ‘Imaginary Future’, which will tell seven stories about possible visions of the future, from building metropolises on the ocean floor to the rising dominance of AI. 

Address: Moscow, Romanov Alley, 2, building 1

Tickets from 23,500 rubles (about $260)


2. SVET 

This is a show about a journey in an imaginary express train that explores human vices. The guests sit in the hall where tables are set parallel to each other. A visual sequence shifts on the walls: space, sea, abstractions, and views from the window of a train compartment. Periodically, you hear live vocal sounds. The viewer is offered to contemplate on the most relevant topics of modernity – money, sex, idleness, power, and ego. There’s a reason behind the name of the performance – Guilty Show. 

There are six acts in total; during the breaks, a dinner is served made by the hands of chef Stanislav Pesotsky, the main popularizer in Russia of ‘Nordic’ (the Scandinavian culinary branch). 

“Our show has a set of different “puzzles”, and the food is one of them,” said Pesotsky. “For example, in the ‘Idleness’ section, we are at the bottom of an ocean. The narrative and the set speak of the sea, so the food on your plate comes from there: several types of caviar, seaweed, cod, etc. There’s no hidden meaning that you need to search for. In the ‘Ego’ section the story is about what is always hidden from the eye. There’s a person’s ‘outer shell’ and there’s their inner world; the idea is to convey the image of emptiness through the concealed serving of dishes. A guest receives a white plate, showered with light; and only by breaking the snow-white construct on the plate can they reach the Truth.” 

Address: Moscow, Podkopayevsky Alley, 4a.

Tickets: 18,000 rubles (about $200)


3. Madison  

At this late dinner show “Mad Girls”, the audience finds itself in the sultry atmosphere of an American cabaret of the early 20th century. Dashing heroines surrounded by luxurious decorations – among velvet, glass, wood, and bronze – sing, dance, and tell their stories, and share their dreams. The show is conducted both on stage and above it (circus acts), as well as between tables, served by waiters during brief intermissions. 

A duck breast pate in chocolate glaze opens the set; followed by beet marmalade with labneh cheese and malt chips and scallops with a smoked Suluguni cheese mousse. The main course is venison tenderloin with aioli made from black garlic, and stuffed potatoes. For a vivid ending there’s a dessert with black currant, Anchan tea cream, and coffee Tuiles. 

“An essential part of the show is the use of bold solutions – the dishes should push boundaries and evoke different emotions,” said Alexei Lysenko, the show’s producer. “This is how the unusual combination of a scallop and beet marmalade emerged. That’s something few try anywhere else.” 

Address: Leningradsky Prospekt, 31A, building 1

Tickets: 7500 – 12,500 rubles ($80 - $140)


4. Zerkalo. Life 

Located in the center of Moscow, there are 12 viewers, 12 rooms, and 24 actors all in 1000 square meters. This space hosts a theater ‘promenade’ with a dinner at the conclusion. How is the walk conducted? The details of the performance “Zerkalo Carlosa Santosa” are kept secret, but here’s what we know: at first, a dozen viewers are freely walking in quite a large space – the director sets the tone by speeding up his narrative or slowing it down. 24 actors perform for 12 viewers. Each viewer's experience has their own visual and audio spectacle, reacting to the action happening right next to them. 

“The performance raises different topics; it’s speaking of life, death, dishonesty, and pretense. It’s akin to a visit to a psychologist, where the viewers are not simply watching the scenes but letting them pass through or participating in the action,” this was the impression of user catherine-catty, who wrote a review on the Internet. 

The organizers explain the name of the show as follows: Carlos is the mystic writer Castaneda, and Santos is Santa Claus, who grants wishes. 

The organizers warn that the performance features sudden changes of light, and a viewer can find themselves in an enclosed space, which can be uncomfortable for some people. 

At the end of the promenade, waiting for the audience is a simple dinner served on a common table, where everyone can pick a dish to their liking – fish or meat, fried or fresh vegetables, cheeses and wine. Here, you can share your experiences from what you just went through with other participants and compare emotions. 

Director Talgat Batalov and restaurateur Evgeny Kadomsky invented and staged this show on the basis of the text of playwright Maxim Kurochkin. 

Address: Bolshaya Dmitrovka, 32, building 1

Tickets: 5000 – 6900 rubles ($55 - $77)


READ MORE:The 7 most EXPENSIVE dishes in top Moscow restaurants (PHOTOS)

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