If you find yourself tired of dorm food and yet visiting the food court at Kapitoli perhaps a little too often, causing a certain disillusionment as a result of too much Wendy’s, Teremok, Burger King etc., then you might consider treating yourself to a meal at Livan House.
The small, colorful eatery serves Eastern and Central Asian dishes buffet style. You start on the left, pick up a tray, and make your way around. You first come to the salad bar, then afterward a man will offer to make you a shwarma wrap, and after that, a veritable plethora of entrees stand before you. Indeed, it’s pretty hard to chose, but it all looks good: potatoes and meat, rice, mountainous cheese bread and meat concoctions, noodles, desserts, and the list goes on.
I got some Caesar salad, veggies, rice with peppers and beef, and meat dumplings. The final price I paid came out to a not-so-cheap, but quite reasonable 346 rubles. The salad and veggies were wonderful, the dumplings delicious, and the rice, literally, the best I’ve had thus far in Moscow. It was long grain, perfectly seasoned, and given a lovely texture from the combo of small chunks of beef and red/yellow peppers. The lady at the buffet did stick my dumplings in the microwave, causing me to grimace somewhat, but they were still good.
I didn’t get the schwarma, a staple of mine that I often get from a kiosk near the university, but they offer it for 99 rubles and it did look quite a bit better than what you’ll get on the street: more meat and an actual serving of veggies rolled up into a tube o’ goodness.
They get you in and out really fast, are pretty friendly about it to boot. I suppose they have to be with the huge line that formed there (further testifying to the place’s quality)
Perhaps just another fast food choice in the mall, and, indeed, it will run you a little extra money, but you do get what you pay for. While I won’t be going three times a week, I know I’ll go back to try some of those tantalizing entrees and their shwarma.