Cafe Russia: Kichijoji
Cafe Russia
0422-23-3200
Kichijoji / Russian
Kichijoji Honcho 1-4-10, Nine Bldg B1F.
Open 11:30am-10pm (LO) daily.
Sun: Open Sundays

Authentic Georgian and Russian food is prepared by native chefs in this unpretentious basement cafe. Georgian- and Russian-themed set menus (Y3000-3200 for lunch or dinner) are a good introduction to the kitchen's most popular dishes.

The excellent Geogian menu starts with the wonderfully named "herring in a fur coat," a layered construction of beets, potatoes, finely diced herring fillets, eggs and carrots. Other apps are a spicy ratatouille-style ajapsandali and refreshing, lightly pickled cabbage, followed by khachapuri, a flaky pie stuffed with cheese.

The main event is tabaka - a big helping of garlicky roast chicken with crisp skin and succulent, juicy meat. We also enjoyed the eggplant with walnut paste and the kharcho (spicy beef) soup, but perhaps the thick, syrupy Georgian coffee is an acquired taste.

There's also an extensive a la carte menu, and lots to drink (Georgian wines, Russian vodkas). Y1000-range lunch specials are served until 5pm.