Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Lunch in Kazan

This short post will take you back to one of my favorite places: Kazan!

We had lunch in two cool restaurants in Kazan. The first was at Туган Авылым (that's Tatar for Home Village). Туган Авылым is a large complex that takes up an entire block. Inside its walls, you'll find a day's worth of activities. There's a restaurant, a mosque, a blini cafe, a banya, a second cafe, a souvenir workshop, a toy museum, a petting zoo, a kids' rope park, and a hotel.

Inside the restaurant.

"Wedding banquets from 1500 rubles."

We ordered this big Tatar dish to share among the three of us. It was just as tasty as it looks!

The second restaurant was Рубаи, tucked away on a quiet street downtown. The interior was decked out with rounded doorways, colorful tile art, and rug-covered walls. In another part of the restaurant, a wedding party posed for photographs. Allison and I were seated at a low table, on a padded bench filled with pillows.

The menu was full of delicious Uzbek dishes, like lamb samsas, rabbit à la Tatar, and horse meat sausage. (Or maybe, not so delicious, depending on your tastes.) The food took ages to arrive, but it was sooo worth it! Here are a few of the things we ordered:

Side salads.

Speaking of food in Kazan, all foreign visitors are practically mandated by law to try чак чак. If someone gives you a sweet that looks like an ant nest, it's chak chak. (In fact, the biggest chak chak in the world was prepared last year in nearby Ufa. It weighed 2,500 pounds!!!)

"Take home a piece of the East. "

SRAS describes it as "a dessert food made from deep-fried dough drenched in a hot honey syrup and formed into a certain shape, most commonly a mound or pyramid." I tried it a couple of times (again, it was bordering on mandatory)... but honestly? It tasted like stale cereal glued together with honey. It wasn't bad, but it seemed more like a snack food than a dessert.

D's mom used to work in a Tatar restaurant, so she's made some of the typical dishes for us, but after this trip I realized how much more Tatar food there is to try! Have you ever tried this kind of food? Which sounds better to you: chak chak or chocolate cake? :)

PS: Here's a cool 8-minute video on Tatar cuisine.


  1. I never went there when I was in Kazan. Anton and I had intentions of going but just never made it.

    The first time I ever tried chak-chak it was really bad. I think it was stale, but luckily I gave it another shot.

    1. Haha, I kept thinking it was stale too, every time I tried it. ;)

      Hope you're getting out and making some good memories during these last few weeks, Jasilyn. Safe travels!