Sushi Vyosla is a cafe-bar specializing in Japanese food. As such, it automatically attracts crowds of customers bent on sampling the Moscow trend of raw fish. The central location, background pop music and Fashion TV just add to the busy feel of the sushi bar. While waiting for my dinner date over an Asahi beer or five (100 rubles a bottle), I had time to take in the clever interior. In fact, I had enough time to invent a "join the sushi" game with the pictorial menu, catch sufficient fish to stock the kitchen for the next year and learn to speak Japanese fluently.
However, when my companion eventually showed up, I was able to point knowingly to the glass-bottomed rowing boat hull, above the Henry T. Nissan conveyor belt carrying sushi around the middle of the cafe. I revealed that the oar-like lamps protruding from the hull emphasized the play on words of the establishment - Sushi Vyosla meaning "Dry the Oars," i.e. sailors' slang for pack up work, with the logical continuation of eating. The rest of the sushi bar carries on this watery theme - cylindrical, plastic waves on the walls, bubbles shooting up the water-filled, glass-fronted bars, and sushi served on boat-shaped plywood plates.
The food itself is cooked up by Japanese-looking Indonesians (according to the doorman), working in the middle of the central production line. There's a fairly full range of Far Eastern fare, backed up by a drinks menu featuring eight sorts of sake and various vintages of plum wine. I started with a fine Ume assortment (450 rubles) of three cucumber rolls and six standard sushi, of which the best was the octopus. However, that's the last time I try to show off by downing the semtex - otherwise known as wasabi. My friend had cream cheese-and-avocado filled Canadian rolls (170 rubles for two) with eel, and Philadelphia rolls (150 rubles) with cream cheese, avocado and salmon.
These tasty snacks were accompanied by a lovely green tea soup (100 rubles) packed with rice and salmon for me and a tasty miso soup (90 rubles) with seaweed for her. In addition, we decided to look cultured by sipping on a pot of herb-filled "Long Life Elixir" tea (120 rubles). My chum knows more about Japanese food than Emperor Hirohito in his prime, and she highly rated the crispy tempura with shrimp and vegetables (290 rubles). I enjoyed what I could scrounge, and was also suitably impressed with my own thick Udan noodles with meat and vegetables (170 rubles).
To follow this we shared a portion of delicious gyoza with shrimp (180 rubles), and I finished up with a refreshing green tea ice cream (170 rubles), served with a sprig of mint, begrudgingly donating a spoonful to my dining partner. Overall, Sushi Vyosla justifies its popularity. The sushi and other dishes are professionally prepared and the service is excellent. It also has a tempting business lunch at 360 rubles. Sushi Vyosla is a sushi bar well worth nipping into if you get the urge for uncooked fish.