St Petersburg: мопс (Mops)

St Petersburg is very cold. I got my first ridiculously warm hat yesterday and one would need to surgically remove it from my head. It’s not coming off. I feel as warm as a toastie in it. As it is so cold I was under the impression that people must be hibernating at home to get over the winter months. I’d love to do that. If bed sores weren’t a threat I probably would, but the cold isn’t an issue for the Russians. This city is loud, lively, and mean. Noone smiles at anyone, and it took me a while to not take it personally. Well, just about a day really.

I hadn’t had many expectations regarding food having been told that it’ll be meat and potatoes. So far I’ve had the best pizza ever (actually, second to Sacco’s in NYC) at Probka with the thinnest, crispiest and non-soggiest base I’ve had in the longest time (pizza in London blows), and some of the tastiest Thai ever at Mops.

Mops means pug (ie the little mashed-up-face dog). An odd name for a restaurant but that’s where the oddness ends. The decor was lovely. We were sat in a white conservatory tucked away from the cold and given fleece blankets to get extra cosy. The bathrooms were some of the fanciest I’d ever been to as well! And of course the food was awesome. The duck spring roll was the stand-out feature. More like crispy little dumplings of joy. I am so in love with all things duck (except liver, kidney, and other manky bits).

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We also had the ubiquitous Prawn Pad Thai, and a jazzed up version of green curry with scallops, prawn, guava and dragonfruit. Surprisingly guava goes quite well with a green curry, if only it were more easily available in Europe.

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