© Studio Shoo

Anyone who has ever traversed the urban fold of the Russian capital knows it’s full of gems on a few levels, but it’s hospitality that stands out with its fast-evolving scene. Tucked away in a side street in Arbat, a historic downtown neighbourhood, a quirky Levantine eatery has popped up, drawing hordes of gourmets from across Moscow to its doorstep. Called Abu Gosh after a village in the hills just outside Jerusalem, it occupies a restored early 20th-century pavilion in neoclassical style by architect Konstantin Burov, and forms part of the so-called Lopatins Estate, a historic architectural site which barely escaped rigid urban redevelopment. At just 22 sqm. (237 sq.ft.), it’s a very compact space, and following a revamp by local architecture practice Studio Shoo, the premises look fresh and bright with a playful edge. The setting is framed by exposed white bricks dipped in a white hue, a timbered ceiling, and glazed tile flooring.

One side of Abu Gosh is occupied by a seating area furnished with custom-made items, including a variety of tables, chairs, stools and decorative elements in eye-popping pink and other bright colours. The vintage 1950s light fixtures have been carefully sourced, and add to the restaurant’s unique vibe. A fully equipped open kitchen occupies the other side of the space, featuring a counter covered in identical tiles as the floor and matching white and blue tiles on the walls. Supervising Abu Gosh‘s kitchen is Lebanese-born chef Basem Zain who honed his skills at other popular Middle Eastern eateries in town, and he has put on the menu a range of simple yet tasty bites from the Holy Land, such as Falafel, HummusLaffa and Shakshuka, paired with desserts, coffees, teas and soft drinks. Location: Abu Gosh, Pereulok Svitsev Vrazhek 42 (Arbat).

© Studio Shoo