Hochu Harcho / Хочу Харчо
Meals from 4 dollars
This past weekend, I had some of the best food I have ever had the pleasure of eating. Fellow SRAS student Molly and I wanted to try something new, and a lot of our friends had been raving about how good Georgian food was. So we got a recommendation, and went out to try it. Best decision of our lives. The restaurant, Hochu Harcho, is on Sadovaya, a street that runs right next to the university. It’s about a 10 minute walk, which is very convenient.
The interior of Hochu Harcho actually reminded me a little bit of a chic, Middle Eastern restaurant back in the States. Very open, airy, but cozy and welcoming at the same time. The hostess, who was wearing a uniform of a long red evening gown, led us upstairs and seated us right away. We were given menus, and a complimentary little glass of морс (a Russian berry drink). I was very excited about this, because in Russia it is very hard for me to ration my one drink to last throughout the whole meal. And it was delicious. As we were looking over our menus, we were both very overwhelmed because everything looked amazing.
We were told by our friends that we absolutely had to try the хачапури as a starter. It really wasn’t like anything I’ve had before, but it was absolutely delicious. There are several types of хачапури, which are all a little comparable to cheesy bread. We had the adjarian хачапури, which comes with an egg over easy in the middle. The waitress mixed up the cheese and egg in the middle and told us to dip the bread from the sides into it. That was our starter. We split just one order, but after that I was completely full. Luckily it took a little bit to get our main course out to us. After making a little room I my stomach, and drinking some of the raspberry морс that we ordered, I was ready for my huge main course. I ordered чкмерули, a garlic chicken dish. It was cooked to perfection, with the meat falling off of the bones. The blend of sauces was incredible, the garlic mixing with the Georgian marinade perfectly. Molly ordered солянка мясная по-грузнский. This was a dish with pork neck and vegetables in a stew-like blend of Georgian spices. I also really liked her dish, although it did have a little bit of kick to it (I’m not a huge fan of spice). Both dishes were cooked perfectly though, and we were both very satisfied. I wasn’t able to finish all of mine even though I tried my hardest, and Molly barely finished hers.
The service was like any restaurant I had been to in Russia, very slow. This was not a problem on Sunday, as we had planned for a long meal. The bill was a little on the expensive side, with mine costing 780 rubles, Molly’s 480, and the starter to split at 440 (so my total bill was about $20). This would be a good place to go in a group, but maybe a smaller one, 10 people max, so it could be a could choice for faculty led programs, especially if you order in advance. I will definitely go back to Hochu Harcho. Georgian food has captured my heart, and I can’t wait to try and find more restaurants like this to try.