Milk & Honey/Молоко & Мед
Ул. Суханова, д. 6а
Sun-Thurs: 11 am – 1 am, Fri-Sat: 11 am – 3am
Meals from $8.50
In almost any Russian city you will see a continental European-style cafe on almost every corner. Vladivostok is certainly no exception to this rule, as these chic hangouts are the “in” places to see and be seen. Very often, however, the only thing that you do in these cafes is grab a coffee and a pastry, as the prices are through the roof; you certainly do pay out the nose for all the classy decoration and royalty-inspired tea services.
There are some places, though, that push the café envelope a bit. Brightest among these shining stars in Vladivostok is a cozy little spot called Молоко & Мед (Moloko & Med; Milk & Honey). Now don’t get me wrong, if you’re looking for that classic café snobbery, you can find it at М & М in spades: the porcelain tea services would be at home in Queen Elizabeth’s collection, there is a child-size, wrought-iron cage in one corner, sporting a live bird, and I’m fairly sure not one entrée off the normal menu starts under 300 rubles. However, there is a choice of paths at this establishment, a fact amply reflected by the faint punk/anti-establishment edge evinced in the political tome-filled bookcase, the back wall full of security mirrors serving as décor and the not infrequent Lana Del Rey playing in the background.
Should you choose to take the red pill, you’ll need to come to Молоко & Мед between 12 and 5 pm, the time during which the inexpensive business lunch is served. I had an absolutely delicious, no less than three-egg omelet filled with onion, pork leg and a light tomato sauce for only 200 rubles. In fact, it was the most expertly seasoned dish that I have tasted in Vladivostok, and perhaps in Russia at large, and was also amongst the most skillfully plated dishes that I have come across. To top off the experience, I had a glass of облепиховый морс (oblepikhovyj mors; sea-buckthorn juice), which was clearly house-made, refreshingly sweet, and smelling of springtime (60 rub). On a whim, I also added a piece of walnut biscotti (30 rub) to the mix, which was a step I could have eliminated, as it was rather too crumbly for my liking and somewhat tasteless aside from the giant nut chunks. Besides, I was already past full!
When all’s said and done, I would recommend Молоко & Мед without reservation (although it is wise, before going, to make seat reservations). Not only was the food unexpectedly pleasant on the palate, but the service during the meal was also quite attentive and genuinely helpful. Further recommending the establishment is its discount card, which is completely free – all you have to do is sign up and come back for it. And even this slight inconvenience turns into a bonus upon the realization that you get to eat here again!
For groups and faculty-led tours, I think Молоко & Мед would be a great place to go. The food, the atmosphere and the service are perfect for such a gathering. However, I would recommend getting in touch with the staff beforehand to reserve their special events room on the lower level, because the seating plan of the open-to-the-public portion of the restaurant is not equipped to accommodate large parties.