Event · food · Travel

A Posh Russian Birthday Dinner

It was another jam-packed day on the eve of our birthdays. Tired, it was our first day in Moscow, and excited to take advantage of the great weather for taking photos. Dead tired, because we tried to prove that our AirBnB flat is “near” the Kremlin complex, as claimed. It was a 30-minute walk to our flat… I almost died and not have lived the day to see my birthday (ok, I was exaggerating here, but…)

We would have just slept the night away, my friend joked that we just buy bread from the grocery downstairs. We lazily researched Russian restaurants to hold our pre-birthday celebration. Then finally, Dr. Zhivago in Hotel Nacional sounded like a plan. It’s selling point to us? The website says it offers views of the Kremlin. Kremlin… We couldn’t get enough of…

Booked a taxi, got up, and went.


True to its claim, it indeed offers view of the Kremlin. It is actually just opposite the Kremlin wall along the busy Ulitsa Mokhovaya.  However, there is a construction work right in front of the hotel, which somehow is an eyesore to “the perfect view”.



The restaurant is located at the ground floor of Hotel Nacional with its own separate entrance. The hotel exudes old world charm and sophistication.

As we stepped inside Dr. Zhivago, we could see the interiors of the restaurant from the reception area. With a red and white theme, the restaurant screams class and pricey service. We all smiled in agreement that this was THE good choice.

We weren’t dressed up for the venue, and the receptionist looked a bit “unprepared” for our arrival. Haha… We didn’t dress up at all, and we may have looked like the weary travelers that we were. She may have thought we were looking for McDonalds?


Dismissing that feeling of embarrassment, we excitedly followed our server who led us to a private dining room encased in glass and a huge bar adorning the wall. This seems to be the only private room in the restaurant. How did she know it was our birthday!?!?

From our area, we can see how daintily the restaurant has been adorned. With huge chandeliers, huge sculptors and ceramicware on display. It was late at night and still the place was buzzing.


We ordered different things and agreed to share so we all can try their dish. I ordered salmon and requested that we try caviar. When in Russia, right?

All food tasted delicious. We were left full and satisfied. We made the right choices, again 🙂 It’s our birthday! Haha.


Our cakes are not complimentary, so a sincere shout-out to my friend for this surprise. They were served to us by the crew holding ice fountains and singing Happy Birthday in Russian. The surprise was done well! Haha…

I must also say that my blueberry cake was yum, it was my first time to have it. Never too late for another first, eh?



Rubles well spent as time was, it was the best birthday we could have in Moscow. Dr. Zhivago is value for money with the ambiance as an added bonus. Overall, despite the initial “intimidation” we felt of the place, it is indeed one for the books.

So… Happy birthday it was for me. And as I blew the birthday candle then, I had nothing but gratefulness and happiness in me. A perfect start for a perfect year I pray…


“Art always serves beauty, and beauty is the joy of possessing form, and form is the key to organic life since no living thing can exist without it.”
Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago


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