Whenever I lust for Russian food, and especially my favourite dish pelmeni, I head to HoteLux in Deutz. Named after the former guest house of the Communist International on Twerskaja Ulica in Moscow, this local branch of the former glories of Soviet Russia is located on quiet Von-Sandt-Platz in the Deutz neighbourhood. Filled with Soviet mementos and propaganda posters, HoteLux consists of a smaller bar area and a bigger restaurant with satin curtains, mirrors and red tablecloths, somewhat resembling a Moscow restaurant during the Russian Belle Époque, pre-1917. On weekends, there is often a Russian three-piece band playing between the tables in the restaurant area.
The food on offer, however, is the same in both areas (no set menus in the bar though): borschts, pelmeni, blini, shashlik – all the staples of the Russian cuisine are there, all delicious and not breaking the bank. Russian beers are also on offer plus, of course, 20 different Russian and Polish vodkas. So all my proto-Soviet cravings are taken care of. За здоровье!