Limpopo. When broken down into its constitutive syllabic units, the name of this restaurant could easily roll off the tongue of a deranged Vladimir Nabokov protagonist. Lim. Po. Po. And, indeed, when LifeStyle was there, an American had brought his little, skimpily dressed Lolita to the place.
The young Russian lady sat, and listened, and listened, while she delicately used a straw to sip from an electric pink drink, and on occasion, interrupted the balance between these two activities to smoke from a long, thin lady's cigarette. Meanwhile, her date, who felt perfectly fine doing all the talking, let one Brooklyn-voweled utterance after another fill the place, which was otherwise empty, except for LifeStyle, of course, and an overwhelmingly large rhino-head sculpture protruding from a nearby wall.
Naturally, this scene with the exception of the rhino head and especially the modern-day Humbert Humbert was a tad intolerable for us, and it soon became obvious that the Lolita was also awash in alternating waves of boredom and disgust, as she lolled her eyes in a way that said: "Hey, buddy, when do I finally get to chew on that kangaroo?" Oddly enough, in a place like Limpopo, which bills itself as an African restaurant and drives home the point with sledgehammer details like kitschy leopard-skin tablecloths, this is a fair enough thing to wish for.
Kangaroos are not known to have hopped their way across the Sahara, or any other parts of the so-called Dark Continent. But they are on the menu here, and after a great deal of quasi-historical delving, which, to be honest, involved nothing more than making a few things up during a post-Limpopo session of beer and pizza in part because this is an extremely lazy review and in part because the LifeStyle fact checker is currently on holiday in Burkino Faso we have come to the realization that there is an African connection to this tender, antipodean marsupial.
Through the mystical lens of a Baltica No. 3 bottle, it is not hard to see that Zaire's Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku wa za Banga (Otherwise: "The all-powerful warrior who, because of his endurance and inflexible will to win, will go from conquest to conquest leaving fire in his wake") must have been quite fond of the dish, and developed a particular hankering for it when his people fell into extreme suffering or demonstrated with exceptional vividness that their lifelong experience under his rule was nothing more than total, abject wretchedness.
So, you can see, Limpopo is African, but in that vague Al Jolson sense of the term, when to be African is to ram a bone in your nose, douse your body in henna and shake a spear over your head.
Or, to put it differently, Limpopo is the perfect pre-Hungry Duck destination for any New Russian purse-carrying flathead or drooling sex-crazed expat who wants to send his date into dizzying awe because he can slap down 30 bucks on exotic meats from Down Under in a restaurant that is owned by Russians but is sure to have a few native Africans squatting by the door for the sake of authenticity.
No doubt, this is also why, at the end of your meal, if you order such things as the kangaroo, the waiter will bring a signed Sertifikat, which looks very official and features your name and the date and a cartoon of the animal punching a small boy in the face with boxing gloves. (This last feature eluded us, too. Wouldn't an image of a boy punching out an animal more accurately capture the "Nice work, buster, you did a knockout job on that dinner" idea?) In any case, this document is obviously meant as the perfect apres meal gift for the lady, or as material evidence that patrons of Limpopo can also leave a little fire in their wake, even if it is in the third stall of the nearest nightclub bathroom.
Somehow, given all this, it is not startling that the management of this overpriced place brags that it is the only African restaurant in town, which is a patent falsehood and quite an unusual thing to say to two restaurant reviewers who are likely to be in the know. However, it would be unfair to omit that the food is enjoyable, and is arguably the most sophisticated Moscow has to offer. in the genera of African cuisine. A delicious shrimp curry entree and avocado appetizer did not go unnoticed.
12 Rozhestvenka Ul.
Metro: Kuznetsky Most