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Restaurant Review October 30, 2007
Maki Kafe, Old Is The New New
By V. Cherkesov

While I am unable to remain indifferent to the feuding among clans in the special services, and I grieve over the threat to the "corporation" and to Russia herself, still, I am a human being. That means I need to eat, relax, and take a load off, just like the next guy.

That is why I am taking this unusual opportunity to write a restaurant review for The eXile about one of my favorite cafes in Moscow, MAKI KAFE. No, it is not new: I date it to 2004, the year that we consolidated control over Russia and returned it to greatness.

Ever since we, the chekisty, saved this nation from the catastrophe and chaos of the 1990s, Moscow has seen an explosion of cafes. Our capital's cafes are different from the ones one finds in Western Europe while investigating corruption and misdeeds: there, the focus is on coffee. Here in Moscow, the focus is on the right atmosphere, the right crowd, good food, and last but not least coffee. Our cafes are struggling with many enemies as they develop their own sovereign culture. Only last month, a certain structure introduced Starbuck's into Moscow with the aim of weakening our unique cafe culture. They want to make Moscow's cafes coffee-oriented, but what they do not realize is that in their selfish quest to caffeinate our cafes, they might bring down every gain we have made over the past eight years.

Let me return to one of our capital's finest examples of cafe culture: Maki Kafe. It is located just off of Tverskaya near Pushkin Square. What strikes me, the visitor, when I first arrive is the spacious and minimalist dark wood interior, with high ceilings and tables spaced far enough apart to ensure one's security from snoopers and eavesdroppers. The crowd is also quite a sight to behold: gorgeous young women, stylish young men, the rising middle-class and the bohemia.

When I visited Maki Kafe recently for this review, I approached a table of well-dressed young men and women and told them, "Young ones, you are the future!" Then I did a quick intelligence assessment and concluded that a saboteur had somehow managed to undermine their good looks by intentionally leaving the back of their hair long, while shaving the sides of their heads. "Enemies are mocking you," I noted. "Be vigilant! Only allow trusted people to cut your hair next time!"

Now I should say a word or two about the food. The prices are extremely reasonable by modern Moscow standards. We stabilized Russia, and the price of this greatness is reflected in the price of our food. But Maki Kafe is truly patriotic in its pricing. For example, the exemplary Thai Coconut Soup, the best and most authentic you will find in Moscow, is only 290 rubles. Also available are excellent and reasonably priced sushi rolls, fantastic milkshakes (I enjoy the banana milkshake) and delicious vareniki, or what they call "ravioli." They offer a good variety of alcoholic drinks, the interior isn't full of awful cigarette smoke, and the music is tasteful, even to a chanson-lover like your humble chekist here.

And, yes, they serve coffee, and by all accounts it's good coffee. But really, the coffee isn't what's at stake here at MakiKafe. Rather, the future of Russia is what's at stake.

In short, at Maki Kafe you will see the future of Russia today, whose very existence is thanks in no small part to the "corporation's" efforts at restoring stability, and fighting corruption. My intelligence tells me that it is located across from a male striptease club called "Krasnaya Shapochka," or Little Red Riding Hood. Clearly this is an act of subversion. If we in the "corporation" do not learn to settle our problems in a more civilized way, then Russia will become one giant male striptease club. The choice is clear: we can go the MakiKafe route of stability and prosperity, or we can continue in our destructive feud, and face a future in which every one of us must endure Tarzan's sweaty balls.

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