LEFT Design has won prizes and awards for the Tunguska restaurant in Krasnoyarsk. The extraordinary interior design pays homage to the beauty of Siberia with its vastness and river landscapes. In culinary terms, Tunguska offers a journey to the new Siberian cuisine.
The name sounds as adventurous as the cuisine is likely to be for many a palate: Tunguska. But those who embark on the adventure will not regret it – neither culinary nor in terms of look and feel. The location for “new Siberian cuisine” is somehow Nordic and undercooled, but at the same time enchantingly beautiful.
However, you have to travel a long way to enjoy both. The innovative Tunguska restaurant, designed according to sustainable principles, is located in Krasnoyarsk. This is the third largest city in Siberia, the North Asian part of the Russian Federation, after Novosibirsk and Omsk.
Tunguska: local colour and local materials
Local colour is not the only focus at Tunguska; local products and raw materials are also used and local culinary traditions are cultivated. Therefore, cooking at Tunguska is done on an open fire in a Russian wood-burning oven or on a charcoal grill.
A major goal of this project was to create an interior with a very special atmosphere. It should reflect the beauty of Siberian nature. The endless Siberian taiga with its many wild and romantic river courses, which are also a source of food thanks to the abundance of fish, is the leitmotif. And so the mystery clears up: the name of the new temple of pleasure is also the name of a river in the region.
The name of the restaurant, which belongs to the Berrywood family, is also meant to refer to the identity and culture of the North Asian indigenous peoples of the North, who have lived in the area around Krasnoyarsk for centuries.
The project was longlisted in the restaurant interior category of the Dezeen Awards 2020. At the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards, Tunguska is on the shortlist (Restaurants Europe).
Also designed by LEFT design are the Bulgakov Bar, the 0.75 restaurant, the Mike&Molly restaurant and the Barista Coffee Garden – all in the Krasnoyarsk metropolitan area with a population of around three million.
Homage to the rivers and their treasures
The LEFT design team around the two founders Gennady Dezhurnykh and Anna Gavritschkowa wanted to honour the rivers and the wealth of regional foodstuffs that play a major role in daily life in the north of Siberia with the interior design of the Tunguska.
At the level of stylistic elements, for example, the many silvery panels are a reference to the waters. The décor showcases many of the tools used in fishing: The floor lamps, for example, are inspired by the fish traps used by local fishermen.
Local pebbles, stones and wood as style elements
Most of the materials used come from the region itself. The floor is a kind of terrazzo made of Enisey pebbles, the counter and the kitchen counter are made of solid granite, as it is quarried locally. The washrooms also have partitions made of local stone.
Wood as a style element is also dominant: many natural tree trunks from the nearby forests are piled up to spatially separate the areas in the restaurant. The metal used to make kitchen bonnets or stairs is meant to recall the rocks that line the Tunguska riverbanks. Metal grilles on the ceiling resemble the northern lights. And even the silvery armchairs seem to reflect the light like islands in the river in the glistening sunlight.
Exceptional food and wine list – modern siberian cuisine at Tunguska
The richness of the region is not only reflected in the design but also on the menu of the Tunguska. Numerous endemic fish species live in the crystal-clear waters of the rivers in the far north, such as Tunguska or Yenisey, the fifth longest river on earth: Starting with the Baikal redfish (omul) to the freshwater whitefish tugun to the local char species.
The restaurant’s owners, Dmitry Zhurkin and Alexei Neiman, venture a fresh and original interpretation of the region’s gastronomic traditions and products.
The heart of our cuisine beats in harmony with Siberian history.Dmitry Zhurkin & Alexei Neiman
At the same time, however, the spirit is open to modern, global influences as well as techniques, trends and flavours from all parts of the world. Chef Nikolay Bobrov is responsible for the culinary implementation.
For breakfast, for example, there’s Kamchatka crab with smoked grayling, peas and aioli on toasted tartine. Lunches include Siberian Pho Bo soup with reindeer, wild garlic and rice noodles, including cabbage roll, followed by beef tongue in unagi sauce with wasabi mashed potatoes or glazed cod loin with seaweed rice and chilli aioli. But a classic beef stroganoff is served just as well.
Bar manager Ivan Yakovlev and sommelier Ekaterina Bobrova offer an interesting wine list with more than 100 positions and cocktails with local ingredients, such as taiga berries.
Modern air purification technology
But Zhurkin and Neiman also want to score points with environmental awareness and responsible consumption. They claim that no pollutants or dangerous particles would be released into the atmosphere during the cooking processes. This is made possible by the installation of modern air purification technology. They also try to apply the zero waste concept as much as possible.
Tunguska Restaurant in Krasnojarsk
Location: Ulitsa Vesny, 30, Krasnojarsk, Krasnojarskij Kraj, 660077 Russia
Tel.: +7 (391) 269-93-88
Design: LEFT design
Area: 900 sqm
Tunguska online >>
First Siberian Gastronomy Festival @taigastro
By the way, it’s already too late for 2021, but there might be a Da Capo next year: In August, the first Siberian gastronomy festival @taigastro came to an end. For a little more than two weeks, thousands of guests were able to taste and either rediscover Siberian cuisine in 9 Siberian cities and 27 restaurants.
The final event was a party in the Bulgakov Bar. Six top bartenders from Krasnoyarsk got together and presented their creations based on local berries, wild herbs and spices as well as French premium vodka at the absolute top price of 300 roubles (the equivalent of about 3.50 euros).
Participating bars and bartenders were Roman Kulikov (Illegal Bar), Mikhail Poetov (Bar 0.75), Nikolay Bolgov (Bellini Group), Oleg Krestovozdvizhensky (Tunguska), Dmitry Trushin (Bulgakov Bar), Dmitry Semenov (SOHO).
Text: Linda Benkö
Images: LEFT design