Ideal Gurmanization: Igor Kulikovskiy speaks about tea-club “MATE”

Every week we meet with different people and ask them about their favourite example of “gurmanization”: combination of a restaurant’s atmosphere and the quality of its cuisine.

In tea-club “Mate” you can try the ancient drink of Gods and feel the atmosphere of Maya civilization. In this article you will find the information about how this establishment is different from the others and why you’d better switch off your mobile phone when you are there.

«About two years ago my friend brought me to the tea-club “Mate” (Shabolovskaya metro station, 19/2 Lesteva street). He is a great fan of mate, drinks it from “calabaza” (special dish for mate) and buys different sorts of tea for consuming at home.

Then I decided to order one of “weak” mate believing that honey can soften the strength of the drink. But, as a result, I couldn’t fully enjoy the taste of the tea as is turned out to be too strong for me. Perhaps I should try once again next time.

One of the advantages of this establishment consists not only in tea diversity but also in its atmosphere – it’s very relaxing and unusual here. I wish there were more places like this in Moscow. I can name 5 establishments of this kind, for instance, one of them is the tea-club “Zhelezniy Phoenix” in Lubyanka.

Igor Kulikovskiy, freelancer

If you want to know what is mate and try this dink, I would advise you to go to the tea-club “Mate”. This place can’t be called a usual cafeteria or even a restaurant. Guests must take off their shoes at the entrance, then leave (at their choice) their mobile phones at the reception. As the club is located in the cellar of a residential house, the mobile network is rather poor here. The atmosphere invites you to relax, so if some guests begin to speak on their phones, I think the magic of the place disappears.

There is an opportunity to order different rituals and ceremonies, for example, you can learn how mate is prepared according to the Brazilian traditions (the price of the ceremony for four people is 1642 rubles). There is even a special menu for such kind of service. On Saturdays the club organizes live concerts, and on any day you can play board games (backgammon or chess). Anyway, you always have to pay 200 rubles to enter.

I don’t have any favourite drink, it’s always interesting for me to taste something new. But I like ordering a drink with mint because I enjoy its soft taste.

Moreover, there is also a “sweet” menu. I come to this club mainly because of mate, but I was told that there are good cakes as well. I like “Four wings” dessert (nut-citron mix, 100 g., 180 rubles) and “Secret pleasures of Montezuma’s wives” (150 g., 207 rubles).

Dessert “Secret pleasures of Montezuma’s wives” (150 g., 207 rub.)

What I don’t like about tea-club “Mate”? It would be great if it worked 24 hours. Now the club is opened till 00:00, and on Fridays and Saturdays till 02:00. Because of my flexible schedule I prefer when my favourite establishments are opened round-the-clock. I can go any time I want, just when I feel like coming, I come. Incidentally, it’s easier to get here by car. On foot it takes about 7-10 minutes from the metro station.

And if you have some difficulties with choosing tea or desserts, the staff of the club will always help you to make up your choice. I really like the service in “Mate” – it’s always very careful and polite. If you come on any day, the place in the main hall is provided for you. But separate rooms (there are four) must be booked in advance. The founders of the club have intended to create the special atmosphere, and, in my opinion, they have succeeded».

Tatiana Bronnikova

Photos are taken from the official web-page of the restaurant