The first time I visited Moscow, strangeness reigned. Monkeys travelled on the metro, curled in their handler’s arms and clad in Swarovski tracksuits. Strict facial recognition controlled access to vast barges that doubled up as nightclubs, pulsing on the city’s river. In the dusk of one morning, a girl nonchalantly rode her horse up Tverskaya, one of the busiest throughfares in Moscow. As for dining, “go to Georgian restaurants”, it was advised. The fact that even locals were recommending their neighbours’ cuisine made it evident that the restaurant scene needed some rejuvenation. But the city, and country, is changing.