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Ukrainian national cuisine is the most common in Kyiv and in contrast to Italian or Chinese cuisine is mentally closer to the heart of Ukrainians. Most visitors of national restaurants are representatives of the older generation. Today in Kyiv there are hundreds of Ukrainian restaurants from the expensive Lypskiy Osobnyak in the Pechersk district to the low-cost Puzata Khata. In all such establishments you will definitely find Ukraine’s main soup called borshch
In Ukraine, there are approximately 50 recipes of borshch – there is lean borshch, borshch with meat or green borshch. Classic red borshch may include up to 20 ingredients: beets, potatoes, beans, carrots, onions, garlic, herbs, mushrooms, etc. Borshch is served with a large piece of meat and sour cream. In Kyiv you can find borshch for every taste and wallet. For example, at the popular restaurant Tsarske Selo near the Museum of World War II borshch with prunes and pork ribs will cost UAH 88. At O´Panas, located in the beautiful Shevchenko Park, classic red borshch costs UAH 58, while at the Puzata Khata café a helping of borshch costs only UAH 9.
Salo with garlic, as well as borshch, is a legendary dish of
Ukrainian cuisine, mentioned in a number of anecdotes and aphorisms about
Ukrainians’ national mentality. Salo is consumed fresh, pickled, steamed,
boiled, smoked or grilled and rubbed with garlic and spices. When salo has
several layers of meat it is called belly bacon and fried slices of salo with
onions are called cracklings or bacon bits. Salo is served almost in every
Ukrainian restaurant. Shynok in the Pechersk district has a Salo-menu with
seven variants: fresh salo with garlic, salo rolls with spices, smoked salo,
baked salo, prosciutto salo, baked salo rolls and Hungarian salo. Salo plate
(350 gr) costs UAH 161.
Dumplings made of unleavened dough, boiled or steamed were mentioned by gourmet Nikolai Gogol in his Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka. The main feature of Ukrainian dumplings is the dough. It should be soft and puffy. Dumplings can be prepared with all sorts of fillings: cottage cheese, mushrooms, meat, cabbage, potatoes and berries or fruit. Savory dumplings are usually served with fried bacon bits and onions, while sweet dumplings are traditionally served with sour cream, melted butter, honey or jam.
For your helping of dumplings go to Varenychna #1 in front of the Palats Sportu. Among two dozens of kinds of dumplings you will find those rarely served in similar establishments. For example, the meat plate includes dumplings with beef, pork, lamb, liver and eggs. The berry plate includes dumplings with currants, blackberries, cherries, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. Each plate costs UAH 88.
Homemade sausage is minced pork, bacon, garlic and
seasonings in a shell of animal intestines. The sausage is boiled and then
fried. Earlier in Ukrainian villages homemade sausages were served at all
celebrations. Sausage was placed into ceramic bowls and covered with lard. This
allowed for preserving it for a long period of time.
Deruny (potato pancakes) are a kind of hash browns and one of the most delicious dishes of traditional Ukrainian cuisine. Grated potatoes are mixed with eggs, chopped onions and garlic, salted, peppered, mixed with flour and fried until golden brown. Deruny are served with sour cream, fresh herbs, garlic or with mushroom sauce. Steamed potato pancakes with homemade sausage are served for UAH 65 at the oldest Kyiv restaurant – Mlyn – in Hydropark.
Pechenya is an old Ukrainian dish of meat and potatoes. Unlike roast, pechenya is cooked in a ceramic pot with no water. In addition to potatoes and meat it may contain mushrooms, onions, bacon, carrots, black pepper and garlic. In Soviet times “Kyiv pechenya” was a specialty in Kyiv restaurants. Classic Kyiv pechenya with pork, potatoes and mushrooms (UAH 68) is prepared at the ethnic restaurant Dukhmyana P³ch and served in clay pots.
Aspic is an old time-consuming Ukrainian festive meal. The “proper” aspic is made of pork and beef feet or shins. Prepared meat is soaked for several hours in cold water and then boiled for at least 5 hours with salt, pepper, onions, carrots, celery and parsley roots. Meat is then laid out on plates for cooling. Vegetables from the broth are thrown away and the broth is sieved. Then small slices of meat are put in small molds. Sometimes parsley, slices of hard-boiled eggs or boiled carrots are added. All this is covered with broth and left to cool.
Traditionally, aspic is served with horseradish or mustard, fresh bread and shots of cold Ukrainian vodka. As well as borshch, aspic could be ordered in all Ukrainian restaurants. For example, in Lypskiy Osobnyak a helping of Slavic three-layer aspic costs UAH 97, at Spotykach aspic with horseradish costs UAH 52, at Dykanka pig and rooster aspic with horseradish costs UAH 42.
Nalysnyky are egg crepes with fillings. They are considered traditional Ukrainian homemade food. Nalysnyky are different from ordinary pancakes or crepes because of their batter. They have to be stale, thin and bright yellow. Nalysnyky may have fillings made of mushrooms, meat, eggs, jam, and most often – cottage cheese with raisins. Crepes are served with sour cream and melted butter.
Kyivans expressed their love to nalysnyky setting a new world record registered by representatives of the Ukrainian Book of Records. Six months ago the Mangal café on the Turkhaniv Island made a 21.5 m long nalysnyk. Its preparation required 10 kg of flour, 17 l of milk and more than 20 kg of cottage cheese. Kozatska Vtikha restaurant on Khreshchatyk St. serves nalysnyky with meat (UAH 56) and cottage cheese and dried apricots (UAH 52).
The Vulyk restaurant on Velyka Vasylkivska St. fills crepes with soft cottage cheese and wild berries (UAH 64). Metla restaurant on Prorizna St. offers five kinds of nalysnyky, among which are crepes with jam (UAH 21) and crepes with red caviar (UAH 75).Printable version