Culinary aliens

06.12.2013 | Alla Zakonova

This weeks issue of KW features a review of a Japanese restaurant, a French café, a Russian karaoke bar, a Colombian culinary academy and pop-up restaurants

Giving culinary venues in Kyiv the proper name is today a sign of high status. Most of the recently opened restaurants in Kyiv were named after their owners

Giving culinary venues in Kyiv the proper name is today a sign of high status. Most of the recently opened restaurants in Kyiv were named after their owners.

The Japanese restaurant Fujiwara Yoshi, named after its owner and Head Chef Yoshihiro Fujiwara, was opened in the Solomyanskiy district. The new restaurant is positions itself as authentic Japanese and its owner positions himself as a representative of ancient Japanese lineage. The venues interior was decorated with an aquarium, cover screens, tatami and an antique samurai doll. There you can try genuine miso soup made with a broth of skipjack tuna shavings and kombu seaweed, king crab and oysters from the Far East. In addition to the classic sushi, sashimi and rolls you will find on the menu teppanyaki and skillet dishes. The dessert menu includes green tea ice cream and sweet bean paste with rice balls.

Quotes from the menu: rice with tomato sauce, chicken fillet, vegetables, mushrooms and scrambled eggs UAH 56. Rolls of rice dough with roasted duck UAH 65. Tuna and scallop tartar with avocado puree UAH 165. Mashed strawberries with vanilla ice cream, almond flakes and rice jelly UAH 75.

The world´s third Vogue Cafe was opened at the Riviera Hotel on Poshtova Sq. The other two are located in Moscow and Dubai cities where people like to dress up and show off. There was a serious rivalry for the right to open a Vogue Cafe in the Ukrainian capital. In the end, the wealthy Ukrainian Yurushev family, which besides Riviera also owns the Intercontinental and Fairmont hotels, won the battle. The main event was the opening performance of Dita Von Teese, which included her famous striptease in a bathtub. While professional photos were prohibited, the Internet is full of amateur snapshots.

Vogue Cafs kitchen is the responsibility of Chef Volodymyr Bolibrukh, who worked in such restaurants as Eldorado, Surpriz, Marche and Ikra. The dishes have a noticeable French accent. Among the signature dishes are the Vogue Caf salad with artichokes, sundried tomatoes, marinated red peppers, fennel, arugula, parmesan and pine nuts (UAH 140 250 g).

Grigory Leps, one of the most highly-paid Russian singers, recently opened a karaoke bar named after himself on Lev Tolstoy St. near the Botanical Garden in the premises of the former restaurants Botsad and IQ. Leps Bar has a vocal hall for 70 people, a terrace for 50 people, a VIP hall for 20 people and a hookah bar for 12. The interior is decorated with the works of Kyiv artist Illya Chichkan and his wife Masha Shubina and king-size photos of Leps himself. The new karaoke bar claims to be an elite establishment offering a shot of vodka for UAH 60 and a cup of coffee for UAH 40.

Colombian with a Canadian passport and a popular Ukrainian TV presenter Hector Jimenez Bravo opened a culinary academy he named after himself. The academy offers cooking classes for professionals and amateurs, as well as one-day classes. The fee for attending the classes includes the cost of food products, cooking and tasting of dishes. A full course lasts 144 hours: 4-hour lessons are conducted 3 times a week for three months. The Culinary Art course costs UAH 18,000 and the Confectionery Art courses cost UAH 19,800.

Pop-up restaurants are a new trend on the public catering market in Kyiv. The main idea of the concept is to feed everyone at home, in a garage or on the streets. The format originated in the 1990s in the U.S. and was brought to European culture in the 2000s. Similar places were opened in England, initially as a Christmas tradition. Over time, the concept quickly spread all over Europe and today is no longer associated with the winter holidays. Every two weeks Kyivan Olha Ternytska invites everyone to her home restaurant Gastronomic Flights of Reality. There are no fixed prices: guests pay as much as they feel is appropriate. For each party the hostess develops original menus which are not repeated.

Maria Ledinas home restaurant of Italian and French cuisine works in the same format and Roman Tuhashevs sandwich vehicle Romas Pop-up Bistro is a specially equipped vehicle selling sandwiches in central city parks. The concept of pop-up restaurants is supported during Kyiv Restaurant Days an international project initiated by the Finns in 2011. The Restaurant Day is held four times a year in February, May, August and November. The dates are set in Finland and then other countries join. Restaurant Day is a short food festival: hundreds of one-day cafes open in a given country and visitors can get information about them on the Internet. In November the festival was held in Kyiv for the second time and it seems to have become a regular event that is gradually expanding its geography. Organizers believe that the festival is a step towards forming a new Kyiv bright, open and live. 23 pop-up places took part in Restaurant Day in November. The Taras Shevchenko Park, the Politseiskiy Garden, Trukhaniv Island and the Pyrohiv Museum were among the locations of this festive culinary event.

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