Їжа Києва. Великий гід.

Їжа Києва. Великий гід.

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Hello. My name is Anton Ptushkin, and I came to Kyiv around 10 years ago. In these 10 years, I traveled the world for a while, saw other cities, but for me, Kyiv was and still remains a place to which I want to come back, live, and it's the place where I feel like home. My name is Misha Katsurin, and I've been living here for exactly half of my life, which is 17 years. During this period of time, I graduated from university, organize countless events, open 3 nightclubs, 4 restaurants, and many other things. I witnessed Kyiv's transformation from a conservative, post-Soviet city into a cultural, gastronomic, and IT capital roaring with energy. And I had the joy of becoming a little part of this amazing transformation.

So we're home, in Kyiv? And this is our favorite city! We once came up with this blog to show you far-away cities, their people and culture through food. But now, this is the time to show you not far-away cities, but our hometown. We got several reasons. First of all, it's our home, and we know many things about it.

Secondly, we want you to be proud of Kyiv and Ukraine. And we as people who have traveled many countries can tell you for sure: we have something to be proud of. Finally, we want that as many foreigners as possible watch this episode, so that after the war is over, they will line up to indulge into Ukrainian delicacies. And one more thing. Kyiv is our favorite city! So this episodes carries the proud title: {\an8}THE FOOD OF KYIV Let's go.

In this episode, we will see how diverse, multicultural and exciting Kyiv food is. We will show you Kyiv street food. Get ready, there will be a lot of dough.

We will talk about the sacred, and where to find the best shawarma in the city. You'll see local fine dining, hear the story of how Ievgen Klopotenko defeated Russia who tried to 'temporarily occupy' borscht, what Volodymyr Yaroslavskyi thinks about who really crated syrnyky, and what to do when war breaks out in your country and you have 2.5 million hryvnias in cash at home. Restaurant owner Alex Cooper knows for sure. We will eat Chicken Kyiv in a restaurant that few people know about today, But the first President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk knew it and was a regular there. We will show you the sweetest factory of Kyiv where things taste so good that you can suddenly see Anton Ptushkin enjoying some eclairs from a trash bin.

We will show you falafel in a loaf of bread made by the legendary Hasan, try the best Crimean Tatar chebureks of the city, and rejoice that chebureks are also a Ukrainian dish. You know, because Crimea is Ukraine. Dear friends, grab something tasty so that you don't go crazy and enjoy your food guide of the capital of Ukraine. Enjoy. So, why is the food of Kyiv cool? {\an8}First of all – Ukrainian cuisine.

It's authentic and very deep. {\an8}Secondly, competition. Kyiv, unlike Barcelona, isn't a tourist city where guests compete to make their way to a cool restaurant.

Here, on the contrary, cool places compete for someone to pay visit to them. And as we know, healthy competition is the engine of development. {\an8}Thirdly, the Ukrainian character.

We are very picky and we won't put up with European things like when the staff makes you wait for an hour or is inattentive. Our service is outstanding. All foreigners who come to Kyiv are usually shocked by our restaurants and are like, "Was that possible?" Here, look. As I already said, Kyiv restaurants are stellar.

The design, food, service – everything is top notch. And our IT solutions for restaurants are just something incredible. For example, I had the expirenza system by Monobank set up in my restaurants.

The guest comes, dines, enjoys his time, and if they want to go, they don't have to wait for a waiter to bring the bill. They just scan the QR-Code, click "pay the bill", have the option to add a tip, and pay. They can leave a review right away. Less time spent on service and more tips for the waiters. Everyone is happy. And I, the owner, get their feedback in real-time along with their table number, the waiter's name, how much they spent and what they ordered.

I get to know which dishes are great and which need some improvement. Whether the service was impeccable or not, and the number of the table where something went wrong. This is my direct communication with the guest. As if they directly told me, "Misha, the Tom Yam is too spicy!" "Your waitress has a soft tongue!" expirenza by mono is an entire restaurant ecosystem.

It has a lot to offer. My restaurant is on the Monobank app, so my guests can store their receipts, pay together – it's very convenient for them. expirenza by monobank makes a profit for both the guest and me.

I like when everyone is happy. I could talk about monobank for hours. To its creators: chapeau. And me talking about the benefits of my monobank Visa Platinum card could take a whole day. You can find all the info about expirenza by monobank and additional Visa Platinum benefits in the link in the description. Today, we're going to show you our favorite dishes and places in Kyiv, as well as make a big guide to the most delicious places of our capital, many of which simply won't fit into this episode.

{\an8}You'll find it in the description of the video. And now, let's start. And we'll start with Kyiv street food.

{\an8}Street food No. 1. "Yaroslava". This is "Yaroslava", and it's the oldest street food joint in Kyiv. Today, it's 74 years old. {\an8}All Kyivans think that it's called "Yaroslavna". {\an8}But no, it's called "Yaroslava", and they sell the coolest buns in the city.

For me, "Yaroslava" is one of the symbols of Kyiv, and my personal cheat meal. Every day — and I live here around the corner — I go to work right past "Yaroslava", but sometimes, I can't just walk past it. Dear friends, this is the first month in my life of me speaking Ukrainian, "I go past it, but I can't walk past it".

Oh, Misha. Misha Katsurin makes lots of mistakes in this episode. Cut me some slack, I'm still learning. And these are my favorite dishes in "Yaroslava": A bun with meat, potato, onion and egg, liver, pizza with chicken, chicken broth, and a cinnamon bun for dessert. and, of course, a sour cherry bun.

The Chinese eat steamed bao buns, Italians eat folded pizza calzone, and these are buns. I eat them. It may seem that this is for at least three people. But no, this is my standard order in "Yaroslava", and every time, I eat it by myself. All buns are so delicious, baked, they're almost diet food.

And this one… This is a sour cherry bun and it tastes… almost like heaven. It's impossible to forget. You know what's interesting? In the rest of the world, most people eat sweet cherries, not sour ones. Buns or any pastry with sour cherries is an extremely weird thing for all foreigners. This is our local thing and it's incredible. And you know it. Our local cinnamon roll.

Aromatic with a nice baked crust. It's caramelized, with sugar, and cinnamon, and it's simply incredible! Listen to the crunch. Oh my god.

This bun is monumental. {\an8}Street food No. 2. "Kyivska Perepichka". This is the oldest queue in Kyiv, it's 41 years old, and it never ends, even in the rain. This is like a business card of Kyiv street food, {\an8}and it's called perepichka.

So, perepichka was here much earlier than Kyivans hearing such things as {\an8}"Mono brand restaurant", {\an8}"Street food" or even "hot dog". So, this is a very, very respectable thing. I didn't make my way to the sausage! What a bummer.

One second. I can see it. The taste of my student days! This is very tasty and not very healthy. Very crispy crust, soft on the inside, and a great sausage. That's the secret to the success of this dish. You know what? In Thailand, we were told that it was impossible to arrange an interview and shooting with Jay Fai.

We did it. Perepichka. We're home. In Kyiv. We have lived here all our lives. We know everybody, everybody knows us. Do you think we could arrange a shooting? No.

First of all, that's company policy. Secondly, the owner is at the frontlines. We respect that and carry on eating without showing you the process.

But I think it's very simple. Speaking of perepichka. What is it? Every Kyivan knows this word, but I'm sure they have no idea what it means. Perepichka is a flat sourdough bread, that's usually made when there wasn't enough dough to make proper bread.

And this is perepichka with a sausage in it. A cool and important street food joint for our city. Well, it's clear why I never tried it, because it's very fat. Just like Misha five years ago. It's very fat.

If the food is too fat, I don't eat it. Five years ago, when Misha was fat, guess if we were friends. No.

It's appropriate when you have it once a year, but to have this every single day… I have nothing to add. It's tasty. Damn, Anton is so stingy with compliments on food! If it was a fjord or a canyon, he would be in awe. But here… "Tastes good". After perepichka, we went to street food number three into the deep valley of the left bank of Kyiv. We're at the left bank.

I usually try not to do this, but today, for the sake of one dish, I'm ready. This is Lisova station, home to Kyiv's biggest second hand store. There are hundreds of shops with everything imaginable, from socks to biker leather jackets. Here, you can find real treasures. And trust me, shopping on Lisova can be no less exciting than shopping in the Dubai Mall, for example.

Misha Katsurin of 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and many other years was completely dressed in clothes from here. Because that was the only place in town where I could afford something. And I usually got my food from Hasan because it also was the only thing I could afford.

Street food No. 3. Hasan's falafel. Hasan is a legend in Kyiv. The father, the nourisher of all hungry sustainable fashion lovers from Lisova. {\an8}Sustainable fashion is a principle which suggests reducing or even refusing to buy new items but rather reinventing, transforming, recycling old ones. It's much more eco-friendly. And he's a legend for his gastronomic know-how.

He's making falafel in a loaf of bread. I first came to this place 17 years ago. It's like I came to visit an old friend.

-Hasan! -Yes? One falafel in a loaf of bread, please. Make it double. -Normal? -King size. Like kings eat. -Spicy or not? -Spicy, of course.

-Spicy, yes? -Sure. Double spicy king size falafel in a loaf of bread from Hasan. So, let's have a look behind the scenes of a legend. First, Hasan prepares fresh falafel, then, he cuts open a usual loaf of bread from the store, pulls out all of the soft stuff, adds his signature sauce with parsnip, parsley root, oil, and tomatoes, a spicy chili and garlic sauce, a thick and rich garlic sauce, adds hot mashed falafel, potatoes, a salad made of tomato, pepper and cucumber, and thoroughly stirs this creative mixture. Even more falafel. Even more salad.

Even more of Hasan's sauce. Even more garlic sauce. Some salt and slap it on the grill. Here this giant is being hardened and goes from soft to crispy. Ready. -Hasan! -Enjoy your meal. -Thank you! -Enjoy.

KING SIZE FALAFEL, $3 Now that's something massive. So crunchy. Hassan really is the Nikola Tesla of the Kyiv falafel. He didn't invent the alternating current, but he invented falafel in a bread-loaf. Nobody in the world has ever thought of this. I'm seeing this for the first time.

This is probably the most massive sandwich in the world. It weighs like… a kilogram. One kilogram of food. It's a very cool, delicious, savory, rich-tasting falafel.

There is so much sauce, it's spicy, sour, creamy, with garlic — you might not enjoy kissing someone after eating this, but… Why kiss someone when you can get so much pleasure from this falafel? You can just go home. By the way, Misha. You almost kissed this loaf of bread. I almost kissed this loaf of bread.

We had a little chat with Hasan, who, by the way, moved to Ukraine from Iraq 25 years ago. -Why did you leave Iraq? -Because of war. I was there for 3 years. I lived through those times and felt them, and I know how the people there feel it. Here, Ukraine is innocent. They invaded us. And…

It's still our land. And I live here. Either I die, or I live in this home. Just imagine Hasan's fate – he fled from one war only to witness another.

He told us that he dug a hole in the ground next to his house in Kyiv and lived there with his family for 41 days after the war started. A very strong man. {\an8}Street food No. 4. "Sofra".

This is "Sofra". And here, they cook the best Crimean Tatar chebureks in Kyiv. And chebureks are very Ukrainian street food. Because Crimea is Ukraine.

This is Asan, the co-owner of "Sofra", his father's partner and the main cheburek guy in this city. Asan moved to Kyiv in 2014, when Russia occupied Crimea. Was it always your family's position to support Ukraine or your personal one? Because I know that many people in Crimea have a… different opinion.

In general, most of the Crimean Tatar people prefer to side with the truth. And it so happened that we didn't even consider it any other way. It contradicts who we are. Do you believe that soon you'll be able to return home, at least to visit? What's the mood of the Crimean Tatar community? I'm looking forward to it. Everyone from here and from Crimea is waiting.

When we talk to friends, family, [we see that] everyone is waiting for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. And now to the chebureks. First, Asan rolls out flatbread made of flour and water. He puts minced beef with onions and mint on the thin dough and adds some cheese and some greens. He folds it, cuts it into shape, dips it in oil and fries it until it's golden brown.

Thanks, Asan. CHEBUREK WITH MEAT AND CHEESE, $1 My precious. This really is a stellar, radically juicy cheburek. The synthesis of a juicy filling inside and crispy on the outside is just outstanding. How it smells… As if I'm about to drink chicken broth, but it's actually a cheburek. Probably because of the greens.

Lots of cheese, lots of meat. "Sofra" is my number one for a reason. I strongly recommend it. "Sofra" really is three times head and shoulders above any other cheburek I've ever tried in my life.

You just have to come to Kyiv, find one of their restaurants or kiosks and try everything you can find there. You must. {\an8}Street food No. 5. The Muslim food market. This is another secret spot of Kyiv street food. The Muslim market near the mosque. It's open every day except Sunday, but it's especially active on Fridays from 1 to 4 PM, {\an8}after they hold the Friday prayer.

There's no one here yet, but the Friday prayer will be over in 10 minutes and the crowds will gather. Pilaf, falafel, hummus, samsa, halal meat. Everything here is very diverse, but adheres strict rules. After the start of the war, the market sized heavily down, with only a few counters left.

But how good they are! Pilaf and salad, please. My table. No chair. I'll eat leaning against the wall. PILAF, $2 This pilaf is very good. It's just really good pilaf. It's very real, very authentic, cooked for us by people from Uzbekistan, and they know how to make proper pilaf.

I like it very much. We're continuing with the market. Locals told us about brilliant Syrian shawarma. Syrians can definitely be trusted in this matter. They say there's no tastier shawarma in Kyiv. Quite a claim.

Alright, flatbread with spicy Syrian sauce, greens with onions, tomatoes, and a lot of beef cooked on charcoal, and lots of sesame tahini. All clear so far. This will be incredible. Robert, that's the name of this guy, dips the shawarma into some oil and puts it on the grill. By the way, Robert lived in Lebanon for many years, and, as you remember, Lebanon's cuisine is surreal. Thanks a lot.

SYRIAN SHAWARMA, $1.75 Lots of greens, perfect meat, tahini, spicy sauce, a very nice crust. It's not dry. It's very juiceful. Misha! It's "juicy", not "juiceful"! I'm Misha, I'm thirty four. I'm a restaurant owner.

I eat all the time. I research food. And this is the best shawarma I've had in Kyiv. Fax.

Misha! "Facts", not "fax"! Another thing I saw at the market was the stunning Eastern hospitality. The local guys just treated me with their specialties and it was incredibly delicious and very kind of them. -A gift for you. -Thanks! -This is shashlik. -Thanks! Thank you, guys!

-How much is it? -On the house. -No! Let me pay! -No! -This is for you. Thanks, brother. -Thank you! Well, this is just incredible! First of all, as I said, I'm absolutely floored by Eastern hospitality. Secondly, why is it worth coming here? Because here, people cook food for their own. That is, people came out after prayer and came to eat food prepared by people from Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine. As we see, this is one community, and people trust each other.

It's simply impossible for the food to be tasteless or of poor quality. Everything is perfect here because it's made by the people for their own. Come to the Muslim market. Now, I'd like to address car drivers going abroad.

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{\an8}Use my promo code KATSURIN10 and get 10% off your insurance. Okay, that's enough street food. Now, let's go to some more serious restaurants and dishes. We're now going to one of the most unique restaurants with Ukrainian, and, of course, Soviet food. It's 30 kilometers away from Kyiv, but I still have to go there at least once a month. "Strumok". My love and one of the main secret spots of Kyiv.

This is a giant two-story restaurant in the shape of a crown which was opened fifty years ago and is pretty run-down today. But those who know about its existence are like Freemasons who guard the amazing mystery. Time has stopped here, and you can feel it in every detail: the table setting, napkin cones, towels, wooden bas-reliefs, Oleksandr, who has been working here for forty-five years and served all the communist elite of those times, and then, all Presidents of Ukraine. But wait, where am I going? I forgot to tell you that in the parking lot in front of the restaurant, I… ran over a hedgehog. But not that hedgehog, an anti-tank one. Did I hit it? I ran over a hedgehog with someone else's car.

the hedgehog was intact, but the car was slightly dented. After all, it's against tanks. The car's owner was angry, though. "Strumok". Oleksandr? -Good afternoon. -Good afternoon. -Glad to see you. -Likewise.

-[President] Kravchuk was sitting here. -Then I'll sit here, okay. Thanks. Now, I'll eat real Chicken Kyiv in the same place where the first Ukrainian President, Leonid Kravchuk, sat. The cutlet won't cook itself, so, let's go to the kitchen and watch it being made. -Nina, good afternoon. -Good afternoon.

Thank you very much for agreeing to do this. Today, Nina will cook us some real Chicken Kyiv. First, Nina cuts and pounds some fresh chicken fillet. She adds salt, pepper, aromatic dill and a chunk of butter. Then, all of it gets wrapped like of Ukrainian roll.

So it wasn't the Japanese who invented rolls, but the Ukrainians! While our future cutlet is resting, Nina is breaking the egg yolk. Then, she places our chicken roll on a flour pillow, rolls it around and puts it into the egg, where it gets a "bath". After a yolk bath, it gets wrapped in breadcrumbs, another bath and voila, Chicken Kyiv is ready for cooking. Then, Nina pours a lot of almost a liter of sunflower oil into an old frying pan, heats it up and puts in our product of chicken, butter, and breadcrumbs.

Now that's one hell of a ten minute jacuzzi! Just listen to it. And now, look at our golden cutlet! It's almost a bar of Kyiv pure gold. The dish is ready to served.

-Oleksandr, thanks a lot. -Enjoy your meal. Finally, thank you. My dear. {\an8}I have a legend on my table. What a crust! How it sounds.

Like I have thin ice on my plate. I know one secret. You take the cutlet, you go like this. You have to shake it to hear the butter flowing.

The cutlet is ready. Everything's good. Now, you can eat. Just look inside. It's an exciting sight. This probably is the juiciest cutlet in the universe. This is what they call food porn. It's a very erotic dish.

Just look at how crispy it is, with oil pouring out of it. I love it. It's very tasty. It's a combination of the sweetest chicken, a perfect crust, greens and a lot of melted butter. Not only is there melted butter, but my heart is melted right now, too. My goodness. This Chicken Kyiv is unbeatable.

Nina is so cool. By the way, a funny political and cutlet-ish fact. George Bush's speech on August 1, 1991, in which he called on Ukrainians to remain part of the USSR, {\an8}became known as the Chicken Kyiv speech. As in English, "chicken" also means "coward". No need to call on Ukrainians to such bulls***.

You know, they might cook some not-so-tasty food, just fine. But because of this atmosphere, because of the charm of this place, it would still seem very tasty. Still, it is very tasty. The food here is really delicious. There's the feeling that time has been stopped and that I have moved 40 years back and nothing has changed here. It's very weird, very exciting.

Compote. By the way, excellent compote. If you don't cook at home, you can just come here for a compote. Just like from childhood. Very few Kyivans today know about this place.

I strongly recommend you to come here because such historical and unique places tend to disappear due to their age and economic indicators. While Strumok still exists, come and taste their unsurpassed Ukrainian cuisine. It's 100% worth it. Have you ever ordered syrnyky in, say, New York or Paris? I did, at least I tried, but there was nothing there. Foreigners have no idea what syrnyky are.

All my life I was sure that syrnyky are a famous international breakfast. But due to these unsuccessful attempts, it turned out that this is a purely Ukrainian dish. I understand, maybe some of you won't agree with me, but now you and I will go to one of the most famous chefs of our country and get answers to all the questions we have. We came to visit Volodymyr Yaroslavskyi, the chef and co-owner of the Lucky restaurant, the brand chef of the ingenious Kyiv shop Good Wine, TV presenter and MasterChef expert. This respectable person will cook us ordinary Ukrainian syrnyky, or not so ordinary? For sweet syrnyky: cottage cheese, sugar, eggs, sour cream. I use any jam.

I like to make all kinds of Ukrainian goodies from seeds. Firstly, you should always squeeze cottage cheese. I have a dry one, but in fact, I'll show you that even this one has excess moisture. Now it's drier. Sugar. Now I will mix everything, then I will add flour and you'll see that everything is almost ready.

This is from my childhood. When my grandmother cooked, she made them from grain cottage cheese. In order for syrnyky to be beautiful, identical, we'll shape them. Some people like when syrnyky are so thick, tall, and I like them more medium, slightly toasted. The thing is… Do you know why syrnyky are tall? To fit a lot of them into the pan, and then bake them a little more. Sometimes they don't say "to fry syrnyky", but "to bake them" in the same way as with pancakes.

The oil must be without scent, because it bothers me. We started. You know, when the first online recipes appeared, syrnyky for breakfast always doubled your reach. Everyone loves syrnyky. If you don't like sweet ones, I have a salty recipe as well.

This is something that everyone eats, everyone made at least once, and you can eat it every day. Some restaurants even include it into their normal menu as a dessert. I tend to surprise people with syrnyky when I'm traveling somewhere. How can you know whether your syrnyky are done? They become fluffy. Then they're ready.

Look, seeds. You know why we add them? When we eat something crunchy or soft, hot or cold, Our brain tells us that it's delicious. This is dehydrated raspberry, and peppermint oil instead of greens. -Enjoy your meal! -Wow! Like a yin and yang with syrnyky. Look, yin and yang.

SYRNYKY, $6,5 Vova, can everybody taste these syrnyky in Lucky? -Yes, we make them like this. -Wow! Cool. Alright, my first Lucky syrnyky. Alright What? Right now, it'll be delicious. Smells like jam. Let's go. You eating something, too? I want to thy the raspberry, and the seeds, and the syrnyky.

It's very very tasty and smells great! It's sour, sweet and flavored at the same time! And with sour cream So tender… So, Vova, who do syrnyky belong to? They are Ukrainian. They're not called “rakitniki”, “tvorozhniki”… -Tofniki! -Not Tofniki! They are called syrnyky. Do you have any more questions? What questions can there be to such beauty and such flavor? Let’s admire these masterpieces a little more and move further. We are in the Podil area of Kyiv, and we came to try Ukrainian fine-dining. Chefs who work in this category aim not only to feed the customer but to give them much more. What does it mean and how does it work? Let’s figure out together.

Hello, Mirali! What’s up? This is Mirali Dilbazi, a chef and pioneer of the Ukrainian fine-dining. He modestly called his restaurant, well, “Mirali”. It may seem that someone who calls their restaurant after themselves is a bit arrogant, but Mirali is very modest and considerate. After the war began, we arranged seven dinners in Germany to raise financial aid for our team because the restaurant was closed for nearly three months. Some of our dishes that we brought there were new to them.

It was celery with black hazelnut spread on it which tastes like a salty Nutella… When you take ordinary food {\an8}and make something extraordinary out of it – this is what fine-dining is. For real, I spoke with some English-speaking guests, and they said they came to Ukraine to visit a club… clubs were closed in Berlin. There's a club in Kyiv which has no name and is located on the Kyrylivska St, 41.

It was created with the participation of the legendary Berlin Berghain club team and is considered to be one of the best techno clubs in the world. Before the war, it even became a reason for dance tourism. Ravers from all over the world came to Kyiv, and then went to the Mirali restaurant. At home, they spread news about incredible Ukrainian EDM and amazing food. Mirali, what are we going to cook today and why? Today, we're cooking a dish called “prosil”.

I’ve never heard about it. I learned about this dish back in my home city of Dnipro in one of the restaurants called Admiral Nelson. It's a traditional Ukrainian dish mentioned in the works of Panas Myrnyi. We won’t do the classic version that they do at Admiral Nelson, we’ll try a more modern approach to this dish.

Cool! Let’s do it! The prominent feature of fine-dining is that the chef knows the origin of the food product and is on good terms with the farmer. This fish was raised in the Kyiv region at Aqua Farm, a farm which uses hydroponics. {\an8}MIRIN – SWEET JAPANESE RICE WINE We made mirin ourselves of almond flour.

These almonds grow near Odesa. This is pearl onion, which I picked in Berlin. We used hand-picked forest products for one of the dinners, and I stumbled upon a field of pearl onions.

We only picked upper pearls and marinated them in tomato vinegar. I decided to bring them to Ukraine because there were a lot of them. Onions from a Berlin forest.

A very delicate onion flavor. First, Mirali richly sprinkles a fresh perch with salt and sugar and lets it marinate. Now, the sauce. For the sauce, he puts tomatoes, onions, grape juice, mirin made of almond flour, almond, and tomato garum into a bucket. {\an8}GARUM – FISH SAUCE {\an8}He mixes everything.

And filters it. He cuts a salted perch and leaves of tropaeolum and forms rolls out of it. Then he puts the rolls on the plate and decorates them with pearl onions.

He also adds the previously made sauce, fennel oil and maldon salt. {\an8}PROSIL, $45 Mirali, it’s so aesthetic! When Mirali encrusted the fish with pearl onions, I got dizzy! Well, I’ll try it... M-m, smells like Dnipro! Salty but very tender fish.

What a delicate flavor… I mean, I understand the essence of this dish, I’ve heard its story, and it’s so cool that every ingredient, every technique is replaced with ingredients and techniques of a higher level, of better quality. They are more interesting, more sophisticated. If prosil of our ancestors is a Volkswagen Passat, then this prosil is a Bugatti Veyron. The principle is the same, but it’s so delicate and very cool. So tasty! Come on, try it.

Isn’t bread served with it? I would like some brown bread, to be honest… -Organic, just organic! -He forgot to serve it! Can I have one more? You know, you need to have delicate taste buds to truly taste this dish, and mine are coarse, so I need two portions. But it’s tasty. Agreed. Fine dining is another level… You know, I’m like a pithecanthropus, and this is for Homo Erectus. So this is for Homo Erectus, and this is for artificial intelligence. I am not ready for it yet, but I’m on my way.

Thank you so much! How does it taste like? Like fine dining! And now we’ll visit a person who does not only cook well but also carries out real gastronomical reforms in Ukraine. This is Yevhen Klopotenko – chef, restaurant owner, TV-host and real ambassador of Ukrainian cuisine worldwide and, above all, in Ukraine. Thanks to him, Ukrainian schoolchildren will no longer hate what they eat because he has reformed the Soviet food system and school menus and made it tasty and diverse. Just imagine, now they make chili con carne, Bolognese, pilaf made of bulgur, and, of course, very tasty Ukrainian dishes. But apart from that, he has another incredible achievement — he won the war with Russia. The war for borsht.

This is not the first culinary battle. We have already told you about the war between Lebanon and Israel for who hummus belongs to. France and Switzerland fought for the right to the Gruyère cheese, and China argued with Korea because of garlic.

Thanks to the efforts of Yevhen Klopotenko, UNESCO has officially recognized borsht as a Ukrainian dish. Russia resisted as usual and tried to temporarily occupy borsht but had no success. Three years ago, Yevhen Klopotenko and Inna Popereshniuk opened a Ukrainian restaurant “Sto rokiv tomu nazad” in Kyiv, and we came here to try nothing else but borsht. Russians are attacking on the cultural front.

They’ve always taken our culture, our food. You start digging into it and realize that they want to take away the main dish which forms our national identity. Now it’s time to attack. You pull out two swords and say: “I’ll cut your tumor and chop the metastases”. I’ve realized that we have to protect what’s ours.

Most importantly, Ukrainians must love their borsht. The thing is, when I turned to the Ministry of Culture and asked if borsht is officially legally recognized as Ukrainian they replied that it isn’t. So at first I made it an officially Ukrainian dish in Ukraine, and then step by step we made a request to UNESCO. We had to wait for two years because of Covid-19. UNESCO processed the requests slowly during quarantine.

But then Russia attacked us, and UNESCO realized that the more territory the Russians invade, the less people who know how to prepare borsht will be left. It's a big problem. We must preserve this historical heritage so that the whole world knows that it's Ukrainian, so that the world says: “I used to eat borsht and think that it's Russian but it’s not! It’s Ukrainian!” It’s as if people finally opened their eyes and were like: “Wow, really, they have their own cuisine! They have their own traditions!” Now if they ask about differences between Russian and Ukrainian borsht, I say: “What Russian borsht? Is it like Russian pizza? Well, I don’t know. I’ve never heard about it”. Zhenya is a real warrior on the cultural and gastronomical fronts. It's very important. And it's very impressive. Now, let’s prepare borsht.

Really, it’s very simple: we need carrots, beetroot, cabbage, onions and potatoes. These are the ingredients that everyone uses for borsht, but I also have two secrets: Transcarpathian plum lekvar (jam) and beetroot fresh to intensify color and flavor. And, of course, the third secret is smoked pears, a unique Ukrainian product which must constantly be popularized. There must be a lot of beetroot – it's very important.

It should be smoked good – also extremely important. We need to achieve a balance between sourness and sweetness. And the most important thing is actual smoke. Smoke. Smoke! So, Zhenya is cutting carrots, onions, cabbage and potatoes, then grates beetroot with great passion. He puts it all into boiling water.

Beetroot is the most important thing in borsht. Beetroot fresh, cabbage, plum lekvar and many smoked pears. And now, the key element of Zhenya’s borsht – smoke. He puts the borsht into a wood stove. So much beetroot… So much beetroot… So much beetroot… So much beetroot… Seems like Zhenya has hypnotized me.

This was probably the most infernal preparation of borsht in my life. I’ve heard about bread with jam but I’ve never heard of borsht with jam. I’m dying to taste it.

Oh my god, it smells so good! BORSCHT, $4 Yevhen talked about smoking it – well, it’s very smoked. It may be the most smoked borsht in my life. Let’s get started… Zhenya is the devil. This tastes exactly like it looks like. It’s very smoked. The balance of sourness and sweetness is fantastic. Borsht out of the oven is another level.

So there is borsht, then there is a very tasty borsht, and then, heavenly borsht from the oven. This is advanced. Besides the fact that it’s a fantastic borsht, I also like about this dish that it’s like a construction kit. This is not just food – this is a gastronomical adventure. There is bread, chili, salo, home-made oil, sour cream, mustard prepared by Zhenya, a mix of herbs on the table so I can build my own flavor.

So, our construction kit is ready. What do we do? I dunk the bread in it. A slice of Ukrainian salo.

Incredible. Good thing I added sour cream… it made this smoked borsht even more creamy and more incredible. So, now I can construct the flavor I want. If I want it to be spicier – I add chili, creamier – I add sour cream. If I want more texture – then I take some bread, if I want it to be crisp – I’ll make some toast, if I want Ukrainian umami – I take salo.

So borsht is a real Ukrainian treasure. And it is great luck that Zhenya made this dish inherently Ukrainian. It has always been Ukrainian but now, it’s officially Ukrainian. And this borsht is officially incredibly tasty.

Seems like after this episode I earned the nickname “Officially Misha”. I wonder how many more “official” things await us ahead. We thank Yevhen for tasty borsht and for what he does for our country. Now, we are leaving his restaurant and head to “Molodist”.

This is “Molodist”. It's something between a restaurant, a museum, and a disco. Simple and tasty homemade food is being prepared here, Ace of Base and Coco Jumbo always play here, and before the war, up to 70,000 people used to come here monthly. Here, we'll try Ukrainian varenyky with cherries. Let's go. It is a very unusual place with a masterfully crafted 90’s vibe.

A huge hangar with containers, nostalgic inscriptions, slot machines, its own newspaper, “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi, Dandy consoles, which the owner invited me to play, who also owns a load of super cool restaurants and markets in Kyiv and Odesa. Meet Alex Cooper. Cooper is one of the most prominent Ukrainian restaurant owners who used to flip burgers in the streets of Odesa and is now in charge of several companies with over a dozen projects.

I understood there will be war, but I didn’t know how. I woke up and took some people to safe places at first, and then on the third or fourth day I started doing what I do best – preparing food. During the war, we have prepared over 2 million portions of food for elderly people and hospital patients, for everyone who needed it – our Armed Forces, Territorial Defense etc. In the first days of war, we just stole all the reserves we had in the kitchen, like all volunteers did. By the way, we stole everything from you as well. I called you to ask for permission.

Oh no, I didn’t – I just called to say I stole everything. Before the war, I’ve been working on a project, and I needed to pay it off. It happened so that I had a large sum of money at home which I had to pay to someone soon. There was a truly cinematographic moment when I went with this huge bag… It was filled with small bills.

Two and a half million hryvnias is a large sum as it is, but when it consists of 50 and 100 hryvnia bills, it makes a huge sack. It was very epic when I turned the sack inside out, when I shook it as some stack of bills got stuck. I throw it on the table and go. “We got cash. We'll cook and volunteer”. And this was the turning point of our volunteering as we realized we have resources, we have money, we have fuel. A few days before that, I was going around with this sack, people came up to me and were like, “I need ten grand”. I stick my hand in the sack, looked at the stack I pulled out and said, “Well, I guess it must be ten grand…” and gave it.

I was some kind of a Santa Claus. I was walking around and someone was like, "We ran out of gas money." "How much do you need?" "5 thousand." "Here." "But that's too much!" "Just take it." Our value system changes nicely in such trying times. Alex is cool – you see it yourselves.

Now let’s get to our varenyky because I'm kind of hungry. We came to Molodist to eat varenyky. A lot of nations worldwide wrap filling in dough. The idea of varenyky must have arrived to us through the Silk Road from China, but these varenyky with cherries are inherently Ukrainian. Now, we'll show you how they're made in Molodist. It’s very simple.

At first, roll out the dough and cut it into these magical circles. Conserved cherries are then rolled into each of the circles, {\an8}then, varenyky are boiled, decorated and served. {\an8}VARENYKY, $4 Let’s eat.

They are tender, sweet and sour. My jaw cramps. And with lemon zest…It's a delicious dish. I even have goosebumps. Dear friends, you often complain in the comments that “Katsurin likes everything he eats, he is not objective!” Yes, totally, I’m not. I’m very subjective. I also thoroughly prepare myself for every episode, and I go to those places where the food tastes good.

Can you believe it? You know, in Ukraine, it's a dessert, a breakfast, a main dish. Right now, I'm having it for dinner. Varenyky are universal. But most importantly, it's incredibly tasty.

Try Ukrainian varenyky with cherries. This is Khutorets on the Dnipro. Of all restaurants of Kyiv, the most delicious food is being prepared here. In my humble opinion. Today, Khutorets is a sequel to its predecessor. The original version opened in 1998 and became a classic.

Then it went into oblivion until it was restored by Mykhailo Byelin, a respected Kyiv restaurant owner. And now, Khutorets is iconic again. This is my favorite Ukrainian restaurant in Kyiv, and today, we will eat holubtsi.

Why holubtsi? Firstly, because it's a very important Ukrainian dish. Secondly, because I’ve hated them since childhood. Who can you trust with preparing the dish you hate? Of course, the best cook. I have no idea where I tasted such horrible holubtsi in my childhood, but I’m really afraid of them.

Let’s see if Khutorets can change something. I’ve been to Khutorets on the Dnipro so many times, I’ve screamed with pleasure so many times that I got really curious about how everything works and how the chef prepares these incredible dishes. Let’s go into the kitchen. This is Petro. Petro is a chef in Khutorets. -Hello, Petro. -Hello.

Petro does a challenging thing – he prepares Ukrainian food for Ukrainians. For me, as for a restaurant owner, it’s much easier to open a Thai restaurant because we don’t know how Thai food should taste like, but we are all experts in Ukrainian food, and we all compare restaurant food with what our mom prepared for us. Everyone compares Petro with their mom. Petro is our moms’ competition. And how do you cope with this responsibility and how do you make food tastier than mom? It's hard, so we add something special to every dish. We take beef, pork, and add a little bit of our unique taste.

This is smoked salo, which I make myself. It's very tasty. First, we add sauteed carrots and onions along with rice to the minced pork, beef and smoked salo, which adds the smoky flavor to this dish.

SMOKED SALO (SECRET 1) We also add broth, salt and pepper, and mix it all. Now, cabbage. We cut it in a special way so that the leaves easily go off. Now, we heat the water, add salt, laurel leaf and a mixture of peppers. Please note that cabbage gets steamed very quickly, but the water is still seasoned and brought to taste. Every detail matters. We boil it quickly and — get ready… And now, we undress the cabbage.

We won't show the cabbage – it is naked. But here are the leaves. We roll the minced meat into the leaves and close them. Look at these delicious babies.

hen we put our charming stuffed cabbage rolls in a baking dish and into a combi oven for 20 minutes and 180 degrees Celsius. Now let’s prepare the sauce. We need to take oil and saute onions, add carrots, tomato paste and ketchup, sour cream.

Secret number two: smoked butter, pepper, salt and sugar. Now let’s put all this on the cabbage rolls. There are different opinions on the stress in the name of this dish. I like the Galician version – hOlubtsi. These are smoked ribs, prepared in advance.

{\an8}They will intensify the smoky flavor. Secret number three: We cut the ribs and put them in the form. Now we put the dish into the oven for twenty more minutes. And it's ready! We can put it out and decorate. Do you understand now why you should eat simple homemade food in fancy restaurants? Here every little detail is thought out and tasted through.

Just look at the smoked butter, salo, ribs for flavor. Here, the balance and every nuance are perfect. -Thank you, Petro. -Thank you.

Thank you so much! HOLUBTSI, $8 I'm a little nervous. They smell good. They’re soft.

I'm really excited. Damn, these are delicious. They're so sour, so delicate. The balance of flavor is very, very cool. That's what you get when a dish is cooked not by anybody, but by a professional chef who loves his job, knows what he's doing and uses the right ingredients and techniques.

One more dish that I love. One less gastronomic complex. Khutirets on the Dnipro is great as always.

With sour cream. In general, I think that I got a lot of gastronomic prejudices from kindergarten, because in Soviet and post-Soviet kindergartens, we were fed such shit that it's not surprising I avoided eating cabbage rolls and lots of other very cool and interesting dishes. I still can't drink milk due to semolina porridge. I can’t even look at it. So, if you ever tasted something gross, don't rush to say that you don't like this dish.

Just try to find those who can cook it better than others. Maybe this will change your mind. Now it’s time for something sweet. This is Stas Zavertaylo, co-owner and pastry chef of the Honey confectionery chain and the recently-opened Zavertaylo bakery, which became a hit in Kyiv.

Stas is a very contrasting person. On the one hand, he is the sweetest man in Ukraine because no one can make cakes like him, and on the other hand, he turned his business into a weapon. He is raising money for tanks, selling explosives to finance the Ukrainian army, baking bread for the military. We give all this bread away.

How many loafs do you bake? Over 100 loafs a day. And finally, Stas makes the most delicious ice-cream in the city. How tasty! I eat it in Honey every day.

Stas is a technology monster. As long as I remember him, he’s always buying some equipment. Stas owns a production area of 1,500 sq. km. with the most modern confectionery equipment. {\an8}Forty-five, seventeen, eighteen, {\an8}this thing costs twelve thousand, I think. {\an8}-Hryvnia? -Euro! We live in Europe, after all.

Behold the gray cardinal of Ukrainian modern confectionery art. This is another level! This, for example, is the painting shop. Desserts are painted here. You can even eat here. Look, they just throw desserts away! It's fine, just look at it. Stas, it’s normal. Why are you throwing it away?

Are you kidding?! It fell on the floor, how can we sell it to people? To people – no, but to Anton – why not? It's fine. To me, this is an inherently Ukrainian dessert, because Ukrainian strawberries are unmatched, those that we buy and pick in the forests. They have a great aroma. And we have made such a rich Ukrainian dessert with strawberry coulis, and strawberry cremeux. Wait a second, don't rush! {\an8}So, coulis is a sauce made of fresh or cooked fruit. {\an8}Cremeux is is a type of egg-fruit or berry filling in mousse, something between a mousse and a sauce.

If you add a little bergamot, spicy notes will appear. It feels as if you're eating a fragrant soap. And all this is coated in sour cream sauce with bergamot. This soap is a prototype of the soap from the Fight Club movie, where they made explosives from fat. We would be very happy if explosives or simply soap were made from all those Russians.

Fifty hryvnias from each dessert gets donated to the army. What makes this dessert even tastier is the honey cake in its base. Genius! So you make delicious soap and send Russians to hell? At least they'll be clean.

Stas is the kindest and most sincere confectioner in this country. So, Stas has so many incredible things here that, firstly, my eyes diverge. Secondly, we are extremely proud of our passionate artists and entrepreneurs. But we must be focused as we are going to make the famous Kyiv cake, but after Stas’s own recipe. The difference is that the classic Kyiv cake is most often made with hazelnuts or cashews, sometimes with peanuts.

But we decided to make our Kyiv pistachio cake and make it very rich in taste and unusual. Let's go. Sugar, salt, flour, pistachios, egg whites fermented for 3-4 days. At large productions it often happens that there are a lot of egg whites left. It turned out that when they "go bad", it gets easier to use them in cooking.

So the whites used to be purposefully fermented for the Kyiv cake. Well, in fact, they were just put into a warm environment where they simply turned sour, which made the cake better. {\an8}-Soviet fermentation? -Yes, exactly. We are still using this method today.

But there is a problem, and it is not very pleasant for everyone around. It smells bad when you cook it, but then it completely disappears. Fermented egg whites. Stas makes meringue from these ingredients.

Everything mentioned above is whipped in a mixer until it resembles "high peaks". Stas mixes together pistachios, sugar and flour. In Soviet times, everything was constantly being changed. Once it happened that they received a huge batch of cashew nuts from Brazil.

And that's when the Kyiv cashew cake came along. People are divided on this one. It’s like with borsht. Some people will say: “I remember, the real Kyiv cake has cashew nuts in it!” Others say that it must be with hazelnuts, but then there were variations with peanuts and macadamia, whatever your heart desires.

We chose pistachio because it absorbs this sugar flavor very well. The meringue is ready, and we add our mix of pistachios, flour and sugar to it. Stas makes a 2-3 cm thick layer from this mix and puts it into the oven. Let's move on. Now we take butter and condensed milk.

The butter is whipped in a mixer, and the caramelized chocolate mixed with pistachios gets added to the condensed milk, mixed thoroughly and poured into the mixer. As the factory workers would say, right now, I'm making stickjaw. It's a syrup made of sugar and condensed milk, which turned into a viscous syrup. The classic recipe has cognac in it. To prevent employees from stealing cognac, they added this stickjaw to a huge tub with cognac right away because it's simply impossible to drink it after that. This is a classic Kyiv cake cream, and this one is the pistachio cake cream.

The classic one is fatty, sweet, and with cognac. They can’t be compared! The first one is boring in comparison with the second. The pistachio one is caramelized and a bit burnt.

It's very tasty, and its texture feels more noble. The meringue-pistachio layer is ready. The pistachio butter cream is spread on it. Now pistachio paste and pistachios.

God, so many pistachios! Another layer of meringue, another layer of buttercream, another grated paste, and one more layer of meringue. Now, whipped pistachio butter is being spread on this sweet pistachio sandwich, and then, the cake is sprinkled with… What do you think? A mix of pistachios. Now we add a little bit more pistachios. Of course, there’s not enough of them! {\an8}The Kyiv pistachio cake is ready. {\an8}KYIV PISTACHIO ($5/PIECE) A tiny cake requires so much attention, so much preparation.

Stas spent two hours doing everything. It's just incredible. So, if you order a whole cake, it will look like this, in such a patriotic package. "Be brave like Ukraine". Alright. Just like that? Okay! My sweetie! It's a wonderful combination of this soft velvet layer and this crisp caramelized pistachio layer. It’s so delicious! Stas, you are so brutal! Come on.

You buy tanks, you defend Ukraine, and you make such amazing cakes! It's very tasty. It’s a real Kyiv pistachio cake made by Zavertaylo. Stas, we've only been here one morning, but I can't eat sweets like this anymore. How do you stay so fit? Well, it works the same way as with alcohol.

You taste something and then immediately throw it into the trash because it’s impossible to taste 30 variations of desserts at once. I would swell up. but sometimes I can't resist and eat it if it tastes good. Great. This is the real taste of Kyiv. I’m from the Donbas, and we had Miner’s cake.

It’s just chocolate that you had to nibble on. But Kyiv cake is a totally different thing. It’s a different thing and a different dish.

We'll end the episode "Food of Kyiv" on a positive note. and I'm a bit upset now because we’ve been eating together for an hour, but I didn't show you even ten percent of my favorite places in Kyiv. But don't worry, I want you to know everything and go to Kyiv on gastronomic tours.

Below this video, you'll find a big list of my favorite Kyiv places. Come to Kyiv to eat delicious food, and we'll see you in the next episode about the food of Lviv, which, by the way, just blew me away. Turns out I knew nothing about Galician food, but we will fix it together with you.

Lviv cheese cake, Lviv croissants, Lviv beer, Lviv tinctures, Lviv coffee, Lviv chocolate, Lviv-Lviv-Lviv! In the next episode, we will try to figure out how Lviv residents manage to take food and drinks and turn them into Lviv dishes, thus creating a powerful gastronomic brand of Lviv. We will try a lot of authentic Galician, that is, Ukrainian, Polish, Jewish, Austrian, Armenian, and now purely Lviv dishes: Bulbianka, Tsvikli, Yavoriv pie. Ever heard of those? These are the names of extremely delicious dishes, and we'll show them to you.

We'll try Zurek, which is a delicious soup. We'll talk to native Lviv residents. Pavlo Hudimov will tell us about the counter culture of Lviv. Ustia Soroka will make us a Lviv syrnyk, which is most likely the grandfather of the famous cheesecake. Lyolia Landa will show us Lviv Jewish cuisine and teach us how to peel vegetables in a very sexy way.

More precisely, not peeling, but skinning. And that's not all. So, dear friends, wait for the Lviv food guide.

See you soon.

2022-10-27 16:24

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