23 Feburary 2015
The one place I targetted for my Kyiv trip to check out the fledgeling food scene is Kanapa, which is the first place I’ve seen that talks about new Ukrainian cooking. I looked at the menu and it indeed had many extremely adventurous items on the menu. It was recommended to me by food people I trust, so I was looking forward to the evening.
It was relatively busy compared to most places in town, as it was half-way down the touristy Andriyivskyy uzviz. My table was not in a great location, near steps and it constantly got kicked by quick-moving waiters, which was rather annoying. And most of the tables were larger parties, so staff were pre-occupied by them. But I was glad to see them busy.
Although the menu had many fantastic items I had decided to do the tasting menu — to see how they handle it. It missed a few items I wanted to try but this is a good balance. Took awhile for the wine to show up but I’m reserving judgement…
The first item to arrive was a tasting of 4 different canapes — a combination of fillings and toppings. The pate with onion marmalade was nice as was the potato mousse with herring. I do apologise for the photo, as the last Android update screwed up the focus of low-light photos — YET AGAIN…
The second dish was a cute service, on a glass panel with stuff you don’t eat beneath it. The salad wasn’t bad, but a bit excessive of the goat cheese mousse. The boar ham was a nice touch.
The third dish is a take on an Ukrainian classic, the varenyky (dumpling). These had interesing fillings such as pike-perch with salo. I really enjoyed this item, including the odd “onion sponge” in the middle. Good stuff.
More wine and then the star of the night arrived — the potato “sausage”.
This is actually just some potato, but also minced sweetbreads and veal brains all covered in caul and cooked. A fantastic offal dish, wonderful flavours here. Offal lovers will love this dish, as would non-offal lovers. A complex and strong dish, it really shows excellent promise of this kitchen!
Following this was the cute, almost heartbreaking serving of rabbit ribs. Very tasty and a beautiful serving, but you know it can be frustrating to eat rabbit because of the size — especially trying to clear meat between the ribs. But another excellent dish.
Next up, with more wine, was a nice bull cheek. Cooked well, with strong flavours. I enjoyed this dish as well, solid stuff.
The dessert was a “sweet” egg meringue and quince. A nice presentation and it went down quickly. It closed a relatively good meal.
I have to say some were a miss, but some were excellent. Service was a little trying, and being kicked constantly was annoying. A table-full of drunken brits misbehaving was also unpleasant, as were people taking flash photo nearby. I can see a lot of potential here. Maybe they need to streamline the menu a little, as it is huge. Take a look, some of it is spectacular, but it’s way too much stuff. Better to have a shorter menu and improve the execution.
But just to show how bad the local economy is, the food part of the 7-course tasting menu cost me…under 15 euro. Yeah, really.
But I do recommend this place, it has a lot of potential, and some of the dishes are fantastic. Some growing pains and other issues, but for Kyiv, this is indeed a great example of new Ukrainian cooking. Makes me optimistic for my next trip…one rare moment…sigh…
19a Андріївський узвіз [Andriyivskyy uzviz]
Kyiv [Київ], Ukraine [Україна]