On one of my business trips I was fortunate enough to be able to visit Kiev.
I say fortunate, because while almost everywhere on the world map is a potential travel destination for me, Ukraine wouldn’t have been a priority to visit and without the work trip I wouldn’t have discovered this pleasant city which is currently going through a culinary boom.
Among the many commendable venues, Kanapa caught my appetite with its Chicken Kiev.
Sure, it’s Chicken Kiev but at Kanapa it’s no ordinary Chicken Kiev that you order at pubs and roadside cafes. This is the ultimate Chicken Kiev, paired with pheasant and thinly stacked potatoes.
The excellent wine list provided us with the opportunity to try things that would be hard to get anywhere else in the world – Ukrainian wine. We were recommended a wine near the Crimea region. A rich and dense red that paired well with most of the dishes we ordered, including the 5g black caviar appetiser which came with a small slab of lard.
By the way, lard can be fantastic. I don’t know why in the ‘western’ culture people avoid it so much. We all eat it naturally from pork bellies and ribs, just not separated from the meat and bones. Yes, it’s fat, but so is what’s in your bucket of KFC!
We learned that Kanapa is owned by a food loving Ukrainian rock star, whose creative mind reaches beyond his musical talent to fine dining. Each dish at Kanapa, is a feast for both the eyes and the stomach. Even the humble borsch is served in a hollowed out cabbage, and the vareniky neatly presented on a plank.
And how’s this. Visit in winter and ask for a candle. The light that brings you romance is also edible, for it’s made out of butter and as the flames burn the butter melts and that’s when you go in with the bread!
Taste is important of course, and Kanapa also does not disappoint on this criteria. The restaurant is famous for creating the most traditional dishes in new ways that I couldn’t help but notice even first time visiting Ukrainians seem pleasantly surprised when they dig into their favourite meals. I sip my borsch and share a knowing smile with my fellow diners.
That’s when I fell in love with Ukrainian cuisine, and it was love at first bite.
I have since my first visit, dined at Kanapa five times. Highly recommended if you ever find yourself around Kiev!
Andriivskiy uzviz 19A
For more dining ideas in Kiev – Eating Out in Kiev | Footprints and Memories