My adventures in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, continued with me diving even further into its food and beer culture. Join me as I go on the ultimate Ukrainian food and craft beer tour of Kyiv, Ukraine!
Inside, I met Ramez, who told me they have 24 varieties on tap, most of which are Ukrainian beers. They also have a wide selection of beers in their fridge. I went with the Hathor Milk Stout from Rebrew Brewery, which is 6% alcohol. It tastes like a cappuccino and has espresso bean notes. Then, Ramez took me into their cold room. It’s freezing in there!
From there, I headed into the kitchen, where they were grilling a ribeye steak with nothing added on it. It smelled great! They cooked it medium rare for me, let it rest, and then added salt, pepper, and butter at the end. I also tried some of their amazing brisket.
I enjoyed a Veligden IPA, which had some raisin flavor, with my steak. The steak was perfect! It wasn’t too bloody and the salt and pepper topped it off. The beef was local, juicy, and had a nice char on the outside.
My next dish was Vorschmack, a popular Jewish dish that includes butter, pickled onions, cream cheese, apple, herring, and mayonnaise. You mix them all in a bowl yourself and eat it on toasted bread.
I loved the herring and the saltiness. The creaminess of the mayo and the sweetness of the apple was also amazing! I paired it with a beer that contained salt and coriander. It cut the creaminess and was a great palate cleanser.
Next were vareniki, which are Ukrainian dumplings. They contain cherries and pair well with a Tonka Imperial Stout and sour cream. These vareniki were red because the dough was mixed with beet juice.
The vareniki were sweet and juicy, and the sour cream wasn’t too sour. It was my favorite dish! The Tonka Imperial Stout was chocolatey, like a melted brownie!
Next, Margarita and I walked through the lower town of Kyiv near the Dnieper River, past colorful 19th-century buildings. We passed the Eye of Kyiv and a statue of a Cossack leader.
Along the way, we found a vendor selling posters. I bought one of the first female Soviet astronaut and another of Sputnik! Then, we continued uphill up a Andriyvsky Uzviz, a famous tourist street. Our ultimate Ukrainian food and craft beer tour of Kyiv, Ukraine continued at our next stop, Kanapa.
Kanapa is a restaurant located inside a large, 19th-century home. They have a terrace and a secret room downstairs. There, I met Anna, who took me to the kitchen to meet the chef, Vitaliia. Anna showed me how to make two types of vareniki: potato and mushroom! They pinch two vareniki together to make one big one. I didn’t do a great job but they would still taste good!
At our table, we had homemade cordials, which is made of vodka, fruit, and berries. We also had red borscht, lard, black vareniki with bacon filling, pheasant pate, gelatin rabbit, and baked eggplant!
The borscht contained beef, pork, plums, beets, and sour cream. It came with baked fat and raw fat and had so many flavors and was perfectly spiced. It was hearty, oily, and tasty! I enjoyed the raw, gelatinous lard and the baked lard with gooseberry. The garlic bread was also great dipped into the borscht. I also liked the bitter cordials!
The berry cordial was amazing, as was the baked eggplant with red peppers. It was sweet and moist and came with a crispy potato chip.
The rabbit meat in gelatin was an incredible combination with mustard. I followed that with a gingery cordial and the black vareniki with herring caviar, dill, and sour cream. They’re also stuffed with herring!
The pheasant pate was incredible on bread. It was incredibly creamy and was so good I ate more with a spoon!
Next, they made an amazing blackthorn sorbet with liquid nitrogen at our table! We also had a chocolate ball containing pork fat and the most popular dessert in the city, Kyiv cake, which is crunchy and has many layers like baklava.
The sorbet was sour and healthy-tasting, and the chocolate ball was so good! I wouldn’t have known it had pork lard in it. The Kyiv cake was crumbly and contained cognac! The final cordial contained apple and hazelnut.
They gave me a gift before I left, and we finished up our ultimate Ukrainian food and craft beer tour of Kyiv, Ukraine at the Drunken Monkey Bar. On the way, we passed a statue of a popular writer who claimed every woman in Kyiv is a witch because they’re all so beautiful!
At the Drunken Monkey Bar, I met Maria, who said we’d be trying lots of beer! I got to see their cold room and kegs, their dining and lounge area, their paintings, and more. It’s another cool underground bar! They have over 20 beers on tap and I’d be having some food, too! I started with a light and crisp Indian Pale Lager and some cheese balls.
Next was a sweet Ukrainian brown Imperial ale that contained salted caramel. The sour fruited gose lived up to its name, and their most popular beer, the Drunken Monkey IPA, wasn’t too cloudy or bitter. Then, I had an Imperial stout and some amazing pate and marmalade on toast. Their Imperial pumpkin ale reminded me of Oktoberfest and was so good! They even gave me 4 beers for the road!
While exploring the flavors of Kyiv, Ukraine, has been an incredible culinary journey, if you’re also interested in sampling some fantastic international brews, don’t miss out on the Beers of El Salvador. For an in-depth look at these delicious Salvadoran beers, check out our article on Fab 4 Beers of El Salvador, and discover the perfect complement to your Ukrainian food adventure.
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