Borsch, varenyky, horilka, and the proverbial salo. Vulgar or iconic, they are world-known hits of the national menu. However, even with a modern twist, they do not reflect the country’s culinary diversity and potential. This is where Kiflyk comes in to reveal another Ukraine with a Carpathian touch
Though opened some years ago, Kiflyk swapped three locations and took a long break until it got back in with a new reboot in Podil’s Vozdvizhenka this past September. Along with the old clientele who followed Kiflyk from place to place, the spot has quickly attracted new ones and for good reason. As Zakarpattia evolves at a steady pace into a popular destination, Kiflyk makes you feel like you are travelling to western Ukraine without having to leave Kyiv.
THE CARPATHIAN MOUNTAINS CAME TO YOU
The pun jumps to mind as we stand in front of the entrance painted in light green and adorned with a conspicuous logo featuring antlers: in the western regions, Kiflyk means a crescent- or antler-shaped pastry roll stuffed with various conserves, primarily, plum jam – lekvar. But it also reminds of the vast number of deer which inhabit the Carpathian Mountains to date.
Make sure you try
Bohrach (thick soup with various types of meat) 145 UAH Salmon with lesco (thick vegetable ragout) 235 UAH
Neither too spacious, nor too tight, the restaurant boasts an open kitchen and a single dining hall, accommodating up to 50 people. Kiflyk envelopes us into its cosy ambience, both modest and smart. While providing a subtle association with ethnic customs, the minimalist design is overwhelmingly contemporary. Comfortable sofas, embroidered cushions, wooden tables, a rough loft-style ceiling with pipes, and plenty of stylish pendant lights create an informal, relaxed atmosphere. Bar stools of bright orange are a real sight to see.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
Carpathian cuisine is a rich collection of Austrian, Hungarian, Polish, Hutsul, Romanian, and Czech recipes. Combined with home cooking traditions and present-day interpretation, they give birth to one-of-a-kind delicacies to be found only here.
Reading the menu is a pleasure in itself. Main courses take pride of place here. Names of dishes in original languages sound like ancient incantations or intricate formulas, and so we need our server’s assistance.
Banosh with porcini and brynza 175 UAH Banosh with fried bacon bits and brynza 165 UAH Torhon with chicken thigh 175 UAH Zavyvanets with plum 210 UAH Hambovtsi 95 UAH Coffee-cacao 60 UAH Sea-buckthorn tea
TOTAL 950 UAH
The feast kicks off with two versions of legendary banosh. It is a sort of porridge made out of fine-ground corn grits boiled or stewed in sour cream. The texture is soft, buttery, and palate-tantalising. In one case, a bit of salty brynza – sheep cheese – and fried bacon bits complement the taste. In the other case, piquant porcini mushrooms, delivered from Zakarpattia, amp up the entire bouquet.
We continue with torhon dough, which, in a way, reminds of Italian pasta. Still, this hot meal has its own style: it arrives with poppy seed roasted chicken thighs topped with a creamy blue cheese sauce. Outside, the crispy crust is just the thing. Inside, the meat is delicious, juicy, and tender.
⎯ 08:00 – 23:00 (Mon – Fri),
09:00 – 23:00 (Sat – Sun)
+38 098 115 5608
Afterwards we do full justice to zavyvanets – succulent veal rolls served with plum sauce and wheat fluffy porridge. Sweet paprika enhances the impression.
WHATEVER YOU WANT
For dessert, we take hambovtsi – curd semolina balls with currant berry jam. None too sugary, they offer refreshing sour notes and go along with a cup of sea-buckthorn tea or an unexpected yet amazing coffee-and-cacao concoction.
Starting 1 January, besides quality wines and cocktails, Kiflyk launched a renewed assortment of every-flavour nastoikas (liqueurs). A takeaway service as well as homemade family bread and breakfast/lunch menus are also available.
What strikes us most is that the place aptly couples traditionally nourishing foods with healthy diet tendencies. Kiflyk orchestrates seemingly incompatible ingredients to perform a harmonious symphony of tastes. Unique. Other. Different.
The What’s On Checklist
English Menu To be launched English-speaking staff + Wifi + Price $$ WO Rating ***** (sheer uniqueness)