A Study in Red

Anna Azarova
15 March 2018

Red is a colour of power and passion. It excites the emotions, evokes sensuality, and stimulates an appetite for an adventure. Touch Café brings it all to the table while coupling the best recipes of Pan-Asian and European cuisines.
Nestled in a downtown street packed with bars and restaurants, Тouch Café still stands out. Its unmatched atmosphere overcomes from the moment I arrive – the place exudes the exotic combining ethnic elements from Thailand, India, Japan, Malaysia, and North Africa.

Orient-inspired Style
Lush vivid tones are used in the decoration of a spacious terrace-hall and two VIP-rooms with red being the dominant colour. It is emphasised by sky-blue lounge-sofas, green plants, golden accents, and lots of wood. The walls are adorned with mesmerising prints by French photographer Eric Lafforgue. A globetrotter, he takes pictures in areas many would consider off-the-beaten track for travel, such as Somalia and North Korea. Huge sliding panoramic windows allow guests to marvel at the city centre and provide an association with distant Asia.
Touch Café is hitting it big on Kyiv’s competitive food scene due to its unique fusion approach. Jointly with TUCC (The Ukrainian Connoisseur Club), I am up to the challenge of exploring the marriage of so many culinary disciplines. By the way, the club is open to anyone eager to relish experimental cooking and new delicacies.

According to Etiquette
Before the party kicks off, we are greeted with a fine aperitif – a glass of dry Zonin Prosecco Spumante that puts us in the right mood. The server brings in the starter – crab meat and avocado salad. No matter how many of them I try, a new interpretation is always welcome. This one has tomatoes and quail eggs and is artistically layered on a plate to resemble a small tower garnished with cocktail sauce. The salad has a light delicate taste perfectly complemented with Spinning Top Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. I savour this smooth and silky white wine with intense aromas of passion fruit and black currant on the nose and with a long and lingering finish.

Down the List
Assorted dim sum and pan-fried gyoza dumplings come next served in a small steamer basket. The goyza, stuffed with chicken and chili, is a bit spicy but good. Dim sum is traditionally served as three smart pieces with different fillings – pork with beef, shrimp, and scallop. The latter undoubtedly is the star of this selection. To quench the thirst, we take a sip of neutral Rose d’Anjou, which goes along well with spicier food.
Grilled dorado with wok vegetables is my choice for the main course. Honestly, I am a bit surprised to see a familiar dish cooked in an unfamiliar way, though the presentation is fabulous. The fish looks roasted rather than grilled, with a firm herb crust. Anyway, its crispy texture is expertly softened with zucchini, carrots, asparagus, and parsley soaked in a sweet sauce. Perhaps, I am just unprepared to do this dish full justice. I will do better next time.
Marques de Toledo Verdejo excellently pairs with the dorado. This Spanish white wine is well balanced with a pleasing acidity and distinctive character in its interesting aftertaste.

Royal Desserts, Princely Drinks
Still with room for dessert, I indulge myself with a gorgeous cheesecake with blueberries and white chocolate. I know a good cake when I see it and Touch Café knows how to deliver. Their dessert is a real masterpiece – tasty, sweet to a reasonable extent, soft, creamy, and tender. Portuguese Graham’s late-bottled vintage Porto is what is needed to enjoy the cheesecake even more. The elegant drink has an opaque purple hue with vibrant notes of dark cherry and toffee. To round out the party, I order a camomile tea.
What strikes me most is that I meet a female sommelier for the first time in my life! Natalie is a brilliant professional considering the assortment of amazing wines she chose for our dishes.
P.S. Touch Café claims to have one of the best hookah bars in Kyiv. I leave it to you to find that out.

Edible Inventory

Crab meat and avocado salad  675 UAH
Dim sum with scallop and flying fish roe  285 UAH
Fried gyoza dumplings with chicken and chili 155 UAH
Grilled dorado with vegetable wok 375 UAH
Royal cheesecake with blueberries 195 UAH
Prosecco spumante, Zonin 290 UAH
Sauvignon Blanc Spinning Top (New Zealand) 170 UAH
Rose d’Anjou 120 UAH
Chamomile Meadow tea 75 UAH

Touch Café

(Shota Rustaveli 16)

+38 044 206 4920

Open: 12.00 – 04.00

Make sure you try

Peking duck with Hoysin sauce and pancakes 485 UAH
Stewed leg of lamb in wine sauce with couscous and spicy pumpkin 450  UAH


The What’s On Checklist

English Menu Yes
English-speaking staff Yes
Wifi Yes
Price $$$
WO Rating 4.5 Star
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