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Coming Out of your Shell

15 July 2018

Love them or loathe them, oysters are prized as a luxurious culinary delicacy offered by top restaurants across the globe. High in nutrients, these shiny briny molluscs cater to a mature palate and indicate a special occasion. And, depending on who you listen to, may or may not be an aphrodisiac.
Purists claim oysters must be eaten raw. Some experts say it is better to have them cooked. We have discovered a unique venue in Kyiv that gives you an opportunity to get your own oyster feast.

Fresh as Fresh Can Be
The restaurant and bar Pacific Oysters & Wine opened its doors in March. The dining space stretches across a sleek three-storey building with a modern black façade that stands out among the old mansions and historical properties in Lypky – one of the city’s most prestigious areas.
Wood accents and a white-golden brown-black pallet with bright accents give a chic touch to the entire space. Plenty of glass makes it both intimate and open, and with a sense of elegance and comfort, you can feel free to take off your tie and relax.
On the ground floor, an aquarium houses live oysters delivered mostly from France and stored in ambient water at the proper salinity and temperature. The second floor is equipped with a transparent wall chamber stocked with wine and a bar counter to be used as a buffet or tasting table for private or petite corporate parties. We take a seat in the main dining hall located on the third floor. It feels like a summer terrace owing to the light flooding in through the panoramic windows.

Inventing Traditions
To explore the exquisite shellfish deeper, we choose an assortment of oysters prepared differently – from the classical presentation to something more original.
The server brings a lovely tray of raw oysters nestling on a half shell, exuding their fresh ocean charms. Traditionally, they all have their own names and numbers – Saint Patrick No.2, White Pearl No.1 and Fines de Claire No.3.
Creamy and meaty, oysters have a robust mouth-coating taste starting with a pleasant saltiness and rounding up with a sweetish lingering aftertaste. They can be enhanced with a spritz of lemon juice (an old-fashioned recipe that never goes out of fashion), wine vinegar with chopped onions (for those smitten by true French style), or pomegranate sauce (try this). As an oyster fan, I like them just as they are, bathed in their natural sap.
All we need now is a glass of bubbly. In our case, a vibrant Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand complements the delectable foodstuff with a smooth finish.

The More – The Better
The next platter showcases two types of baked molluscs – with sabayon sauce and Brie and mushrooms. It is a conceptually new dish, which delivers a multi-layered flavour with smoky aromas coming forward and a seawater smell echoing in the background. As we savour it, images of a couple cooking food on a fire in a distant island play out in the mind’s eye.
The experiment continues as we try oysters with spicy gazpacho served separately. This interesting combination is followed by another four specialties. Oysters with cheese and salmon may be a good start for beginners since this option muffles the distinctive shellfish taste. Real gourmands will value an aggressive synergy of oysters and coconut ceviche. Mild and soft is the blend of shellfish with seaweed and peanut sauce, whereas the variation with passion fruit adds refreshing sour notes to our dinner.

Something More to It
Though focusing on oysters, a small but eye-catching menu offers mouth-watering appetisers and main courses. Apart from an excellent tuna tartar, I highly recommend the succulent salad with tender, light, melt-in-the-mouth burata (Italian buffalo milk cheese), rucola, baked peppers, tomatoes, and pine nuts. It is a celebration of tastes. Gorgeous sweet grilled shrimp paired with lemon and rosemary are a perfect substitute for dessert. We wash it all up with a glass of marvellous digestive.

Special and S…Pacific
An oft-repeated adage says one should consume raw oysters only in months containing the letter R. Pacific Oysters & Wine proves the opposite – you can enjoy this gourmet item even in July, as we do. This special place invites you to expand your gastro repertoire, and helps you get out of your shell, where both beginners and connoisseurs will have a very sPacific experience!

Edible Inventory

6 White Pearls No.1 681 UAH
1 oyster with coconut ceviche 77 UAH
1 oyster with pomegranate sauce 69 UAH
1 baked oyster with Brie and mushrooms 73 UAH
Tuna tartar  223 UAH
Salad with Italian burrata 287 UAH
Shrimps with lemon and rosemary 315 UAH
Sauvignon blanc 1 bottle 785 UAH
Total  2 510 UAH

Pacific Oysters & Wine
Instytutska 19zh
FB pacificoysterbar
+380 67 619 34 66
Opening hours – 11.00 – 23.00

Make sure you try

6 Dutch Affinage oysters No.1 333 UAH
Rack of lamb with parsnip puree 397 UAH
Bruschetta with pate and truffles 161 UAH

The What’s On Checklist

English Menu Yes
English-speaking staff Yes
Wifi  Yes
 Price  $$$
 WO Rating  5 Star

 

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