Over the past few decades, Japan has made an immense cultural contributions to Europe and the world, and Ukraine is no exception. As well as revolutionising the IT and automotive industries, Japan has broadened our culinary knowledge
As soon as autumn entered the capital, The Ukrainian Connoisseur Club (TUCC) gathered to test out the Japanese cuisine at Fujiwara Yoshi’s restaurant, which has already become a local attraction at Novopecherski Lypky. With its fancy façade and authentic Japanese interior design, this new dining spot opens the doors to a refined gourmet experience.
Chef vs Tuna
The surprises begin before dinner: it turns out that today is Tuna Day. Yoshi-san reveals that he’s not just a great chef, but also a star performer. He appears on stage with a huge Spanish bluefin tuna and plunges in his fearsomely sharp knife. A round of applause can be heard as the tuna’s head comes off, and the chef flips the fish over to make the final cut. Meanwhile, we’re called to the table: dinner will begin shortly.
A Harmonious Mix
First to appear on the table is a collection of traditional Japanese appetisers. What unites octopus, mussels, samosas, and pickles? Although the selection is diverse, there’s an underlying harmony, with each appetiser playing a role. Plump, juicy New Zealand mussels become tender, even creamy, when combined with Motoyaki sauce. The crunchy triangular samosa with savoury vegetable curry filling provides a nice break before I get to the marinated octopus Iidako with its slight spicy note. All these delicacies are balanced out by the mix of vegetables: spinach Goma-ae with special sesame dressing, edamame beans with Maldon sea salt, and Japanese tsukemono Fukujin-zuke pickles with traditional soy sauce.
Tempura tiger prawns are one of the dishes I order by default when eating at any Japanese restaurant in Kyiv. Here, the Ebi tempura is delightful, with tonsui sauce mixed with ground daikon and ginger (another of chef Fujiwara’s culinary inventions). A glass of cold white wine – Loiser Berg 2017 – is an excellent match.
Hassun (traditional assorted Japanese snacks) – 265 UAH
Ebi Tempura (tiger prawns in crispy Japanese batter) – 285 UAH
Hon Maguro Assorted (sashimi, sushi, Spanish bluefin rolls) – 1 650 UAH
Caramel Purin (Japanese vanilla milk cream pudding) – 165 UAH
Total: 2 365 UAH
Make sure you try:
Roll Hotate Mango Roru (with king crab meat) 485 UAH
Sushi Toro (Bluefin tuna fillet) 185 UAH
For a group: Big Sushi Platter 1 980 UAH
This is what I’ve been waiting for ever since the spectacular tuna show earlier in the evening. Fujiwara’s sashimi recipe is both a delicious dish and a lesson in presentation. Spanish bluefin tuna sashimi, nigiri sushi, and rolls create a splendid table centrepiece. The impeccable taste of the fresh tuna is complemented by fluffy, tender rice, while a rosé Praesidium Cerasuolo D’Arbuzzo is just right for the platter.
A Sweet Line-up
Wondering how to finish a Japanese dinner? I dip into a delicate pudding of sweet milk and vanilla cream, with fresh berries and thin slightly-salted pieces of apple. Dessert is paired with a light digestif, a floral liqueur made from the juice of yuzu lemons. While TUCC members say their goodbyes, I leave in awe at the mastery of a chef who dishes up fine meals to match the freshness and quality of the ingredients.
This elegant restaurant provides an exquisite epicurean journey.
⎯ 11.00 – 23.00
+380 44 360 0209
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