Born in Azerbaijan, Marat Osypov always dreamed of owning an eastern-style venue: something like a hookah lounge, a place for parties, that would serve pilaf as delicious as his mother’s. Now Osypov’s dream has become a reality: his restaurant, Lampa, serves Middle Eastern cuisine in the very centre of Kyiv
The interior bears little resemblance to your average hookah bar: it feels more like a city cafe, equally suitable for large groups, family dinners, or one-to-one moments with close friends. There’s a smell of shisha in the air, but it’s pleasant and unobtrusive. In fact, they have quite an impressive selection of hookah. If you’re new to this pursuit, try something sweet and sour, and not too strong (strong varieties are best suited to experienced smokers). Some are fruity, and some more classic: choose whatever takes your fancy.
On the drinks side, I sip on a Laurel Negroni while my partner enjoys a cup of tea. Lampa offers both classic and signature cocktails (made with an eastern twist, with added spice and fragrance). The tea is the biggest surprise: not only is it remarkably delicious, but it’s blue. This colour changes to purple with the addition of lemon juice: it’s a kind of street magic.
Pilaf with veal 150 UAH
Cheburek with lamb 102 UAH
Adjarian khachapuri 127 UAH
Laurel Negroni 172 UAH
Blue tea with Thai orchid flowers 95 UAH
TOTAL 646 UAH
Our opening dish is pilaf with veal, served in the Azerbaijani manner. The portion is so generous that it could satisfy two, while the meat is amazing – gentle and soft. We move on to the cheburek, a dish I’ve always had a complicated relationship with (perhaps as a result of dubious street food stalls). However, this cheburek shatters my prejudices at first bite. It’s simply perfect: crunchy, with fragrant lamb, and not too fatty. We complete our meal with a genuinely delicious khachapuri (anything with cheese touches my heart) and agree that dining at Lampa is an experience to make a habit of. Besides, you’ll never want to eat a street cheburek again.
Monday – Friday: 08.00 – 02.00
The What’s On Checklist
English menu ✘
WO Rating ✭✭✭✭