Three full days in Kiev was not enough, especially when it came down to looking for traditional Ukrainian foods. I had a busy schedule, so I tried to find restaurants in the areas that I would be in. I had a list of traditional Ukrainian food, including Chicken Kiev, but did not even make a dent in it. That was fine because it gave me another reason to re-visit this country. I did eat well while I was there and found the freshness of the ingredients to be outstanding.
Before I move on to my food journal, I know most of you are wondering why I say Ukraine and not “The” Ukraine. Putting that three letter word in front of Ukraine refers to the days of when it was part of Russia. That was when they were called “The Ukraine”. In current days, they are referred to as Ukraine and they like it that way. They fought very hard for their freedom, so please call them “Ukraine”.
From bulgur for breakfast to Strawberry Harvest Season, my list of ‘What I ate in Ukraine – A Food Journal’
Pike Perch Paradise
Pike Perch is a popular fish in Ukraine and the surrounding countries, so it is very common to find it on the menus. In all fairness, this was one of the items that I wanted to try because it is a prevalent fish that I like.
Fresh perch in a clear broth and fresh perch over potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
I remember the first time that I tried this fish was in Germany several years go, I loved it. So when I saw Pike Perch on the restaurant menu in Kiev I had to order both styles. They really know how to serve Pike Perch in Kiev!
The Reddest Strawberries, Ever
I was fortunate enough to be in Ukraine during strawberry harvest season, which is in May. I know May will be the month that I will plan my future trip to Ukraine because of strawberry season. That says a lot because I do not like fresh fruit on its own but these luscious red berries were incredible.
The strawberries were this red and this juicy. There was not a glaze or a flavored gel on these berries. They were the most beautiful strawberries that I have ever seen or tasted. Just remember, May is strawberry season in Ukraine- See you there!
Strawberry Basil Juice
Again, the benefits of being in Ukraine during strawberry season. I could have drank a couple more cups of this red elixir, it was so delicious and fresh. Seriously though, they ladled the juice from a big bowl of fresh strawberry juice, basil and citrus slices. How could you not want more?
Another reminder, strawberry harvest season is in May- See you there!
Dinner at Pastateca
Since my hotel was close to Pastateca, I had eyed it several times while walking to and from. I decided to come here for dinner one night, after I had just pulled myself together from a day trip to the mosquito breeding ground aka “The Tunnel of Love”.
What I found at Pastateca was a wonderful dining experience with very friendly service. I was well taken care of and well fed. Their delicious pasta is made fresh daily and they also serve salads, sandwiches, risotto, appetizers and amazing large oysters. I was floored by the size and quality of their raw oysters, outstanding!
For location and restaurant information, please visit their website – Pastateca
Cocktails in Kiev
I had a couple of cocktails in Kiev and they were either very generous on the amount of alcohol that goes into a drink OR the alcohol content is higher. Whichever it was, the drinks I had were pretty darn fabulous.
I had a sangria and Ukrainian vodka cocktail that was similar to a cosmopolitan. Although I did enjoy both, the vodka cocktail was the best one. I commented that it was the devil of a drink that made me buy weird stuff. I have the flower head wreath and straw broom doll to prove it- True story!
Breakfasts in Ukraine
This is where I first had bulgur wheat and I grew very fond of it. I was not even sure what it was until I got back from my trip and looked it up. I just ate it with the sausage and other breakfast food that was given to me. Actually, I was a bit sad that I was not served bulgur the following days.
The other breakfasts that were served at my hotel were quite nice and not Westernized, which I appreciated. I liked the little hand cut fresh butter cubes in the individual bowls. The cheese omelet was wonderful because the eggs were so fresh and fluffy. Everything was simple and very Eastern European.
Coffee Frappe with Watermelon and Honey
I did not make that up! I did not even think that the three ingredients would work together but it did. The drink was very frothy, light and refreshing. It tasted like coffee but then it did not. It was like nothing I had ever tried and I enjoyed it very much.
I picked up this fun and tasty drink from Coffeelat in Kiev which is a franchised coffeehouse that also sells macaroons, desserts and other drinks.
For more information and Kiev locations, please visit their official website – COFFEELAT
Ukraine Airport Lounge Food
The great thing about airport lounges is that you can find traditional foods served there. I have tried many different country’s traditional soups, cheeses, tapas, snacks, desserts and wines while in lounges.
While waiting in Kiev’s airport lounge to fly back to Budapest, I was eating a variety of foods that I was not sure of what it was. That did not bother me though because food is a journey and a well traveled one at that!
Farewell Ukraine until we meet again!
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