Saturday, December 09, 2006

Saturday in Kiev

Dinner with a friend last night at the Pervak restaurant, located near the city centre of Kiev. It's an ethnic Ukrainian restaurant, very much with a countryside theme, and very popular and busy. We were glad we had booked. The menu is very extensive - but make sure, if you eat there, that you also order the garnishes. Otherwise you will end up, as we did, with a plate of meat and a plate of fish and nothing to accompany it. Hint to waiters - tell your customers to order garnishes - and your tip will be bigger! To be fair, the foreign language skills of the waiting staff were none too good.

I had an avocado salad with mozarella and green leaves to start with, my friend had a mixed salad. The avocado salad contained 3 slithers of avocado, some quail's eggs, the cheese (of a factory-made rubbery persuasion) and lots of greenery. This was followed by fish for him, and veal stuffed with cherries for me - two pieces. It was nice, but a bit lonely. There was however bread with garlic butter, and dripping with onion or bacon, as we chose. No wine card, which was just as well, given one of the comments in the above website, so we stuck to beer. When my beer was finished and I asked for water, my friend was also given water to drink, without being asked. Oh well, it's better for us. As he was spooning up the last of his fish, we were asked about deserts or teas/coffees - clearly they wanted us out of the door! The food was nice enough, though, the ambience was good, and the price was slightly on the high side, but probably not for the environment.

My friend also gave me a copy of the Ukrainian Observer, and I was gobsmacked when I read this short story, which describes exactly what happened to me earlier this week. It's obviously very common.

Today wandered round Kyiv - needing that exercise - and lunched at the Sim Samuraiv (7 Samurais) ; a Japanese style restaurant on the side of the Besarabsky market (the market where the goods show no prices so you don't know how much you should pay). It was quite nice, but seemed more expensive than the Yakitoria chain, and with less of a buzz. Probably because the Yakitoria restaurants are always located in a bright building, whereas this is in a rather dark street. The sushi I had was good enough and the service was friendly and English speaking. It took an awfully long time to get my change, though. I still think the Yakitoria is the greatest, even though last time some of my little rolls were a wee bitty dry.