Eat like a bird in Birdhouse Café in Kyiv
Veronika Zisels and Constantine Borisov of Kyiv dreamed about treehouses as children. Now that they are adults, they’ve turned those childhood dreams into a business.
They’ve opened a café to give visitors an authentic experience of treehouse – or rather, a birdhouse, since that’s what the café is named.
Opened in March, The Birdhouse café is actually four wooden houses built on pine trees 3.5 meters above ground. They are built around a bar counter and a kitchen. A parachute serves as a roof.
The café is found in a cozy clearing in Alexander Pushkin Park on Peremohy Avenue in Kyiv.
Each house can hold up to one ton of weight. “Four to six people can fit in one house,” Zisels says.
Zisels is the café manager while Borisov, her boyfriend, works as chef. His main rule as a chef: no alcohol and no meat. Also, there is no menu. “Every day I invent something new and cook what I want,” says Borisov.
In the Birdhouse café, a visitor can taste blue cheese-andonion soup, various salads and baked vegetables, wrapped in lavash, a thin flatbread. As for desserts, there are plenty of them - from homemade pies with berries, cheese and chocolate to funny-named inventions of Borisov.
“For example, you can have tvorokada – a dish made of homemade cottage cheese and avocado with herbs. Or a cold chocosoup – melted chocolate with raspberry,” says Borisov.
The place offers lemonade, four types of tea and Greek coffee. All dishes are served on wooden plates with wooden utensils.
For a lunch, I ordered the rolls – baked eggplants with rucola, lettuce and salted peanut butter wrapped in fresh lavash (Hr 55) and Greek coffee with milk, sugar and cardamom (Hr 20).
While I was waiting for the order, sitting on a soft pillow in one of the wooden houses, the bartender turned on reggae music. The hosts kept me amused telling stories of café life.
“People sometimes come around just to climb in and hang out in the houses,” Zisels says.
My order came in 10 minutes. The rolls were tasty and fill-
ing but the coffee was watery and almost tasteless.
Insects are another shortcoming of the Birdhouse. I like unusual outdoor cafes, but ants and other insects climbing on the bar counter made me uneasy.
The Birdhouse café is worth a visit, but hurry. The place is to close at the end of October, only to return in spring, “like the real birds do,” Borisov says.
The Birdhouse Cafe, now open in Kyiv’s Pushkin Park, takes the outdoor cafe experience to another level. (Volodymyr Petrov)