Eat like a bird in Bird­house Café in Kyiv

Kyiv Post - - Lifestyle - WITH VERONIKA MELKOZE­ROVA MELKOZE­[email protected]

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)

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