Fish & Pussy­cat raises the bar for Kyiv's sushi restau­rants

Kyiv Post - - Lifestyle - WITH DARIA SHULZHENKO [email protected]

Even though the num­ber of restau­rants in Kyiv is con­tin­u­ing to grow rapidly, it can still be dif­fi­cult to find a place that ticks all of the boxes: well-pre­sented, tasty food, a great lo­ca­tion and ex­cel­lent ser­vice.

How­ever, the re­cently opened Fish & Pussy­cat Sushi Bar, lo­cated on the cap­i­tal’s busy, cen­tral Ba­seina Street, fits the bill.

Opened at the end of Septem­ber, this is al­ready a must-visit place for raw fish fans.

While sur­rounded by a num­ber of other places to eat, Fish &Pussy­cat stands out with its huge awning with the word “sush.”

For those won­der­ing why there’s no fi­nal let­ter “i” — ap­par­ently, the res­tau­rant's own­ers wanted it to stand out amid mul­ti­ple "sushi" signs on Kyiv's streets.

An­other thing: at first sight it’s dif­fi­cult to see the name of the res­tau­rant, as it is writ­ten in small, white let­ters un­der­neath an in­scrip­tion on the glass en­trance door that ex­horts vis­i­tors to “Fol­low your Fishes.”

As for the name of the venue, there is, dis­ap­point­ingly, no par­tic­u­larly in­ter­est­ing story be­hind it: Ac­cord­ing to the res­tau­rant’s staff “there’s ‘fish’ be­cause we serve it, and ‘pussy­cat’ be­cause all peo­ple like cats.”

Ad­di­tion­ally, Fish & Pussy­cat’s chefs are dressed up in uni­forms with pic­tures of cats on them.

The dé­cor in the res­tau­rant is retro-style and in­tri­cate and also echoes the venue’s name: There’s a mir­ror wall dec­o­rated with a sign read­ing “catch me if you cat,” and a wooden table in the form of a surf­board.

The two halls of the res­tau­rant fea­ture a mix of old-fash­ioned wooden fur­ni­ture with neon lights, iron chan­de­liers and mir­rors, while the wall-sized front win­dows of­fer a view of Kyiv’s busy Ba­seina Street.

Even though the place is new and lo­cated in the down­town area, there was no trou­ble get­ting a table for two on a Satur­day night. The wait­ers were ex­tremely wel­com­ing, and free bot­tles of still wa­ter stood on each table for vis­i­tors — a good sign in Kyiv, where restau­rants don’t usu­ally of­fer such free­bies.

As for the food, wait­ers ad­vise start­ing with tra­di­tional Hawai­ian poke (raw fish) ki­noa, with tuna and egg — which is a good choice for peo­ple on a diet and for lovers of healthy food — four juicy slices of raw tuna, mixed with ki­noa, av­o­cado, green beans, cherry toma­toes and a cut boiled egg, all for Hr 175.

Poke ki­noa is also in­cluded on Fish & Pussy­cat’s break­fast menu, served from Mon­day to Fri­day, 9 a .m. –12 p.m., and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on week­ends.

It’s not all fish ei­ther: an­other de­li­cious must-try on Fish & Pussy­cat’s menu is duck with spiced ap­ples and kale for Hr 272. Around 10 pieces of ten­der duck breast, served with sweet mango-fla­vored sauce, and four sa­vory pieces of spiced ap­ples with a few leaves of kale is a real treat for poul­try lovers.

All por­tions are mod­er­ately gen­er­ous, served on medium-sized plates, but still big enough for two to share.

Like the “sushi” sign on the awning, the sushi menu is miss­ing some­thing — Fish & Pussy­cat serves only six ba­sic types, with a few vari­a­tions on each. How­ever, this small quan­tity is com­pen­sated for by qual­ity: the por­tions are big, with large, fresh, and tasty pieces of fish.

The res­tau­rant claims to source its tuna from Mi­ami and salmon from Scot­land and Nor­way — but man­age­ment won’t say how the fish is de­liv­ered to land­locked Kyiv.

Fans of hot and spicy food should opt for the crunchy sushi rolls with salmon and shrimps. While not overly spicy, the por­tions are rel­a­tively big, as are the rolls them­selves. The wait­ers also bring a tiny teapot with soya sauce to ac­com­pany the sushi.

Fish & Pussy­cat’s sushi costs a bit more than av­er­age — for in­stance, the rolls go for Hr 395, ex­cept for the veg­e­tar­ian sushi with tofu, mango and av­o­cado, which costs Hr 295. The ni­giri (four types, in­clud­ing tuna and salmon), are Hr 65 each, and the sashimi cost Hr 145.

As for the dessert menu, try the matcha crème brulee with caramel — a sweet crème brulee mousse with a bit­ter matcha tea fla­vor­ing, mixed with hard caramel in the form of a bro­ken glass, and served on an old-fash­ioned sil­ver plate.

On the drinks menu the res­tau­rant of­fers a range of lemon­ades, hot drinks, beer, wines and spir­its, such as tra­di­tional Ja­panese sake, whisky, and gin. The venue’s staff speak English and are happy to guide guests around the menu and of­fer help­ful sug­ges­tions.

And de­spite call­ing it­self a sushi bar, Fish & Pussy­cat also of­fers salmon steaks and filet of sea bass with creamed spinach, as well as the de­cid­edly non-fishy striploin steak with beans and bone mar­row.

Add to that the tempt­ing choice of sal­ads, soups and desserts, as well as the afore­men­tioned break­fasts, and the Fish & Pussy­cat Sushi Bar has enough on of­fer to keep cus­tomers com­ing back for more, even after they’ve tried all the sushi.

Fish & Pussy­cat Sushi Bar.

5B Ba­seina St. +38066 712 6164 9 a.m.— 11 p.m.

The new res­tau­rant Fish & Pussy­cat Sushi Bar serves six ba­sic types of sushi, as well as seafood sal­ads, steaks, soups, and desserts. The res­tau­rant is lo­cated on Ba­seina Street in Kyiv. (Fish & Pussy­cat/Face­book)

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