Khinkali, wine: Join Ge­or­gian cui­sine craze in these Kyiv res­tau­rants

Kyiv Post - - Lifestyle - WITH TE­TIANA BORYSOVA TANYABORIS­[email protected]

Ge­or­gians have a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing wel­com­ing and hos­pitable — one of their proverbs even calls a guest a gift from God. And hos­pi­tal­ity, of course, de­mands large and tasty meals.

Ge­or­gia's tra­di­tional cui­sine has its own long and rich his­tory: over the years, it has been in­flu­enced by the gas­tro­nomic tra­di­tions of the coun­try’s western and eastern neigh­bors.

But Ge­or­gian cui­sine has to­day de­vel­oped its own unique flavor, and their khinkali (dumplings) and khacha­puri (cheese breads) are the coun­try’s call­ing cards.

The Kyiv Post has picked out some of the most wel­com­ing and tasty res­tau­rants serv­ing Ge­or­gian dishes in Kyiv and win­ning the hearts of its cit­i­zens.

Gogi

From the first mo­ment, Gogi makes its guests feel at home, with wel­com­ing staff and folk mu­sic play­ing in the back­ground.

The restau­rant of­fers tasty Ge­or­gian food at rea­son­able prices. The menu lists a wide choice of tra­di­tional dishes such as khinkali, dumplings typ­i­cally stuffed with spiced meat, cheese, potato, mush­room or other herbs and veg­eta­bles (from Hr 17 a piece), Ad­jar­ian khacha­puri, Ge­or­gian so-called “cheese bread” with a lightly cooked egg served on top (from Hr 118), and Pkhali, a veg­e­tar­ian ap­pe­tizer made with chopped veg­eta­bles, beans and nuts.

Gogi serves a range of grilled food cooked on a man­gal, or tra­di­tional char­coal grill — lyulya ke­bab, a fa­mous Cau­casian dish of minced meat cooked on steel skew­ers, var­i­ous kinds of fish, and brined Ge­or­gian sul­guni cheese wrapped in lavash flat­bread with herbs and spicy roasted veg­eta­bles.

Those with a sweet tooth will love Ge­or­gian desserts like baklava, a sweet pas­try with nuts and honey, or a healthy Ge­or­gian yo­gurt mat­soni with honey and wal­nuts (Hr 49).

Apart from that, Gogi has drinks for any taste and bud­get — home-made wine (Hr 195 per bot­tle) and an aro­m­a­tized ver­mouth wine (Hr 580–1,300 per bot­tle). They also sell a num-

ber of Ge­or­gian red wines, which cost from Hr 375 to Hr 775 a bot­tle.

Prices: lyulya ke­bab with cheese — Hr 122, Ad­jar­ian khacha­puri — Hr 112, baklava — Hr 156, pkhali ( chopped veg­eta­bles with wal­nuts, gar­lic and herbs) — from Hr 78.

Gogi. 13 Lva Tol­stoho St. +38063 079 9102. 15A Mala Zhy­to­myrska St. +38093 057 4745. 2 Tarasa Shevchenka Blvd. +38063 615 0989. 11 a.m.— 11 p.m.

Su­lu­guni

This up­scale restau­rant takes its name from one of Ge­or­gia's most fa­mous cheeses, sul­guni, al­though it is spelled ac­cord­ing the Ukrainian ver­sion of its name, Su­lu­guni. The restau­rant is lo­cated in the city cen­ter be­tween the gov­ern­men­tal quar­ter and Evropeiska (Euro­pean) Square. It’s stylish de­sign, re­laxed at­mos­phere, de­li­cious food and lively Ge­or­gian mu­sic make it a per­fect place for any oc­ca­sion — a busi­ness meet­ing, fam­ily din­ner or a ro­man­tic ren­dezvous. Su­lu­guni oc­cu­pies two floors of a build­ing, in­clud­ing a ter­race, which of­fers a pic­turesque panoramic view.

Their menu, cre­ated by Ge­or­gian chefs, is a mix of sig­na­ture and clas­sic dishes. Su­lu­guni serves var­i­ous grilled treats such as mtsvadi shash­lik, lyulya ke­bab and sul­guni cheese (from Hr 95).

The restau­rant of­fers house­made drinks such as yo­gurt Mat­soni (Hr 29) and the soft drink Tarhun fla­vored with woodruff or tar­ragon (Hr 39).

Prices: lyulya ke­bab — from Hr 129, mtsvadi — from Hr 189, sul­guni — from Hr 95.

Su­lu­guni. 10 Muzeinyi Ln. 11 a.m.— 11 p.m. +38098 110 1010

Oi, Mamo! Tse bulo v Tbil­isi

This restau­rant, with the un­usual name of Oi, Mamo! Tse bulo v Tbil­isi (Oh, Mom! It was in Tbil­isi) has a real leg­end be­hind its cre­ation. The leg­end says that a Kyiv cit­i­zen once vis­ited Tbil­isi, the cap­i­tal of Ge­or­gia, and was truly im­pressed by a Ge­or­gian fam­ily cafe called Tbil­isi — for its de­li­cious and ex­tra­or­di­nary dishes and warm at­mos­phere. Ac­cord­ing to the leg­end, the Ge­or­gian fam­ily later moved to Kyiv and opened their own Ge­or­gian restau­rant, Oi, Mamo! Tse bulo v Tbil­isi.

The cozy fam­ily restau­rant lo­cated in the cen­ter of Kyiv is au­then­tic — from its de­sign, with eth­nic Ge­or­gian touches, to the tra­di­tional dishes on the menu. There is a wide choice of dishes, in­clud­ing five kinds of khinkali — with mixed beef and pork, lamb, sul­guni cheese with mint, and spinach (from Hr 17 a piece). They also serve six kinds of khacha­puri, khar­cho soup made with beef and toma­toes, and a clas­sic fresh vegetable salad (Hr 80). Vis­i­tors will be tempted to try the kada dessert made with wal­nuts and cream, or healthy mat­soni with nuts and honey (Hr 45).

Oi, Mamo! Tse bulo v Tbil­isi also of­fers a range of spir­its such as chacha, a strong Ge­or­gian po­mace brandy (Hr 400 a bot­tle), and var­i­ous kinds of wine, which cost Hr 300–630 per bot­tle.

Prices: fresh vegetable salad — Hr 80, khar­cho soup — Hr 73, khacha­puri — from Hr 95, kada — Hr 55

Oi, Mamo! Tse bulo v Tbil­isi. 109/20 Sak­sa­han­skoho St. 11 a.m.— 11 p.m. +38097 799 5957. For de­liv­ery call +38063 505 0507

Khinkali

For rea­son­able prices and tasty dishes, fans of Ge­or­gian cui­sine should visit Khinkali. The restau­rant is di­vided into five zones — each one suit­able for a dif­fer­ent oc­ca­sion such as cel­e­bra­tions by the open kitchen or on the sum­mer ter­race, or busi­ness meet­ing in the qui­eter halls.

The restau­rant, of course, serves a wide choice of khinkali, the dish af­ter which the place is named. The menu in­cludes khinkali with var­i­ous fill­ings: mut­ton and green ad­jika, veal and basil, veal tongue and mush­rooms in a rich cream sauce, the clas­sic mix of pork and veal, shrimps in cream sauce, and spinach and mush­rooms.

Khinkali also makes the clas­sic Ad­jar­ian khacha­puri baked with sul­guni cheese and served with an egg yolk on top. And there are lar­ge­sized khacha­puri op­tions for groups, avail­able for Hr 88 and more. The vis­i­tors of Khinkali can also treat them­selves to an­other tra­di­tional Ge­or­gian dish — the tasty pan-fried chicken tabaka.

Over 10 types of Ge­or­gian red wine, which cost from Hr 660 to Hr 2,000 per bot­tle can be found on the drinks menu.

Prices: khinkali — from Hr 128, chicken tabaka — from Hr 95 per 100 g, Ad­jar­ian khacha­puri — Hr 115

Khinkali. 4 Shota Rus­taveli St. 11–1 a.m. +38067 503 2079

99 Lari

Named af­ter the Ge­or­gian na­tional cur­rency, lari, this restau­rant mod­estly calls it­self a lit­tle Ge­or­gian cafe. 99 Lari has an in­ti­mate and friendly at­mos­phere, com­bined with a mod­ern de­sign and artsy decor. The restau­rant builds up its guests’ ap­petites with free drinks and ap­pe­tiz­ers from the chef.

The restau­rant of­fers three types of khacha­puri: boat-shaped Ad­jar­ian, cir­cu­lar Imere­tian, and Min­gre­lian, also cir­cu­lar, but gen­er­ously sprin­kled with cheese. They also serve khinkali with mut­ton, veal or cheese (Hr 18 a piece), chanakhi stew made with mut­ton and veg­eta­bles, and khar­cho soup with beef and toma­toes (Hr 78).

Veg­e­tar­i­ans will en­joy a range of meat-free ap­pe­tiz­ers here such as egg­plant rolls with wal­nut cream (Hr 94), fresh vegetable salad (Hr 88) and roasted veg­eta­bles with wal­nut cream (Hr 108). For dessert, 99 Lari makes sev­eral dishes in­clud­ing smooth mat­soni with nuts and honey (Hr 62), and baklava.

Prices: khacha­puri — from Hr 94, chanakhi — Hr 124, baklava — Hr 79

99 Lari. 106/11 Sak­sa­han­skogo St. 10 a.m.— 11 p.m. +38099 444 3825

Mat­soni

This Ge­or­gian restau­rant at­tracts its vis­i­tors with its spe­cialty, house­made cheese — Imere­tian, made with cow’s milk, and sul­guni, pre­pared with spicy herbs, basil and dill.

The restau­rant’s name, Mat­soni, refers to the tra­di­tional Ge­or­gian drink sim­i­lar to yo­gurt. The mat­soni served here is made with fresh milk sourced from small farms.

Mat­soni’s de­sign, which mixes warm colors with dim light­ing, con­trib­utes to the place’s co­zi­ness and at­tracts guests on cold win­ter and fall days.

Their menu con­sists of re­gional dishes cooked ac­cord­ing to the tra­di­tional recipes used in Ge­or­gia, the restau­rant’s man­age­ment says. Mat­soni serves chakhokhbi­li stewed turkey with fresh herbs, veal mtsvadi, Min­gre­lian khacha­puri (Hr 142) and, of course, mat­soni with mint and berries (Hr 43) and two more drinks based on mat­soni.

Prices: chakhokhbi­li — from Hr 114, veal shash­lik — from Hr 118, mat­soni — Hr 43.

Mat­soni. 114 Ve­lyka Va­sylkivska St. 11 a.m.— 11 p.m. 1–5 Ihora Shamo St. 12–11 p.m. +38050 108 2838

A waiter serves tra­di­tional Ge­or­gian food at Oi Mamo! Tse bulo v Tbil­isi restau­rant in Kyiv on Jan. 28, 2019. (Volodymyr Petrov)

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