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You're reading: Food Critic: Dining the eco-friendly way at Kyiv’s Koza-Dereza

Eco-friendly restaurants are new for Kyiv. Koza-Dereza, a new offspring of the Kozyrna Karta chain, appears in a quiet yard on Artema Street.

It claims to be the first farmer’s restaurant, where one can not only dine out, but also pick up some groceries. This is the place to enjoy with friends and organic food.

The hybrid shop-restaurant is decorated like a kitchen. The favorite radio station appears to be Retro FM. Another source of noise comes from the caged parrot near the entrance. 

A shop in the lobby includes a bakery, eggs, sausage, milk, honey, jam and caviar at rather high prices.
Koza-Dereza offers simple cuisine with village grace. The menu is mixed. The major dishes are Ukrainian, but also with strange inclusions of Georgian, Russian and Italian dishes. For the cheese addict, it’s paradise.

The waiters were rather friendly and offered tips about what to try for the first time. The seasonal menus are printed on recycled paper. The summer menu includes different soups and berry glazes. It’s a good selection of Ukrainian dishes such as borsch, varenyky, potato pancakes and different riolls filled with cabbage, onion, and mushroom for the main course. 

Traditional goat cheese such as buche, crottin, tomette and other as feta and ricotta can be found there. By the way, 50 grams of cheese is enough. Meanwhile buche, with the ash crust, goes well with onion-celery jam. And everything’s available for takeout.

After the main course you may choose among compote, fruit-drink, ryazhenka (boiled fermented milk) and homemade lemonade. We tried mint tea. It came in cups and a teapot made of fine porcelain and a Soviet-era sugar bowl, for a note of dissonance.

We ordered melon-peach soup with ice cream for Hr 52, which was really tasty, while the cranberry sorbet had a slightly sour taste. The chestnut cake (Hr 45) we were served later was made of sandy paste and seemed to have no sugar in it. If you want to have an ordinary three-course meal, be ready for at least a Hr 250 check. 

Koza-Dereza has a place for children to play and a children’s menu. And check out the lavatories with the funny signs. The place is smoke-free, a real positive for non-smokers. When we left, the administrator offered us an apple, completing the fairytale experience.

52-A Artema
Tel. 486 0040
Opening hours: every day 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.

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