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On the cover
7 (2014)
Tunnelling Towards Hope

28 February - 6 March 2014

Ukraine History

A Stronghold of Rulers and Rebels

With the recent death toll jumping to nearly 100 and 1,000 injured, Hrushevskoho Street, one of the strongholds of EuroMaidans three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the countrys stand against government corruption, abuse of power, and the violation of human rights turned from peaceful protest to all-out revolution. Having witnessed much over the years, Hrushevskoho is a street with a history, and not only care of recent days.


Ukraine Today
Acelebrity using their status and intelligence to influence public views and opinion is rarely seen in modern society, even less so in Ukraine. Here, the majority of celebs use their time, effort, and money to enhance or further their career rather than put their name to something that can do good for others. However, as EuroMaidan intensifies, some are making themselves heard and they fall either side of the EuroMaidan divide.
It used to be that when rebellion and revolution occurred, the intellectual, creative, and spiritual elite would be front and centre.


Ukrainian Culture

When Walls Can Talk

People have been writing on walls since the dawn of civilisation, we call it graffiti, and ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Sometimes it is merely the creator wanting to leave his or her mark; sometimes there is an underlying social or political reason. And it is due to the latter that graffiti has exploded across Kyiv in recent months. Anti dictator messages aside, we peel back a few layers of paint to look at graffiti in the city in general.


Take me out!

A Sense of Déjà Vu

Its that uncanny sense that whatever you are experiencing right now has happened before a feeling many of us have had before. Some say its good, others its bad. To check whether we will get that feeling we visit a retro rock restaurant this week Dejavu.

Founded back in 1999 by known restaurateurs and friends Andriy Zadorozhnyy and Sergiy Predko, this venue aimed to unite good food, a bar, and entertainment in a format which did not exist in Ukraine at that time. In the 15 years since they have succeeded in that mission, creating a venue that has its regulars as well as pulling in new punters.

Rock Of Ages
Despite it being one of the oldest western-oriented venues in Kyiv, Dejavu and I have never been properly introduced. So when I enter this large restaurant situated on Bohdana Khmelnytskoho, right behind the National Opera of Ukraine, the first thing that strikes me is its rocker/biker vibe: the interior consists of musical memorabilia with signed guitars, autographed photos of stars on the walls, and real bikes and bike parts.
My friend Sonya and I hand our coats over to be hung in the cloakroom. We are then taken to our table, which stands right in the middle of the dining hall, meaning we were in prime position to see the stage where musicians are warming up ready to play. The back wall of the stage is basically one massive LED-lit screen, which I wouldnt suggest looking at for any long period of time youll find your eyes tire of the drastic difference in light compared to the relative darkness of the rest of the room, which houses red sofas in booth formation and about 10 freestanding tables and chairs. We decide to order as quickly as possible before the gig starts and deafens both us and our servers.

The First Bite
The pianist starts gently playing old hits, and they are the perfect backing track as we scan the menu and make our choice. There are more than 10 salads we chose one each to start our meal. Im particularly interested in trying the Caesar salad offered here with three different variants grilled chicken, shrimps or salmon. I opt for the shrimps and here Ill admit the shrimps in my salad are amazing thanks to that very appetising aroma of being grilled. My friend Sonya stops her search at the grilled vegetable salad with pesto sauce and Parmesan. When her salad is brought we both detect the sweet scent of basil immediately.
The salads in general in Dejavu are a mix of Soviet and European recipes, with prices higher than average, varying from 65hrv for a usual shuba (herring under fur coat) salad, up to 185hrv for a mozzarella buffalo salad with tomatoes and fresh herbs. So, as long as you are ready to part with about 100hrv per salad youre sure to find one you like on the menu.

Moving On To Mains
Although the restaurant offers a bunch of exciting cold and hot snacks as the first course, including five soups based mostly on Ukrainian recipes, we decide to skip this course and leave some space for our mains. It turns out to be the right decision as we later take much delight in devouring our main courses, savouring every bite. Had we had snacks beforehand I believe there would have been no room for the generous servings. But I am getting ahead of myself, so going back to the selection.
I decide to have meat while Sonya goes for poultry. My beef medallions with Roma tomato sauce and eggplant cream cheese rolls is served on a wooden platter and is well-presented, leading to me expressing my special thanks to the chef who obviously knows how important it is to present a dish properly. While the beef medallions taste more or less ordinary, what is interesting is the Roma tomato sauce shredded tomatoes, not salty at all, however rich in savoury flavour. Its something new to me. Mixed with the eggplant cream cheese rolls that are also a new experience, they are the perfect garnish and go well with the beef.
Despite my dish being a very good one, Sonyas choice, duck leg with caramelised apples and roasted potato is even better. The duck leg, also beautifully served, comes with caramelised apples coated with a sweet jam, which I presume is raspberry. While we dont go for the most expensive offer on the main course, which is rack of lamb with grilled vegetables for 495hrv, we have no regrets. The other dishes we had considered were rabbit cutlets with boiled buckwheat and mushroom sauce, a juicy turkey kebab with vegetables and herbs and one of Dejavus three steak offers two Ukrainian and one US. These will be must-eats the next time we visit the restaurant.

A Musical Surprise
Just as our appetites are fully sated, the live band starts playing and their genre of music leaves us a little confused. The band starts and it is clear they are playing rock covers of Soviet times or as it is generally referred to, Russian rock. I have nothing against retro but it is quite unexpected. Despite our confusion, other diners, older than us, obviously appreciate the retro flavour and start dancing.
Meanwhile we are stuffed but decide theres still some space for a little dessert between us. Among the interesting options like New York cheesecake, Austrian Sacher cake with peach syrup, Napoleon cake on raspberry puree with nuts and caramel, as well as a few ice-cream based desserts, we decide to share tiramisu served with Savoiardi cookies washed down with blended fruit tea. The latter is presented in an interesting way it is brought to us in a jar covered with a special cloth to keep it hot.
Overall, the service in Dejavu is fast and polite. Despite the fact our server is rushed off her feet tending to the whims of diners at another table where a birthday celebration is taking place, we dont feel neglected. She brings our orders to us fast and pays us just the right amount of attention. As we are about to leave, the birthday party becomes wilder and streamers are launched into the air. It reminds me of New Year celebrations. Both of us are glad we experienced Dejavu and it is something we will experience again for sure.

Edible Inventory
Caesar Salad with Shrimps (270g) - 139hrv
Grilled Vegetable Salad with Pesto Sauce and Parmesan (265g) - 85hrv
Beef Medallions with Roma Tomato Sauce and Eggplant Cream Cheese Rolls (120g/150g) - 229hrv
Duck Leg with Caramelised Apples and Roasted Potato (200g) - 165hrv
Tiramisu (200g) - 83hrv
Advent Blend Fruit Tea -55hrv

Grand Total: 756hrv

Dejavu (B Khmelnytskoho 30, M Zoloti Vorota/Teatralna)
Hours: 12.00  02.00, 235-9802

We Want Your Review!
Have you been to Dejavu? Email us your review of the food, service and atmosphere. Include your name and well publish a sampling in Whats On!
Email editor@whatson-kiev.com to sound off.

by Vadym Mishkoriz

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    Ukraine Truth
    Rights We Didnt Know We Had

    Throughout EuroMaidan much has been made of Ukrainians making a stand for their rights. What exactly those rights are were never clearly defined. Ukraine ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1952. The first article of the Declaration states all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, they are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. The ousted and overthrown Ukrainian government showed to the world they dont understand the meaning of these words.

    Kyiv Culture

    Pulling Strings
    Located on Hrushevskoho Street the epicentre of EuroMaidan violence, home to battles, blazes and barricades childrens favourite the Academic Puppet Theatre had to shut down in February. Nevertheless, it is getting ready to reopen this March with a renewed repertoire to bring some laughter back to a scene of tragedy. Operating (not manipulating) puppets is a subtle art that can make kids laugh and adults cry. Whats On meets Mykola Petrenko, art director of the Theatre, to learn more about those who pull the strings behind the show.


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