Asian Food in Kyiv
Ukrainian food is great, but after living in Southeast Asia for over seven years, we’ve become big fans of the food from that region. Thai food is our favourite, but we also loved the diversity of food in China and we enjoyed a lot of tasty food in Vietnam too. We quite regularly get a craving for Asian food in Kyiv.
Luckily, immigration during the Soviet Union means there are Vietnamese and Chinese communities in Ukraine. It’s also a popular place for students from the region, meaning there are some great Vietnamese restaurants in Kyiv, and some excellent Chinese food in Kyiv too.
In this post, we will introduce you to some of the Chinese restaurants in Kyiv that we visit, as well as Vietnamese, Korean and Indonesian restaurants in Kyiv too. We also like to cook Asian food, so we’ll tell you about the places to buy Asian ingredients in Kyiv.
Right now as I write this, we are under quarantine which means restaurants are closed. However, these places deliver too, through Ubereats, Glovo etc. so you can get your Asian food fix.
Japanese food is huge here. It’s a running joke that you can get sushi in almost every restaurant. There are popular Japanese/Italian restaurants that serve both sushi and pizza. For this reason, we won’t be touching on Japanese food.
Chinese food in Kyiv
7 Ivana Franka Street, near Zoloti Vorota metro
The name basically means ‘Chinese hello’ or maybe ‘Hello China’. Kitayskiy Privyet is a funkier Chinese restaurant, complete with a giant waving cat for Instagram pictures and cool cocktails. The menu is vast and includes food for all palettes. We had several dishes we recognised from our time in China, and you can even get portions of insects.
After your meal, they’ll give you a fortune cookie, which is a lovely touch. The fortune will be in Ukrainian, of course, so find a nice fellow diner to translate it for you.
Ni Hao Chinese restaurant
19 Pushkinskaya, near Teatralna metro station
This little red underground eatery is on our street. There are always Chinese students hanging around outside, and often families of Chinese people inside. The food is less of your western Chinese takeaway, and more the regional cuisine that we ate when we lived in Shanghai.
We went to a Sichuan place once and ordered chicken with chilli peppers, and what came out was chopped chicken feet covered in chopped chilli. We ordered a similar sounding dish in Ni Hao, and it looked exactly the same (we didn’t intend to order chicken feet either time, but you know….translation….)
Dishes are cheap and there is a photo menu to choose from.
If you are heading to Ukraine, read more on Ukrainian dishes to try in Kyiv.
Bruce Lee Chinese Restaurant, Kyiv
This place has a great name, and some tasty food. We ordered it for delivery during the quarantine and it came with a signature bottle of hand sanitizer! There are some dishes we recognise from living in China, some from UK Chinese takeaways and some that are most definitely Thai.
Delivery is free within Kyiv or on the main food delivery sites and we’ll try and visit the restaurant when it opens again.
Fat Dragon Chinese Kyiv
Bessarabia Market, Khreschatyk
Bessarabsky Market still sells fruit and vegetables, Arabic spices etc. but there are also several eateries inside, including a craft beer stall. Tucked away is a little place serving Chinese food. The chefs are Chinese and make hand-pulled noodles fresh to go. There are other dishes on the menu on the wall, with pictures so you can see what they are. The dumplings are pretty good, as is the noodle soup.
You can sit at the counter to eat your food, which comes quickly while you watch them cook. The dishes are really well-priced, noodle soup or fried noodles with beef are about 90 UAH and the dumplings are 65 UAH for 5.
Since Bessarabia Market is closed for quarantine, I don’t know if this place is still going.
Bao was opened by celebrity chef Hector Jimenez-Bravo, and is described as modern Chinese food. The design is swish and the food is a modern take on Chinese food. You can try blue or red dumplings, for example. From this description, you won’t be surprised to hear it’s also expensive – 200 UAH+ for dim sum, up to 2000 UAH for lobster or wagyu beef. A cocktail is over 200 UAH and it’s about 160 for a bottle of beer.
If you want to try it though, the weekday lunch offer is worth looking at. Between 12-7 you can get a several course meal for just under 400 UAH.
There’s a Bao food stall in the Kyiv Food Market if you want to try the food in a more casual environment.
During quarantine, there are lots of craft beer breweries that are delivering all over Ukraine. We wrote a round up of craft beer delivery here.
Vietnamese food in Kyiv
Bessarabia Market, Khreschatyk
Near the Chinese eatery in Bessabsky Market is Vietnamysky Priviet, again, meaning ‘Vietnamese hello’. This places sells pho from the counter, and you can eat it at one of the tables next to it. As well as pho, they serve various noodle dishes and spring rolls. They also do Vietnamese coffee and a good mango smoothie which is similar to those you get in Vietnam and Thailand. Be aware that they are mainly sugar though!
Like other Asian restaurants in Kyiv, they have a menu with photos so you don’t need to know Russian, Ukrainian or Vietnamese to order. Pho costs about 100 UAH, so it’s not cheap. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite have the array of herbs that a bowl of pho in Vietnam would have.
Velyka Vasylkivska, 88
There are several branches of Viet Bar around the city. We went to one and Kris ordered pho. It smelled and tasted very authentic and there was a huge pile of vegetables to go in it. The Vietnamese coffee was also good. The rest of the menu is written. The issue with this, having lived in Vietnam, is that we know the Vietnamese names for things, but it loses something when translated into English. They had various salads on the menu and the spring rolls looked tasty.
Yaroslaviv Val St, 23
The name of this confuses us, as Chang means elephant in Thai, but it’s also a name in Vietnamese. Chang is a cute little restaurant with cool décor and great staff. They dress you in funny bibs before you eat, so you can ‘dress’ as a dragon or Vietnamese woman. They have a range of dishes, including salads and meat dishes, as well as the usual pho and spring rolls. The food is really tasty, but not exactly what we remember from living in Vietnam.
20 Varoslav Val Street, close to Zoloti Vorota metro
This probably has the best location, with a terrace overlooking Kyiv velodrome, the cycle track, and the huge street art piece. The inside is beautifully decorated with multicoloured tables and chairs modelled as cyclos. The menu is more authentic than Chang, with more dishes we recognised. The cocktails are something special, and they also serve craft beer.
The name is a play on words. If you’ve been to Vietnam, you’ll know about the book where Tin Tin, the Belgian boy detective with the white dog, travels Vietnam. This is a theme in the restaurant. Tin tin also means ‘bill, please’ in Vietnamese.
See our post for more on Vietnamese food, including suggested places to eat in Saigon
Banh Mi vs. Marketing
Tsytadelna St, 6/8
Good luck in finding this place, as it’s off the main street, around the corner and behind a big metal door with no big sign or advertising to show you where it is.
Banh Mi are Vietnamese sandwiches, crusty bread rolls stuffed with pate, meat, shredded carrot, coriander and chilli sauce. Banh Mi vs. Marketing has several sandwich options, as well as pho – Vietnamese soup, and rice bowls. The sandwich was tasty and the coriander and carrot gave it the right taste, but the butter was less authentic. The pho was also tasty and came with the typical side dish of herbs and beansprouts, although the broth wasn’t quite the same as Pho 24 in Saigon.
Banh Mi vs Marketing is part of a family of Asian food producers called Food vs. Marketing, which includes a ramen bar as well. Currently, during quarantine, they do delivery, including packs to make your own Vietnamese pho.
Velyka Vasylivska 48
From the same celebrity chef as the Chinese restaurant, Bao, if you are looking for a swanky Vietnamese restaurant in Kyiv to take someone to, there’s Nam. It’s housed in a huge imposing building on Velyka Vasylivska, Nam promotes itself as modern Vietnamese cuisine
It is, as you would imagine from a celebrity chef restaurant, expensive. Pho costs 180 UAH, spring rolls over 200 UAH and main courses 200+. Like Bao though, they have a 12-5 weekday lunch deal for less than 400, which is a good idea if you want to try it (if only we didn’t work during the week!).
We got to know Vietnamese food from nearly five years’ teaching English there. If you want to know more, our post on Teaching English in Vietnam will be interesting.
Thai food in Kyiv
Chekhovs’kyi Ln, 2/4
It’s taken us a while to find a real Thai restaurant here. Asian restaurants in Kyiv often do some Thai dishes e.g. tom yum soup but we hadn’t found somewhere with lots of authentic dishes. During quarantine, we’d been experimenting with food delivery and noticed Taisky Privet (Thai Hello). Turns out it’s not far from our flat! It’s the same food family as Vietnam Hi and Kitaisky Priviet, mentioned above.
We ordered some of our favourite dishes from our time living in Thailand – Thai style fried rice with chicken, pad sieu (flat rice noodles) and laap. Yum! It was pretty good food and pretty authentic. It even came in plastic bags sealed with elastic bands, which if you’ve lived in Thailand, you’ll recognise!
For some armchair travelling to Bangkok to drool over the street food, read our post on the Best Street food in Silom, Bangkok.
Indonesian Food in Kyiv
17.804 Indonesian Social Kitchen
Velyka Vasylkivska St, 82
The only place serving real Indonesian food in Kyiv we have found is 17.804 Indonesian Social Kitchen. This cute little restaurant is run by an Indonesian chef and his wife. It’s pretty small, so you need to book a table at night. They serve a range of Indonesian dishes, including laksa, nasi goreng, mi goreng and sate. You can choose from the photo menu too, if you aren’t familiar with Indonesian food.
Our post on Indonesian food on Bali and Flores might help you understand the food a little better.
To pair with the food, there’s a range of great cocktails. It’s not cheap, a main course costs 200-400 UAH, depending on the meat, and the cocktails are around 200. However, it’s really tasty and the service is great. They hold special dining evenings with tasting menus, so follow their Facebook and/or Instagram page to keep up to date.
Korean Food in Kyiv
Nyzhnii Val, 33
This place takes Korean food and makes it funky. It’s a cute little bar in a courtyard in Podil, with brightly-coloured Korean style murals all over the walls, including cartoon pictures of Kim Jong-un.
Pyan-se is the name of the Korean steamed dumpling, so that’s on the menu, as well as noodle dishes and kimchi soup. To accompany it, there’s craft beer and soju.
Antonovycha St, 160
This is more of an authentic Korean place. It’s not very obvious, in the basement of an apartment building outside the city centre. We heard that it’s there to cater for Korean workers nearby. The restaurant covers a few different small rooms, and there’s a shop inside where you can buy Korean ingredients.
Airrang serves the selection of small dishes, meze style, when you arrive, as you would find in Korea, including kimchi of course, but also pickled vegetables. The menu is in Korean as well as Ukrainian and English, with photos to help, since a lot of the dishes are mysterious if you haven’t spent a long time in Korea.
Han Gang Kyiv
Symona Petlyury, 10 А
This was last weekend’s experiment and a delicious one it was too! It’s quite surprising that there is so much Korean food in Kyiv, but it’s no bad thing. We had several dishes including bibimbap and Korean friend chicken, which came with side dishes of kimchi and other spices stuff. The menu has a huge range of food, which I’m assuming you’d recognise if you’d spent time in Korea. Our experience of Korean food has been going to restaurants with friends who lived and taught in Korea so we are by no means experts, but this was very tasty food.
10 Taras Shevchenko Boulevard
Another Asian eatery near our apartment is Kim Food. It used to be a betting shop, but it’s had a cool overhaul and now serves Korean food. There’s ramen, bibimbap, and traditional Korean BBQ meat that you can cook yourself. Oh, and kimchi of course!
They also sell a few Korean groceries like noodles and Korean soft drinks to take away.
General Asian Restaurants in Kyiv
As well as the places specializing in the cuisine of a specific country, there are several generic noodle and rice places.
This is kind of a fast-food noodle shop, with several branches around Kyiv, including one next to Bessarabska Market. As you walk in, there are large touch screen computer screens where you can choose what you want to eat from a selection of noodle and rice dishes.
There are pictures, and the menus translate into English, so it’s really easy to order. The combination menu is a good deal at around 130 UAH for two dishes. To drink, there is free flow hot or cold drinks for about 40 UAH. In some branches, there’s draft beer too.
The meals are huge and filling. They aren’t particularly authentic, so if you choose the coconut milk soup, it won’t be like Thai tom ka gai, and although the tom yum soup advertises itself as spicy, it isn’t. At all. However, it’s good for a quick and easy lunch.
Sharing the name with one of the many night markets in Bangkok, Asiatique sells Asian food from various countries, including laksa and Thai green curry. It’s a two-floored place, with a long bar downstairs serving cocktails, and then more tables upstairs, including room for parties.
We ordered a variety of dishes which came one by one, in what you could describe as Asian style! The Tom Yum cocktail was an interesting taste – basically a cocktail made with coconut milk and Thai spices. An acquired taste perhaps.
This is another chain selling a range of Asian dishes including ramen, dim sum, stir fries and sushi. We had a good tom kha gai (chicken in coconut milk soup) from there which was pretty authentic.
Ingredients for making Asian food in Kyiv
If, like, us, you also like to cook Asian food, there are several places to buy ingredients for making Asian food in Kyiv.
Most supermarkets sell soy sauce and chilli sauce, and some are definitely imported from Vietnam. Auchan has a good selection of imported ingredients, including the cheapest coconut milk we have found, rice noodles and quite a selection of Vietnamese instant noodles. Le Silpo carries oyster sauce and some Thai curry pastes, although not authentic ones. It also often has rice paper for making spring rolls.
Asian Food Markets in Kyiv
Iziumsky Market, near Demiivska Metro Station, has several small shops selling imported Asian ingredients. If you want Mae Ploy Thai curry pastes, or Si Racha chilli sauce (the Thai kind, rather than the American kind), that’s where you find it. They also stock all kinds of other pastes, herbs and spices.
Buying Asian food in Kyiv online
Y-Mart is an online store selling Korean food, so get your fill of noodles and sauces here. You can also buy traditional Korean dress for your children online here too!
Asia Foods has a huge range of imported Asian food available, with sauces, noodles, rice papers, herbs and spices as well as Asian fizzy drinks and confectionery
That’s all the Asian food in Kyiv that we’d tried, although we are still going on the quest. If there is somewhere we’ve missed, please get in touch and tell us about it.
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