First impressions of Dacha, new Ukrainian restaurant in Central

This is an authentic taste of eastern Europe, especially the borscht and pierogi – but you’ll have to get there early to enjoy its well-known honey cake

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 April, 2016, 1:15pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 April, 2016, 4:20pm

Dacha is only the second Ukrainian restaurant we know of in Hong Kong, and it welcomes diners with a pretty authentic taste of eastern European cuisine.

The restaurant is on Hollywood Road, Central, just steps from the Mid-Levels escalator. Once inside, customers feel like they are guests entering someone’s living room, from the pictures on the walls to the floral-covered banquette seating, and white crochet tablecloths.

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Our server, Olene, was very helpful in answering questions. She served us thinly sliced, dense rye bread and a spread of lard mixed with garlic and chillies, explaining that this was typically Ukrainian. We liked the pungent garlic taste, but didn’t want to eat too much of it.

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For starters, the cured Baltic herring (HK$98) was delicious but on the salty side, and needed the slices of boiled potato to help balance the taste.

We also enjoyed the meat platter (HK$145), which featured slices of pork belly, Ukrainian sausage and sliced pork, although the pork belly was too fatty for us to finish. The dish came with mustard and a beet sauce mixed with horseradish.

The borscht (HK$88) was divine. It was a thin broth with an underlying beef flavour, although to our surprise, there was no beef in the soup. Our portion was thoughtfully divided into two bowls and we relished every spoonful.

Next came the famous pierogi with potato and onions (HK$86), and although it seemed like a small portion, it was enough for two. The dumplings were hearty, doughy and carb-heavy, just as they should be.

For our main course we ate cabbage rolls called golubtzi (HK$175). The three cabbage rolls had a filling of ground meat, but we could barely detect the rice mixed in it, and came with a thin tomato sauce.

Although newly opened, the restaurant is already known for its honey cake medovik (HK$85), and on the day we went it was already sold out by lunchtime. We were instead steered to try the cheese pancakes syrniki (HK$78). The fluffy pancakes didn’t have much taste on their own, but we liked them with the accompanying jam and sour cream. We hope to go back again to try the honey cake.

Dacha, 38-40 Hollywood Road, Central, tel: 2420 3555.