Dacha’s Eastern European delights

Hong Kong’s only Eastern European offering has been Ivan the Kosak located near the escalators. Since February of this year, Dacha has come on the scene. As soon as you enter this quaint restaurant located on Hollywood road, you feel as if you have entered your grandma’s house. Doilies decorate the tables, floral crockery and pretty, light coloured furnishings all give that charming, homey feel.

I had reserved a table for lunch and I am glad I did, the place was fully booked and with very large groups for lunch. Our table was nestled in the back of the restaurant, with a crochet curtain half separating us from the other diners.

Our server, herself from the Ukraine warmly greeted us and was happy to accommodate our one companion who has some food intolerances.

The set lunch menu includes either Borsch (beetroot soup) served hot or cold or a garden salad for starters. For mains, you can choose either mixed Pierogi (dumplings) or Stuffed pepper and a drink or dessert.

As soon as our Borsch was on the table, our jaws dropped. This was a HUGE serving for a starter. Having been to Eastern Europe before, I wasn’t unfamiliar with this. They usually serve a big portion of soup but was surprised that Dacha also does this. The soup was packed with veggies and served with sour cream and a tiny ‘loaf’ of bread.  This was extremely filling, so much so we were wondering whether we could even move on to the mains.

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I ordered the mixed pierogi which were potato, onion and cabbage. The cabbage had the most flavour out of all three. However, I was kind of hoping to get the cheese and potato which was my absolute favourite when I visited Warsaw so many years ago. But these were quite appetizing and again filling with sour cream on top.

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One of us chose the minced meat and rice stuffed in a pepper with some soupy broth at the bottom which the meat was meant to soak up. The dish was again quite sizeable but she did mention that she couldn’t fully appreciate it as she was full from the soup.

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Two of us ordered a la carte and got the potato pancake with smoked salmon. They both commented they were tasty but on the oily side so it left them feeling heavy.

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Lastly, came our gluten and dairy free poppy seed cake with orange peel grated on top. Again, they gave us a very generous portion for the dessert. Almost to the point of unbuttoning our trousers, we attempted a few bites of this cake. From the offset, you could see that it was moist with some sugar syrup seeping through. The cake was beautifully light and just sweet enough with a wonderful poppy and citrus flavour.

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Verdict: Dacha is the perfect place to go if you have an enormous appetite and want a bit of comfort food. The owners from Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan are extremely friendly and courteous. The lunch set for 125 HKD +10% was reasonable for how much food we got, but I would be inclined to say that this type of food is better in Winter when you are fine to fill up on soup. I would be interested to come again for dinner to try their Chicken Kiev and cheese and potato pierogi.

Nisha

Dacha, 38-40 Hollywood Road, Central, Ph: 852 2420 3555 www.dacha.com.hk

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