Ukrainian chef opens restaurant in London staffed by war refugees from Russia
A Ukrainian chef will open a neo-bistro dedicated to the country’s cuisine in Chelsea later this year, with the restaurant staffed by war refugees from Russia.
Yurii Kovryzhenko and Olga Tsybytovska will open Mriya, which translates to dream, on Old Brompton Road later this year. The menu will split between classic and more contemporary Ukrainian cuisine, according to Code, with Kovryzhenko using his take on borscht as a kind of calling card for what diners can expect:
Yesterday I cooked borscht for the first time at @mriya_neo_bistro. I didn’t even realize it right away because everything has been extremely fast lately, and there’s not enough sleep. At some point you adapt to this speed and forget what day of the week it is and what your name is. This is why I dynamically prepared the meeting with the journalists, cutting, stirring and cooking the borscht, until it came to mind: it is the privileged moment when the dream becomes reality. I almost missed it. I stopped for a moment and tried to capture all the details, smells and sounds.
Kovryzhenko and Tsybytovska arrived in London in February to cook and host a dinner at the Ukrainian Embassy, but were unable to return after Putin invaded Ukraine. They’ve since held pop-ups at The Carousel in Fitzrovia and Jason Atherton’s Tower 42 in the city.
He previously ran a high-end restaurant in Lviv, Vintage Noveau, as well as the launch of Trypillia, Seoul, in 2019.