305 - A Taste of Kyiv in Etobicoke
By Lauren Gosnell
If there’s a large Ukrainian get-together happening, chances are it’s at the Golden Lion restaurant in Etobicoke. This large but friendly banquet hall is the go-to venue where the Ukrainian community can feel at home for its weddings and reunions, ordering up all of favourite dishes from the Motherland.
At Christmas, borscht and varenyky are two of the 12 meatless dishes eaten represent the Apostles. But they are so popular that they are widely available all year round.
Borscht is the traditional beet soup from Eastern Europe. It is made from a starter vegetable stock of carrots, celery, cabbage and onions. When the grated beets are added, the borscht takes on a deep ruby-red colour. This sweet soup is served with a dollop of sour cream and fresh dill.
Great as appetizers to share among friends, varenyky are Ukrainian pierogi-style dumplings. They are always vegetarian with the most popular filling being potato and cheese. You can order them either pan-fried or boiled.
Though its origins are disputed, Chicken Kyiv remains one of the more famous Ukrainian orders. At the Golden Lion, tenderized chicken is wrapped around a pat of butter rolled in fresh dill. It is then dipped in an eggwash, floured and lightly breaded. To give the chicken a light crunchy skin, it is deep-fried and then baked. The result is a tender, juicy chicken with an amazing crispy shell.
If you still have room for a sweet, then take a stab at the Kyiv Torte. This surprising dessert looks like a light fluffy square of angel food cake. But once you dig your fork into it, you’ll be taken aback by the sturdy crunchy texture. The cake is a three-layer sandwich of eggwhite and ground peanut meringues filled with chocolate buttercream.
Golden Lion Restaurant & Bar
15 Canmotor Avenue