Founder of Ukraine’s first fine dining restaurant, Miral, which has been listed in the “50 Best discoveries” list of restaurants and named one of the rising stars of the Ukrainian food scene. In autumn 2019, an ambassador of the new Ukrainian cuisine completed an internship at Amass restaurant in Copenhagen – one of the world’s leading sustainable restaurants.
Mirali is Ukraine’s first fine-dining restaurant, which opened on 15 January. November 2021. The restaurant has a fully open kitchen, based on seasonality, local ingredients and waste-free production.
Mirali is located in the industrial area of Kiev’s historic Podil district, in the garage of a former packaging factory. The garage has been completely renovated, but the industrial atmosphere of the place has been preserved. At the entrance there is a recess that has been converted into a cellar with high ceilings and original concrete structures. The façade of the restaurant is open and glass-walled.
From the restaurant’s tables, customers can easily watch both the city’s traffic through the windows and the cooking process.
Fermentation plays a special role in the Miral ecosystem. It allows the team to carry out great experiments and achieve rarely discovered flavours. This year, the restaurant expanded with an exploratory and evolving kitchen that makes umeboshi from local plums and apricots, lactic-acid Japanese quince, katsuobushi from silver carp, bottarga caviar, various garumes, soy sauces and miso paste. Mirali uses only organically grown produce from local farmers. In line with the zero-waste ideology, all unsold bread is recycled into amazake and misotahn.
70% of the products used in the restaurant are organically grown or do not harm the environment according to the restaurant’s internal standards. Livestock and poultry are bought from local smallholders who do not restrict the movement of livestock and allow them to graze freely. In addition, the restaurant only orders dairy cattle that are at least 5 years old and receives them as whole carcasses to avoid wastage. Fish and shellfish come from tried and tested fishermen who do not use nets, or from farms that follow international standards and prefer tested and approved feed. The use of persistent consumables such as plastic wrap, baking paper, foil and refuse sacks will be reconsidered.
Anton Yatsuk is the assistant chef at Mirali restaurant, who worked with Mirali Dilbaz at Khata Podoprihora and no doubt supported Mirali in her own restaurant.
Maria Ovramenko is a service manager who has worked at Mirali since it opened.
Mirali’s philosophy and approach are based on two fundamental principles. Chef Mirali Dilbazin and her team pay particular attention to the quality of the produce and who grows it. Before opening the restaurant, the team spent a year looking for the best farmers with the same principles. One of the key factors in designing the menu is the experience of different cultures and the connection to the roots of the Azerbaijani-born chef Miral. That’s why the menu includes dolma with XO sauce, suzme and Herson dried tomatoes with tomato honey as a reminder of Miral’s sweet Baku tomatoes.
Miral’s cuisine is closely linked to permaculture, where different types of plants grow in harmony with each other at the same time in the same place. Chef Mirali sees her food in the restaurant as permaculture. Her approach is closely related to the approach to herbalism, where dishes are prepared with seasonal and local produce that are in harmony with each other and complement each other on the plate, maximising the potential of each species. This attitude is as environmentally friendly as possible.
Mirali uses the best techniques from different cultures and around the world, from Asia to Scandinavia, but she still only uses Ukrainian agricultural products in her creativity.
He calls his approach the new Ukrainian cuisine, which focuses on exploiting the potential of every ingredient.
The restaurant is designed as an open space where all processes are visible: you can see all the raw materials arriving on your plate in their original form. The whole team is involved in serving. The chefs will serve the dishes together with the waiters and explain the ingredients and characteristics of the products.
The restaurant’s menu is laconic. It is based on seasonal local produce with a strong emphasis on house-fermented dishes.
Miral’s wine list includes 1,100 different natural wines (organic and biodynamic), 200 of which are rare and unique. The main selection criteria are low production, spontaneous fermentation and a maximum of 70 mg sulphur per litre.
The maximum number of people in a group participating in a single lift is 22
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