Review: Ukrainian restaurant YOY, The Pointe
Redefining traditional Ukrainian cuisine…
Adding to the array of restaurants at The Pointe is newly opened YOY, a Ukrainian restaurant that aims to serve traditional dishes with a modern flare.
It’s well appointed, and upon arrival you’re greeted by the picturesque view of Atlantis, The Palm, standing tall across the water facing YOY’s al fresco terrace. The inside of the restaurant offers a minimalist yet warm vibe with gentle nods to Ukrainian culture with wooden accents and handmade clay crockery. The venue homes a semi open kitchen, where you can see the dishes being prepared through fire cooking.
Down the centre of the restaurant lies a long rustic wooden table with mismatched chairs, which we were later told is symbolic of how Ukrainians often dine with people in their neighbourhoods; by compiling various tables and chairs from their homes. The warmth and sense of community that this centre piece embodies was quickly also reflected in the attentive and kind nature of all the staff, who were all beautiful dressed in modern style embroidered traditional clothing.
We sat on the terrace and quickly got stuck into some home made wine, which did more than exceed our expectations. Served in clay cups their homemade ‘peach mood’ (Dhs50), white wine; and ‘strawberry Mood’ (Dhs50), red wine were both excellent.
First up was the dressed up herring salad (Dhs57), with marinated Dunaka fish under a thinly sliced layer of beetroot. This was fresh and tasty, with the thinly sliced beetroot paring gorgeously with the fish.
Of course we had to try borscht (Dhs75), a traditional Ukrainian soup that is popular throughout Eastern Europe. Its main ingredient is red beetroot, which gives the dish its distinctive vibrant red color, with YOY’s version including tender pieces of beef. It was served with sour cream and pumpushka, a traditional Ukrainian garlic bread, which was ideal for dipping into this flavorful dish.
To further explore the true Ukrainian flavours that are on offer, our wonderful waitress advised us to try a dumpling dish, a delicacy that is widely eaten in Ukraine and other parts of eastern Europe. We chose the poltava galushka (Dhs89), a steamed duck dumpling which lay on a bed of flavourful pureed pumpkin sauce.
By this time we were surprisingly full, but just had to try the lamb stew (Dhs119). Cooked on a charcoal stove, the lamb was so succulent and tender it fell off the bone; requiring minimal effort from us in order to devour this dish.
We finished our meal with honey cake (Dhs45), which was drizzled with a generous helping of tart blackcurrent compote, which perfectly balanced out the sweet and creamy interior and crunchy honey crusts.
Verdict: YOY is warm and inviting, with a delightful menu that captures the real essence of Ukrainian dining. Keep an eye on their social media accounts because they will be hosting pop-up cooking events with renowned Ukrainian chefs who will be creating interesting dishes, demonstrating how creative Ukrainian food can be.
YOY, 1st floor, The Pointe West, Palm Jumeirah Dubai, 5pm to 1am daily. Tel: (0)50 947 2626, yoy.rest