The West End’s Denman Street has no shortage of restaurants. In stark contrast to the many trendy spots opening up in recent years is the Ukrainian Village, a humble tribute to home cooked Eastern European classics like perogies and cabbage rolls.
Ukrainian Village is small — much smaller inside than I expected — with just a handful of tables. The room is decorated with Ukrainian pictures and various trinkets. Vinyl table coverings, something I haven’t seen in ages, are used in place of linens. We were eagerly greeted by a friendly, slender man unironically rocking a thick, hipster mustache who was quick to show us a table and hand us laminated sheets outlining the day’s lunch specials.
(Above: Cabbage roll with sauerkraut perogies served with a side of slaw.)
For Tre, the Ukrainian sausage with five piece of perogies filled with cheddar. A good portioned Ukrainian sausage was nicely seasoned and finished with a satisfying snap after each bite. The sausage was accompanied by homemade hot mustard, which produces enough zing to involuntarily clear your sinuses if you aren’t careful. The cheese perogies were boiled and surprisingly light with a look and texture similar to Chinese dumplings, except for the creamy cheese filling.
And to help wash down the meal was a refreshingly ice cold Ukrainian Iced Tea, a slightly sweet lemonade-like concoction made with tea, sugar and — according to our host — a wee bit of red wine for flavour.
(Above: Ukrainian iced tea, with a splash of red wine just for taste.)
For myself, a cabbage roll and five pieces of sauerkraut filled perogies. The cabbage roll was clearly made with love: a mixture of minced beef, pork, garlic and rice wrapped with a thin layer of cabbage leaf topped off with seasoned tomato sauce. The sauerkraut perogies tasted uniquely tart and less heavy than the mashed-potato like texture of the cheddar perogies. Both entrees were served with homemade slaw and sour cream to smother the perogies as you please.
(Above: Ukrainian sausage with cheese perogies served with sinus clearing hot mustard and a side of tart, homemade slaw.)
Our bill including taxes and tips came to just under $22, which was a great deal because we ordered from the lunch menu. We’d like to return to try out more of their down home dishes. But I recommend arriving with an empty stomach. The dishes are quite filling and we found ourselves not needing another meal for the rest of the night.
Perfect for: A Ukrainian throwback that will help fuel the entire walk around Stanley Park.