Ivan The Kozak
Ivan the Kozak is one of the more original restaurants in Hong Kong. Operating since 2001 in its previous location off of the Pottinger steps, it moved to Wyndham Street a few years ago, in the spot formerly occupied by the New Orleans-themed restaurant, Restoration. Its flashing retro sign can be easily spotted above the throngs of evening revelers that crowd the street below.
The restaurant also has an unusual (for Hong Kong) wine list featuring wines from Georgia, Moldova, Serbia and Hungary, as well as beers and ciders from the Ukraine, and not one, but four types of craft beer from Lithuania. For the non-alcoholically inclined, Ivan also serves a relaxing Ukrainian herbal tea in a flowery ceramic pot that makes for a good counter-balance to the rich food, especially on a damp, cool Hong Kong winter’s eve.
The menu at Ivan the Kozak is set up like a traditional Western menu with appetizers and mains meant to be eaten separately, per course, per diner. Nonetheless, I think it’s a restaurant where food can easily be shared so that friends can sample a cuisine that is not otherwise readily available in Hong Kong. It’s not the place to go for a diet, certainly — but for some hearty food, a cozy atmosphere, a convenient location, and moderate prices, it’s a good bet.