Tonight, Portland, Oregon will get the long-awaited second restaurant from Kachka chef Bonnie Morales. Kachka, the essential Portland restaurant often credited with ushering Russian food into mainstream culinary culture, closed earlier this week to make way for Kachinka, its more casual counterpart debuting in the same space.
Kachka, which Bonnie Morales opened with husband Israel Morales in 2014, is renowned as one of America’s best restaurants for its take on Russian cuisine. At the new restaurant, Bonnie Morales will continue to offer a menu of Russian crowd pleasers like pelmeni, vareniki, and caviar, but at Kachinka, diners will enjoy them in a more casual atmosphere at lower prices.
At Kachinka, Morales’s classic dumplings, filled with cheese, meat, or cherries, go for $9 a bowl, Eater PDX reports. The menu is concise, and many of its items — like taranka (a kind of fish jerky), a meatball sub called the “Red October,” and, of course, “Slava’s Drinking Board” — are designed to pair well with spirits. Kachka’s infused vodkas were a draw at the old restaurant, and at Kachinka, it’s available in $6 Moscow mules and a slew of cocktails under $10.
Diners familiar with Kachka will feel at home at Kachinka. The space will remain much the same, and as Eater PDX puts it, the overall vibe is “Kachka’s popular happy hour all night long.”
Kachka, meanwhile, will reopen in a larger space later this summer. After introducing Portland diners to Russian food with Kachka and now Kachinka, Morales intends to share with them the Russian “style of dining,” she told Eater PDX back in 2016. If all goes according to plan, the experience of eating at the new Kachka will be similar to “a large Russian dinner party.”
Until then, Russian food fans can visit Kachka’s little sister, Kachinka.