Sunday, June 3, 2012

A taste of Balkan Yugoslavian Home Cooking

I've been seeing this restaurant along Perea Street in Makati for some time now but I've never actually got to go inside until last Friday. We were supposed to have dinner someplace else but finding a parking spot on a rainy Friday night led me to almost exactly across Balkan Yugoslavian Home Cooking. As we were working our way to our original destination, we stopped right in front of Balkan and thought of trying it instead after buying some cupcakes and bread.

The place was warmly-lit, with wooden floors, tables and chairs. The cushions and table runners were, as My Bibe put it, "communist red." From the walls hung several photos of communist-era USSR (of which Yugoslavia was part), including some of their Olympic basketball team when they won the gold in Munich, Germany in 1972.

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Blown-up photos of the Russian Olympic basketball team in Munich, 1972 in the background.

I've read that the place is owned by a former De La Salle Green Archer (Marko Batricevic) and it's actually his second restaurant already, the first being in San Juan (Balkan Express). It seems that the Serbian is proving to be quite the entrepreneur.

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"Communist red" everywhere.

The menu was short, which was a relief because I don't necessarily enjoy going through a really extensive menu I'm not familiar with. The food was affordable and, as we discovered later, the portions were huge. Other than deciding on goulash (Php 250, can be split for sharing) for starters, we had help from the waitress with our other dishes. I didn't have a camera along, so I had to settle for my camera phone.

I tried their Piletina u Sacu (baked chicken) upon our waitress's suggestion since, according to her, they don't make it often. The chicken came with boiled potato wedges and some cabbage strips in vinegar and pepper. The chicken was tasty and rich, which was balanced by the palate-cleansing effect of the cabbage.

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Piletina u Sacu (Php 290).

My Bibe had Sarma, which consisted of three pickled cabbage rolls stuffed with ground beef and rice, with mashed potato on the side. I loved it. It wasn't something that comes out of the usual onion and garlic sauté. There was a certain sourness and flavor to it that I can't break down the ingredients of. It may not look that appealing from a food porn viewpoint but I'd definitely recommend this dish.

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Sarma (260).

For dessert we shared an order of Palacinke, traditional Serbian pancakes with Nutella. Yummy!

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Palacinke (Php 120).

We were pleased with both the food and the service. And being the creatures of habit that My Bibe and I are, it looks like we just found ourselves a new place to frequent. Next time I'm bringing a real camera, though.

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Balkan Yugoslavian Home Cooking is open daily (yes, including Sundays) from 11am to 10pm. It's located at the ground floor of Maripola Building, 109 Perea Street, Makati City. It's almost directly across The Shang Grand Tower. You can check out their Facebook page here.

20 comments:

  1. This restaurant is great and the food looks so delicious.
    What a nice dessert.

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  2. The restaurant looks nice!!! and the food delicious!!

    mytigermx.blogspot.mx

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  3. woo it looks really jummy!!

    www.meryswardrobe.blogspot.com

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  4. u dont u call urself half asian boy? lol
    i guess being danish or possessing white blood is some kind of currency in asai, ah well but still ur blog has a funny title enough to get me to check it out, nice photos :)

    xx nathan.niche

    -FIND YOUR NICHE-
    http://style-niche.blogspot.com

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  5. Amazing work. The pics are perfect and the post is fantastic. Thank you so much for your lovely comment on my blog!!
    Best Regards
    Miss Margaret Cruzemark
    http://margaretcruzemark.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am from Slovenia. With a bosnian family. That's on the Balkan. That is ex-Yu. We were never a part of the USSR. And palačinke are a Slovene national dish.
    EAK

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    Replies
    1. Good to know that! I enjoyed the palačinke.

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  7. Both your blog and the restaurant look so good! Congrats! ;)

    What's trend*? – Personal Shopping

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  8. Hehe, you know that I'm from Serbia so it was really interesting for me to read this post :) I think that everybody love sarma, and I did, but now I don't eat meat anymore, so our traditional kitchen is not best solution :D

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    Replies
    1. i loved the sarma! well, i guess i don't have the guts to go vegan like you did :)
      what do you add to the sarma to achieve that taste anyway?

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    2. It's rice, grounded beaf that is prefried with some peper, solt and oninons. Then it is rapped in to raw pieces of cabage and cooked on low temperature for few hours. And we put some bakon or solted dry meat around sarma when cooking for the flavour. There is a version wit out meat, as well. :-*

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