Written By: Eriko Sultana
We all enjoy the process of exploring new cultures differently. For some of us, it is the stunning sights and remarkable history of a place that makes it memorable. For others, it is the people and their colourful traditions which keep ancient cultures alive. For foodies like us…it is the mouthwatering delicacies that are unique to that area which helps us relish and immortalize the trip through our taste buds. Today we are sharing the experience of such a food-lover and travel blogger, Eriko. Over the years, Eriko has developed a palette that enjoys mouthwatering and diverse cuisines as she travels to the various corners of the world. Her adventurous spirit allows her to appreciate every aspect of foreign cuisines, from street food to michelin star restaurants. That’s why today we have chosen to feature her journey through 20-Food images that she took during her trips. Scroll down and check out the 20 plates of food which she selected to share with us at Millennial Things Blog!
Romania is the first country I visited in Eastern Europe, and I loved how cheese was such an integral part of their food. I visited a lot of higher-end restaurants during my time there, and I came to this restaurant twice (the second time to try the dessert which we couldn’t have the first night as the restaurant was closing). The building is from the 14th century, and the food is inspired by Transylvania’s colorful cultural background. The cheese-stuffed mushrooms were particularly outstanding, as the balsamic dressing complimented the flavour of the cheese beautifully! The duck breast with wine plum sauce, arugula salad and glass-plated yellow carrots was an interesting mix of sweet flavours—usually “sweet” isn’t what I look for in mains, but this was actually really nice. The crème brûlée was amazing as well, and it was completely worth the trip back there just to try it!
2.Cabinet de Vin & Cocotte
Although Cluj does not have any Michelin star restaurants, a lot of people feel that this restaurant should have one. I tried to get a table here on the first night, but it wasn’t possible to do so without a reservation, so we made one for the following night. We tried the escargot, beef tartare, duck with risotto, and seafood with a creamy mash, and most of the items were delicious. I am not the biggest fan of risotto, which is probably why I didn’t enjoy it too much (although it was highly recommended online). The restaurant has some quirky decorative pieces, and the waiters were very helpful and knowledgeable.
This restaurant was another fancy place in Cluj that I visited on my last night there. A more modern restaurant, the décor was simple yet eye-catching. We ordered the foie gras, soup, lamb chop, and angus beef steak, and the presentation of each item was top-notch. In particular, the lamb chop with Jerusalem artichoke texture and coffee was incredible. The notes of coffee that could be tasted hit the spot, and I would gladly fly back to Cluj just to go back to this restaurant!
While researching restaurants in Bulgaria, Hemingway was one of the highly rated restaurants in Plovdiv that kept coming up, so we had to check it out. It was definitely amazing– the beef tartare was excellent, and so was the trout! The fish soup was fairly good, and the mushroom and cheese main dish was superb. I cannot stress how great the beef tartare was. It’s a bit tricky to get a table at the restaurant without a reservation, but we went a bit after lunch, which worked out for us! I’d wholeheartedly recommend this, and I shall definitely go here again next time I’m in Plovdiv.
Located in a cute corner of Vitosha boulevard, Samurai is a casual yet fun restaurant. We originally went there for drinks, but ended up trying the mussels which were surprisingly good. We also tried the seafood risotto and the grilled mushrooms, both of which were good. I particularly enjoyed the tiramisu (which is my favorite dessert in the world). I loved the colors in this restaurant, and the location made it a perfect place to grab a bite!
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Intrigued by my first introduction to Balkan cuisine in Bulgaria, I was curious to see how it differed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, so I set out to try the local items in restaurants that were recommended by other foodies around the world.
6. Ćevabdžinica Željo
: A Bosnian staple is ćevapi, which is a dish made from grilled minced meat. It’s typically served with “Somun” bread, and onion, yoghurt, and cream. I settled on this restaurant in the Old Market Square in Sarajevo due to the raving reviews it had online, which were supported by the bustling atmosphere within the restaurant, filled to the brim with customers (perks of travelling solo: most restaurants will always have room for one more). Service was swift; it reminded me of the kebab shops in the UK or Gulshan Plaza Restora in Dhaka. It tasted quite similar to kebab and rotis/naans that are served in Asia as well, and the addition of onions definitely drove that deshi flavour home!
7. Buregdzinica Bosna
Another must-try on my list was burek, which is a pie made with ground or chopped meat, onions, and spices. It’s rolled into a thinly rolled phyllo dough, and served with yogurt. There are numerous places offering burek, so I researched a bit and settled on this restaurant. It was by far the more popular burek restaurant in Sarajevo, and it didn’t disappoint! Even after my ćevapi from earlier, I scarfed down the entire plate of burek alone. Living on good quality grilled meat served with a dollop of yogurt and veggies… hmm I can definitely see myself living in Bosnia and Herzegovina for sure!
This café is situated in a corner of the Old Market in Sarajevo, overlooking the mosque and the shops. It was my first time trying Turkish coffee, and I fell in love! The strong, deliciously bitter flavor of the coffee was complimented by the excessively sweet locum, a traditional sweet served with Turkish coffee. This café had over options for food, which I didn’t try, but I’d recommend it for the coffee itself!
By the time I arrived in Croatia, I was a tad bit tired of the grilled meats and cheese-based items that are a staple of the Balkan cuisine, so I found myself gravitating towards seafood or vegetarian/vegan meals. This spaghetti with mussels was one of them, and it was fantastic! The slight hints of lime in the spaghetti made it the perfect lunch under the scorching Croatian sun (while watching the myriad of interesting people making their way down the promenade on this nice summer day).
10. Terminal F
This restaurant was chosen primarily because of its fun vibe. The shrimp burger (once again chosen because of the desire to avoid meat) was so good that I went back twice to have it again (usually a big no-no for me while travelling). It was juicy and light, satiating you without making you feel sluggish. The Terminal F special pizza, on the other hand, reminded me a bit of the Shwarma House pizzas because of the ground meat. It was a bit heavier, so we ended up taking some of it home (despite being big eaters– having so much meat and cheese for a week does that to you I guess!). They also served a variety of interesting drinks and cocktails. My choice for the night was a drink called Adios Motherf*ckers, which was what I had to say about all the people hating on my extended holiday (let a girl live!).
Now, I’m all for trying local cuisine when I visit a country, but I also LOVE fine dining. Zoí is a Michelin plate restaurant that is located on the south wall of the Diocletian’s Palace where the emperor’s apartments were located in Split, Croatia. I knew I HAD to try this place, and after attempting it for two days, I was finally lucky enough to get a reservation on my last night in Split. This was not Croatian or Balkan food, but a nice fine dining restaurant. The beef tartare was excellent, and the mushroom risotto was creamy yet light, with the right amount of flavour without overpowering the senses. The tagliatelle was fairly good, but as someone who is overly picky about any kind of pasta with red sauce, it was my least favorite item from the restaurant. However, what some of the food lacked in flavour, the restaurant made up for with the ambiance. I may have taken 1209432 photos against the glowing moon over the promenade, and shall cherish the memories from this night forever!
12. De Zuikant
I visited Bruges for a weekend, and immediately knew that I have to venture out to Damme, a neighbouring town, just for this Michelin star restaurant. The items were served based on my tastes, and unfortunately I don’t remember the exact items that were served that day. The started was a salmon with interestingly served greens, and the main was juicy steak with some seasonal squash. The memory of the rhubarb and ice cream served for dessert still lingers in my mind. Fun fact: After this delicious meal, I walked 5km back to Bruges because there were no forms of transportation heading back there as it was a weekend. I’d do it again in a heartbeat though!
13. Christmas Market
A staple for me at every Christmas market is a plate of cheese fries. The cheese fries in the UK are not your average cheese fries that you find around the world. No Sir, after moving to the UK, having gravy with fries (also called chips here, NOT to be confused with crisps, which are what potato chips are referred to in this country) has opened my eyes to a whole new range of possibilities. The cheese fries here are essentially a plate of fries, with melted, gooey cheese poured in abundance over the them. The cheese stays warm enough to withstand the cold outside while you devour the fries to warm up your soul, which is definitely an added bonus!
14. Pimlico Fresh
Now, boomers are quick to complain about how all millennials do is complain about their inability to buy property while wasting their earnings on avocado toast. I may not have reached the age where I am thinking about buying property, but avocado toast can literally make your day better when served right. I’ve become a bit of a narc about avo toast, so after returning to London from a trip and finding myself with a bit of free time before having to catch my coach back to Nottingham, I decided to try what was supposedly the best brunch place near the station: Pimlico Fresh. It’s one of those super busy places with people sharing tables with strangers, and I loved it. My avo toast came with a healthy serving of smoked salmon and cream cheese and some freshly squeezed lime. It was actually heaven on a plate; so good that I momentarily forgot that I was amongst complete strangers who witnessed me inhale the toast within a few minutes. I washed it down with some kombucha, because hey, your girl couldn’t be more millennial or basic if she tried!
15. Dalloway Terrace
I came across this restaurant on one of my favorite Bangladeshi bloggers in the UK’s profile, @bsiddlife (https://www.instagram.com/bsiddlife/). It was the first fine dining restaurant I visited after moving to the UK, and the restaurant was decorated in full autumn galore. I tried the octopus carpaccio, which was immaculate. The grilled organic salmon main was super light, and zesty with the squeezed lemon, served with some truffle fries. I tried the dark chocolate fondant with hazelnut ice cream as the dessert, and it definitely took the cake for this meal! The menu at this restaurant changes seasonally, as does the décor, so it’s definitely one of those restaurants that you can keep going back to without getting bored.
16. Le Quai Saint Tropez
Did you even go to France if you didn’t try escargot? I knew when I booked my trip to the south of France, I HAD to try it. Escargot is a French delicacy, comprising of cooked edible snails. It might not be something that appeals to everyone, but I was definitely game! I arrived at Saint Tropez a bit late for lunch, so my first choice to try escargot was closed. This restaurant was possibly even better than the first, as it was located right on the promenade with a bunch of boujee yachts parked out front. The other patrons were having a whale of a time, and the fans which sprayed mists of water was definitely welcome in the intense summer heat found in the island in mid-June. The escargot was served with some lemon butter, and it tasted quite like mussels or oysters. The only off-putting part of trying them was that I could see the nerves and veins of the snails through the skin, which was a tad unsettling. However, on the taste aspect, it was perfectly fine, so I would totally have it again, next time I’m in France! The oysters served at the restaurant were also cooked well, so it definitely knows what it’s doing with seafood!
17. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
I’ve been to a number of fancy restaurants in my life, but this one is definitely in the top three of my favorite restaurant experiences ever. The restaurant is dimly lit and the interior is mainly red and black (my two favorite colors, yay!), and patrons are seated around the bar. It has one Michelin star, and the cuisine is largely French, and the chef Olivier Limousin came to speak to me during the meal. We tried the foie gras and avocado rolls (not French, but I love my sushi so I just had to!) as starters, and a lobster and vegetable fricassee with lobster bisque and some lamb for the mains. My favorite item was the lobster, which was beyond delicious. I was also celebrating my birthday, so I got a complimentary dessert, which is always great! This restaurant is currently closed for renovations, but it is a must visit! They have stores all over the world, and I’d definitely recommend visiting one!
18. Boomerang Restaurant
This chicken thali that I tried in Nepal tasted very light and fresh. I don’t like my lunches to be really heavy, so I was a bit apprehensive when I saw the rice in this meal. Surprisingly, it did not leave me sluggish, and the chicken, vegetables, and daal served with the meal were flavourful and delicious.
Momos in Nepal are a whole different level of goodness. My love for all kinds of food that are served wrapped in dough knows no bounds, and I went crazy over the momos in Nepal. There are so many kinds, and they all tasted so good! I love both steamed momos and fried momos, especially those with a chicken or mushroom filling. Your options are limitless in Nepal; the ones pictured here are from a random roadside restaurant in between Kathmandu and Pokhara!
20. Premium Sweets
I realize how Bangladeshi I am when I think about this restaurant. I literally couldn’t stop thinking about it after I booked my flight back this year, and writing this now is making me salivate. The letka khichuri at Premium Sweets, with the kala bhuna and mehzbani ghost is my favorite Bengali food of all time. Through in the brain masala into the mix and I couldn’t be any happier! It’s moist and spicy, and cooked to perfect. The khichuri is served in a clay pot, and a rumali roti on top (which is what I usually have my brain masala with). The faluda at this restaurant is also top notch!