Monday, 19 December 2016

Restaurant Kosmos in Sofia, Bulgaria won't let you down

For English please see here

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Restaurant Kosmos in Sofia was my favourite restaurant find in Bulgaria. This place delivers!

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While Secret by Chef Petrov did leave a little something to be desired for with its decor and ambiance, the same is not the case with Restaurant Kosmos. Here everything works.

After having stared at Bulgarian wine bottles and steel tanks for the past days I've learnt to decipher the names of different grape varieties in Cyrillic alphabet. On the third day I manage to navigate the street signs written in Cyrillic, too. My sense of direction doesn't seem to make the transition any better though: I pass Laveleye street at least twice before finally locating the restaurant. 

Though located in a slightly grubby looking neighbourhood, Kosmos wins me over straight away.

The fresh and contemporary feel is an artful combination of exposed brick walls, minimalist decor using pale wood and simple lines, design light fixtures quietly moving up and down along their steel wires and stylish background music. 

Everything tells me I've made a good choice. 

Here, like in majority of the Bugarian restaurants the menu peculiarly lists the portion sizes in grams. I happily choose to ignore them (oops) and keep getting giddier and giddier the more I study the concise list. 

Octopus! Veal brains! Beef tongue!

Starters seem more innovative, so I decided to start with 3 most intriguing ones. 

A couple of wines are also available by the glass, so I opt for a local rosé. Whose it is I will never know, but it was goooood.

Bulgarian rosé has turned out to be the biggest surprise during my tour of the wineries: quite possibly the best ones I've had outside Provence.

Apparently I'm every bit as inept with numbers, too, as I definitely did not envisage portions like this. 

Crispy veal brain (BGN 16,40 / roughly €8) comes with blackened local dark bread, curry mayo, miso and mustard dressing, yuzu and pickled cauliflower. Insanely pretty and insanely good.

Spicy beef tongue (BGN 18,20 / about €9) is accompanied with a bewildering array of everything. There's foie gras crème, pickled bean shoots, capers, harissa and herby mustard, yet it all comes together beautifully. None of the components (not even foie gras with its very particular flavour) dominate over the rest. A great dish. 

And hey - check out their crockery!

But damn, was I in for some more treats! 

Ropotamo octopus (BGN 28,90 / appr. €15 ) was another party in my mouth consisting of fish skin crisp, tomato, gherkin, carrot, peas and tobiko ( flying fish roe ).

Each spoonful provides an eclectic mix of flavours and textures. A wonderfully summery dish - creatively served in a cut wine bottle. 

As I've got an interview coming up, I sadly have to miss out on the mains. But I refulse to leave without a dessert, so I deem Biscuit cake with elderflower crème, lychee puree and lemon verbena base (BGN 7,90 / €4 )  will do the trick nicely.

Sure enough it did. And hey - if that dish does not warrant hashtags #foodporn or #gastroart, I don't know what does. 

The total for the lunch with 2 glasses of wine and an Espresso came to BGN 85; around €43. Well worth it - one of the definite highlights of the trip! 

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Ravintola Kosmos
ul. "Laveleye" 19, 1000 Sofia
tel. +359 88 820 0700

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Secret by Chef Petrov_ravintola_Sofia_Bulgaria_tasting menu        


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