Balkan Yugoslavian Home Cooking has outdone itself! The paradise of meaty, Southeastern European fare has recently rolled out a lot of new dishes, along with a new branch in swanky Bonifacio Global City, right next to the only Starbucks in the Philippines with a drive thru.
The brainchild of former La Salle Cager, Marko Batricevic, the Serbian import decided to stay in Manila and share the cuisine he loves from his motherland with us foodie folks. Although he may be the face of Balkan, I gotta give props to his brother Martin is the one to thank for all the delicious dishes that come out of the kitchen.
The decor at Balkan’s BGC branch is very far removed from it’s Makati branch. While the Makati branch was dark and brooding, with more of a pub feel, the BGC restaurant was light and spacious. I loved the cool lighting design, too!
Very much like the Batricevic lads that run the place, the food is straight up, no frills, meat and carb with just enough vegetables on the side to call it a side-salad. Here’s a rundown of what you want to sink your hamsters into when you pay them a visit:
1. Chicken Liver (Php 290). I initially didn’t want to try it after finding out what it was, but because the liver was wrapped with bacon, grilled, and smothered in a gravy-like sauce, you could barely taste it. This disappeared as soon as it was set on the table.
2. Stuffed Pork Loin (Php 380). You’d think that the meat looked a little pale and therefore taste bland, but you’d be wrong (I certainly was). Not only is the pork lovingly wrapped with bacon, it’s stuffed with Mozzarella cheese and salami, too! Mmm… meat-ception!
3. Karadjordjeva (Php380). I swear, the meats seemed to be getting bigger and bigger from where I was standing. The chicken version of the pork loin is the, this is kind of like a chicken kiev, also hollow inside and stuffed with Mozzarella. I was quite happy with this!
4. Pljeskavica (Php 330). This is always a hit at the table. The stuffed meat looked pretty pregnant when Marko set it down in front of me, but after a few prods with a knife, its Mozzarella insides started oozing out, much to my delight.
5. Chicken Batak (Php 310). This is another favorite at Balkan – a perfectly grilled chicken thigh topped with a generous heaping of Mozzarella and served with your choice of rice or fries.
6. Kobasika (Php 320). These are heavily-spiced sausages made in-house that come with a side of mashed potatoes. I thought they were a bit burnt, but upon closer inspection I realized the color came from the actual sausage, not the char. This is definitely a must-try when you visit!
7. Stuffed Chicken Batak (Php 360). The regular chicken batak is given an upgrade, still using boneless chicken thighs, but stuffing them with smoked salami, mushrooms, and cheese. You can order this with rice or fries, whatever carb option leaves you more warm, fuzzy feelings.
8. Cevapcici Platter (Php 320). This is my hands down favorite at Balkan! Made with hand-rolled spiced sausages, these little bite-sized are served with your carb of choice. These little guys are meaty, juicy, with just the right hit of spice that leaves my taste buds tingling and me happy!
9. Cevapcici Burger (Php 230). If you want your spiced meat in a sarnie, then this is for you. It’s the same delightful Yugoslavian sausages in a homemade Ciabatta-like bun and served with a side of fries. Bring on the ketchup and mustard!
10. Pljeskavica Burger (Php 230). A naked burger, this huge beefy patty is grilled ’til moist and juicy, and topped with a hunk of spiced butter. This is perfect for athletes who want to lessen their carb intake and is just as good as the patty with a bun since the butter adds a new layer of flavor to it.
11. Dzigerica (Php 260). This is made with spiced pork liver steaks topped with garlic and served with mashed potatoes, brilliant for offal lovers. That little dab of garlic goes a long, long way.
12. Tulumbe (Php 120). A Serbian cross between a churro and biscocho, which I think didn’t taste like much. The sweet maple-like syrup and the candied lemon gives it most of it’s flavor.
13. Princess Krofne (Php 150). Simply put, cream puffs! This was lovely with the light cream and chocolate syrup drizzled on top.
The food kind of all starts to taste the same after a while, but if you like spiced meat, Mozzarella cheese, and potatoes in all it’s different forms, you will like it here. Think Yugoslavian fast food, since you can pair practically everything with ketchup and mustard.
Balkan Yugoslavian Home Cooking is located at Unit 9, Crossroads Building, 32nd Street Corner 9th Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, and is open daily from 10am – 10pm. For inquiries and reservations, please call +63 2 403 8364.