Vegetarian Options at Sofia Restaurant Week Spring 2017
Fancy trying out Sofia Restaurant Week but worried you might end up eating nothing but a lettuce leaf while your friends tuck into some juicy meat? Not to worry, several of our restaurants have opted to cater for vegetarians and we have included once again the vegan gourmet restaurant Soul Kitchen.
Indian restaurant Kohinoor offers a vegetarian menu, including vegetable pakora, a popular Indian snack of deep fried fritters, followed by Bombay salad and a main dish of Tarka Dal served with rice and Naan bread. A combination of 3 types of lentils with fresh coriander, Tarka (also called Tadka) is a cooking style of dishes that are richer in aroma. A delicious dessert awaits to round off the meal: Gajar Ka Halva, cool grated homemade carrot and milk pudding balls. Both menus at Kohinoor include complimentary Mango Lassi, a traditional Indian dairy drink with mango.
Bagri, one of the stars of the first SRW, and proponent of the Slow Food philosophy, offers a vegetarian menu featuring plenty of local, seasonal produce. Always imaginative, a salad of spring greens with freshly salted sheep’s cheese mousse and gel of beetroot, orange, apple and balsamico; organic mangold and wild garlic; crostini with green pesto is followed by a main dish of couscous from Breznitsa village with soft cheese (krokmach) and nettle cream, sauteed wild mushrooms and spinach, cow’s kashkaval (cheese) from the Shorthorn cow and walnut crumble. The dessert is a modern take on the traditional Bulgarian dessert of thick yogurt with fruit jam: mousse of buffalo yogurt and roses, sheep’s yogurt, fermented blueberry jam, meringues with smoked almonds and fermented lemon and honey gel.
Talents, another favourite from the first edition of Sofia Restaurant Week, offers a tempting four course vegetarian menu. The teaching restaurant – part of the HRC Culinary Academy – specialises in top notch gourmet cuisine prepared by students of the culinary academy under the supervision of expert chefs. Following an Amuse of broccoli puree with green peas, asparagus and milk powder, the salad comes in the form of a mixed salad with goat cheese, roasted beetroots and caramelized pumpkin seeds, with honey dressing. A modern take on a well known Italian dish makes up the main course: pressed eggplant with cherry tomato confit, basil oil and Katuk (soft cheese). The dessert is equally delicious for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike: Crème Brule with white chocolate and cardamom with pistachio and Chantilly cream.
Soul Kitchen’s forte is its offering of two full vegan menus with dishes so delicious and satisfying that they hardly qualify for most people’s idea of vegan. The first offers a refreshing spring salad of cucumbers, celery, radish, bean sprouts and chia dressing with green apples and lime, followed by a main course of Tagliatelle with peppers, fennel and cream sauce with tarragon, garlic and nutmeg. If it’s anywhere near as good as the porcini mushroom sauce on the pasta from their debut in Sofia Restaurant Week in 2016 then it will certainly be a hit. A simple cheesecake with blueberries (no dairy, of course) rounds off the meal. Menu 2 starts with quinoa, a vegan staple in recent years: quinoa croquettes with wild greens and forest mushroom sauce with cashew and capers, followed by the delicious-sounding roasted sweet potatoes with herbs, saffron sauce with shallots and lime, and side salad. Dessert is a dairy-free chocolate dessert with mascarpone cream.
For those who are not strictly vegetarian but avoid meat, there are plenty more options with many restaurants offering fish and seafood in their Sofia Restaurant Week menus...