Put the diet on hold!

Put the diet on hold!

It’s been a tough week at work – maybe not quite in the way you imagine – let me explain!

As a founding team member of the first ever Sofia Restaurant Week, which will be held in Sofia from 11th – 17th September, much of my week was spent reading through and translating the set menus that are being offered by the 25 participating restaurants.

Here are just some of the temptations I came across this week –

French rack of lamb with roasted yellow peppers, beetroot and pesto of artichoke and almonds(33 Gastronauts)

Chicken breast with sage, served with homemade  potatoe and spinach puree(Castello di San Marino)

Home – reared  slow roast lamb, with spicy fried potatoes and wild mushrooms (Bagri)

Patatnik with Porcini mushrooms, dill, ‘Sirene’ cheese and caramelised onions (The Happy Pig)

Baked cheese cake with ‘Matcha’ and white cherries (Marmo)

I could go on, but why prolong the torture. You can check the website for your own temptations.

I confess I am a foodie – I love food and not only enjoy eating out but also entertaining at home.

Unfortunately we all know the unwelcome side effect of this are the extra kilos on the scale and it doesn’t get any easier the older you get believe me!

Part of my week was also spent accompanying my daughter as she took film footage of some ‘our chefs’ at work. Of course it would have been rude to not taste the food they had prepared.

Prakash (Saffron) made a delicious prawn and vegetable salad and an Indian dessert using cardamon flavoured panna cotta, the chefs at Edosushi produced a platter of sushi – at first too beautiful to touch and Ivana at Soul Kitchen produced three courses from their innovative menu; the pasta with porcini and cashew cream sauce an unbelievable highlight (and vegan at that)!!!

Soul Kitchen
Soul Kitchen’s pasts with porcini

Although a dilemma at first, there can be no rational justification for being on a diet from 11th – 17th September.

For one week ‘eating out in Sofia’ promises to be attractive and incredible value for money at that.

Who am I to miss the wonderful opportunity that SRW brings with it – dining out 7 nights in a row, discovering new restaurants (yes, even we have not yet been to all) and catching up with friends I haven’t seen in ages? No cooking or washing up either 😉

Each of the participating restaurants is offering 2 variations of a 3 course set dinner for just 25 leva per person. Izbata and Rose are even throwing in ½ a bottle of wine for the price. And if you have any concerns about your health – you can be reassured that our restaurants work with realfood, top quality ingredients, carefully sourced, many seasonal and local. The set menus include at least 2 vegan options and a minimum of 5 vegetarian options, so I guess there is really no excuse to miss out.

In fact the most difficult choice during SRW2016 will be deciding which restaurants to visit. I already have my shortlist, so as soon as booking starts on 1st September, I’ll be ready.

I guess the diet can start (again – sigh) on18th September or maybe I should still sign up for the Sofia Marathon in October?

As the wise man George Bernard Shaw once said ‘There is no love sincerer than the love of food’

Paromita Sanatani is founding partner of Sofia Restaurant Week and partner at Inside& out – the publishers of Sofia- the insider’s guide and In your pocket Bulgaria. She’s been on and off diets for the last 20 years  :'(