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Cosmo Recommends: Try Yugoslavian Cuisine In This Cozy Makati Resto

If you want to try something new for your holiday barkada dinner, be adventurous and experience foreign cuisine and culture!

Do you want to try something different with your friends this holiday season? Check out this hole in a wall restaurant named Balkan along Perea St. in Legaspi Village, Makati (near Greenbelt 5) that serves Yugoslavian cuisine. Yep, Yugoslavian--as in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Croatia, and Montenegro before they were divided.

In this tiny yet cozy restaurant, you will discover the different dishes that are popular in the region. All around, you'll see pieces of their history and culture, from the carpet print decorations on the ceiling to the black and white pictures lining the walls. See photographs of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, various government buildings, and even a photo of the Yugoslavian basketball team from when they played against USSR in Araneta Coliseum over 20 years ago!

After taking in the exotic ambiance, be prepared to dive right into an exciting meal. For starters, try the Goulash (P250), a popular soup that we bet you didn't know came from this region. It is a thick, hearty soup filled with noodles, paprika, and lean beef using round steak and boiled for four hours. The Cevapcici (P200) is a dish of their signature Serbian sausages made from spiced ground beef, served burger style with Balkan's home-baked bread and fries. The Stuffed Pijeskavica (P320) is also a must-try meat dish in the shape of a half-moon (think, empanada) and oozing with mozzarella cheese and chili flakes.

We highly recommend the Sarma (P260), which is a dish of pickled cabbage rolls stuffed with ground beef, rice, smoked bacon, and secret spices served on a bed of mashed potatoes sprinkled with paprika. If you have the budget to spare, you should also order the Jagnjetina (P700), the house specialty--tender baked lamb ribs that are boiled with carrots and potatoes. The meat is so tender that it will literally fall off the bone. (The men in your group will enjoy this, for sure!)

One thing to know about Yugoslavian dining habits is that salad is served not before the main meal, but with or after the main entrees. Try Sopska (P200), a combination of cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and olives on a bed of fresh lettuce topped with yummy feta cheese. It is seasoned with pure olive oil and salt. And be sure to save room for dessert, because the Palacinke (P120) a.k.a. traditional Serbian crepes are cooked to perfection with just the right amount of Nutella, chocolate, or apricot jam in them. The Pita Od Jabuka, or apple pie, is also a nice way to end the meal, with its flaky crust flavored with a tinge of cinnamon and powdered sugar. Super delicious!

We dare you to be adventurous this holiday season and get a unique taste of some home-cooked, exotic cuisine that you can share with your friends! Launch the gallery to see photos and descriptions of the food served in Balkan!

With reports from Trixie Reyna

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