As I promised a while ago, in the post about Lorenzo & Kakalamba restaurant, reviews about Belgrade restaurants continue. From now on, I join my friend Ana from Prstohvat soli in a new sections on our blogs concerning this subject. The idea was born out of lack of Belgrade restaurant reviews. True, there are some in various magazines, web sites and tv shows, and how honest and true they are is for the public to decide. The fact is that Serbia doesn’t exist on Michelin map, and that domestic reviews are mostly praises of Belgrade restaurants. There are little more than 3000 registered restaurants in Belgrade, and Ana and I decided to investigate slowly one by one. Honestly, so that if you ever find yourself in Belgrade, looking for a good place to eat, know where to go, and were not to go
Restaurant Playground is located downtown Belgrade, tucked a bit away from the city rush. It has the charm of a local restaurant for the urban young people, especially those with the kids or even a loners who in the company of their laptops, drink coffee and cruise social network sites.
Interior is simple and modern. Fusion of different materials used made it very eye catching to everyone passing by.
Next up are my impressions, and what Ana thought of it, you can read here (text in Serbian).
Crostini were a pleasant surprise. At a first glance, not so attractive, but the taste was very good.
Huge portion of arugula, Parmesan and cherry tomato salad was more than enough for two people. What was certainly worth a praise was the presence of toasted pine nuts and excellent vinaigrette. I wouldn’t go that far and call and enormous bowl of arugula and a few other stuff a full meal, but hey, they’re allowed to advertise their stuff as they like ;)
For the mains, we decided to take chicken in lemon sauce with tagliatelle and duck breasts with red onions and sautéed apples. Chicken was good. Two big slices of chicken breasts with a slice of fine prosciutto were juicy and done just wright. That I could not say for tagliatelle, they were gummy, and the sauce was bland, without a hint of lemon and with the predominant taste of mint (that tasted rather strange, and we couldn’t agree if it was mint or basil?!).
Duck breasts with red onions and sautéed apples – terrible! Dry, as in definition of overcooked. Apples were fine, but somehow, in a same bite with the duck and onions, not so good combination. This too was bland and the highlight of this this were the onions. Actually, onions seemed to be undercooked, but somehow I found them quite appetizing
As we couldn’t decide for the dessert we asked a waiter for a recommendation. He was lost When I asked if it was a tart (the term pie in Serbia actually refers to a phyllo pie, something like this one) he just shrugged. We did take it eventually. And what did we get? Un-peeled, extremely thick skin. You couldn’t get to the taste of the apples. Pie is actually frangipane batter baked in a tart pan, with a little caramel sauce and a scoop of plain, probably store bought vanilla ice cream. It was very pretty, though, but hard as a rock. A piece flew away from the plate as I tried to scoop it
Final impression? Not worth. Certainly not 40 euros (the whole meal for two plus two glasses of wine). This might sound cheap in the terms of European restaurants prices, but in Belgrade, you should expect a really good meal for that money. Interior is lovely and presentation is fine but the final result – mediocre. I would not come back there. OK, maybe for a bowl of salad and some red onions :P
Topličin venac 19-21
Disclaimer: All the reviews on this site are a matter of personal opinion and taste and do not represent absolute truth to everyone. I don’t think that everybody should, or will agree with what I write.