Office work (hard, hard work) makes us ravenous animals. Composing up badass reports take a lot of focus, man. Food gets us through, lunch break saves us. But there are times when breaks are sandwiched in between meetings. And you can’t go far from the office. Most of the time, and you don’t dare say it out loud: You are just plain lazy to go out of the office.. ’cause everything’s that’s good to eat at is so not a walking distance away.
Hmmm. You don’t need to go that far. Make a little bit of effort and add this to your lunch places list – Balkan. A go to for some yummy Yugoslavian cooking!
Yep! You heard it correctly. Yugoslavian food! Balkan has just opened their 4th branch. The good news is it’s within Makati’s central business district!
Look at that mural. I’ve visited their Perea branch not so long ago, (featured in When in Manila before: Yugoslavian Home Cooking in the City) and noticed a big difference ambiance. While Perea branch have more of a cozy and homey feel, Balkan’s RCBC branch fits the busy corporate life. It has a casual setting which targets young professionals who don’t have a lot of time to “cozy” into it.. but want great food which they can get fast and out.
Home Cooking: Yugoslavian Style
Arugula Salad with Feta. A mix of arugula, lettuce, cherry tomato, apple and cucumber in a lemon, honey and olive oil dressing. I personally love the fried wrapped feta cheese. My salad-eating friend here loved the combination of greens.
She said that the bitterness of the arugula and sweetness of the apple complimenting each other. Hihi. Couldn’t agree more. This is delicious.
Goulash. The classic beef stew with bread. While its hard to pronounce and all that, it kinds of resembles one of our local dishes. It tastes like kaldereta. A very soupy kaldereta.. with fusilli and tender meat. That’s the best way I could describe it. Everyone on the table sang praises on this and said that this is their favorite. It is mine too.
If there is one thing I’ve noticed about Yugoslavian food is that they loved their cheese. Cheese on meat, particularly. And I’m not complaining.
One example is this Stuffed Pljeskavica, ground beef steak stuffed with mozzarella is heaven. The meat tastes like sausage and was stuffed with freaking mozarella. Goodness. It’s best to cut through the meat as soon as its served so you can see the cheese oozing out of it.
And if you want more, imagine adding bacon to the mix. I introduce you to Stuffed Pork Loin, lean pork loin roll stuffed with cheese and salami, wrapped with smoked bacon. Mozarella, again!!
On to chicken, we have Stuffed Chicken with Tomato Sauce. If you don’t want beef nor pork, this one’s for you. Chicken breast stuffed with cheese inside and wrapped in bacon and topped with *surprise surprise* cheese.
We ate their Mad Burger too which is basically a stuffed pljeskavica in between lettuce, tomato and bread patties. It’s yummy too and I prefer this more than the plain pljeskavica on a plate.
Balkan is one of those places you should definitely visit soon. Food is very close to Filipino taste and it’s very good. For cheese lovers, meat lovers and the likes and for young professionals like me, you don’t have to be seek food far away from the anymore. There’s Balkan Yugoslavian Home Cooking for you.
RCBC Tower, Ayala Avenue corner Buendia