A Valentine's Day celebration is never complete without a special dinner. This year, instead fine dining, we decided to go for a cuisine that we had never had, or even heard of before. After some research, we came across Grill Danube in Caulfield. They serve up Balkan cuisine, covering dishes from Serbia, Bulgaria, Hungary and many more.
I had studied the menu online beforehand but was still clueless when we arrived. Thankfully, the waitress was kind enough to enlighten us on the more popular and characteristic dishes.
Our first starter was taramasalata, which is raw caviar blended with olive oil and lemon juice. The taste took just a couple of bites to grow on me. It had a smooth texture and a slight but distinct sea smell, nothing too fishy at all.
Next up was ajvar, a relish made from capsicums, eggplant and garlic. I'm not a particularly huge fan of capsicums and eggplant, but it was one of those dishes that I was curious about and just had to try. We were told it could be eaten with bread or as a side dish.
For our third starter (what were we thinking?), we ordered deep fried sardines. Very simple, but it was crispy and delicious, even more so after a squeeze of lemon!
For my main, I went with the waitress's recommendation and ordered the karadjordje schnitzel. It was served in a rolled form and filled with chicken and kajmak, which is a form of creamy cheese. It was certainly one of the most generous portions I had ever seen. The meat within was juicy and tender, and the tartare sauce was a nice addition, but unfortunately I couldn't bring myself to finish the whole thing. It was just too big!
Hubby ordered the roast duck special, which he commented was quite dry.
This was our downfall that night. We had ordered too many dips and sides and filled up too much on their lovely bread that we couldn't stomach all of our mains.
Overall, I thought it was a great introduction to Balkan cuisine, and even though I can't say I have fallen in love with it, I like it enough to want to come back and try some other signature dishes. We've learnt our lesson and we now know not to go crazy with the bread next time!