Visited the gorgeous town of Banja Luka back in September 2016, well known for their woman to man ratio of 7/1…. as the saying is; the most beautiful women from Europe come from Banja Luka and for every man there are 7 women….:-) But I’m here for the food, not the women…. (just in case my wife reads this….) 🙂
My dear customers invited me to this restaurant:http://www.malastanica.com/en/index.html Which is without a doubt the best in this area and to be honest, it blew me away! I expected just basic Balkan / Yugoslavian food, not this crazy chef with all his fusion cooking…. As he describes himself; Delicate French cuisine combined with modern Mediterrenean cuisines that is flirting with German, Italian and Spanish roots and sometimes infused by Asian influences not forgetting the local traditions….. If that is not fusion, I don’t know it any more….
And since my customer also is a licensed “sommelier” we had the best wine picked to combine with our dishes.
What did I eat?: (such a big menu with so many delicious things!)
- Salad with sweet marinated chicken and pistache
- Tortellini filled with spinach and gorgonzola
- Black mushroom and truffle risotto & balsamico
- Braised beef cheeks in a cherry sauce
- Beefsteak house style with grilled vegetables
- Austrian “Apfelstrudel”
Good / Bad points:
+++ Such a big menu, all these great dishes! So original and unique, there is something for everyone
+++ Great outdoor terrace
+++ Very open and used to tourists or international guests
—– Damn that big menu…. less is more…. for me this was too much 🙂 again this is personal and both a good as a bad point
Food: Where to start? The mushroom jus at the risotto was to die for, so earthy and strong, dark and bitter and still deep and slightly salty, The tortellini was just creamy enough and perfectly balanced without getting too bitter of the spinach, sweet chicken was a first for me, but it worked! And then the hero; braised beef cheeks in a candied cherry sauce that was sticky and sweet but still with enough savory taste to keep it in balance, making this at home now…!!! just 3 small remarks, as you can see, all big portions which is not really a remark of course…. Besides that the risotto was slightly undercooked, not much but enough to still be a bit grainy and as a last point, for me the mashed potato at the beef cheeks was not so strong, was like porridge with not enough taste for me… overall a strong 9.3 out of 10 !
Coziness: We ate outside which was perfect, however the seats could have been better and the overall feeling was very basic. The food was the hero tonight, but with terrible food, the terrace would have been a disaster…. 6.8 out of 10
Staff: Friendly, helping, explaining and with a genuine interest in me as a guest and in my blog, even they showed the different dishes and bottles. 8.9 out of 10
Price: For this quality of food, again not having to pay, it was very reasonable! Maybe again quite high for the general income but more than fair in my opinion! 9.2 out of 10
Overall an astonishing 8.6 out of 10
Also on this trip and the reason I got so fat….. I went the next day to another great local restaurant: http://www.staraada.ba/