My very first trip to beautiful Armenia, of course going to the capital of Yerevan. Being here on business, unfortunately I had just 1 day to experience all culinary challenges of this country…. but luckily I was driving so I could stop sometimes in the smaller villages as well. I stopped at a local market and had some real street-food, similar to the Balkan Cevapcici, a skewer with minced meat in a flatbread with onions and cilantro, just yummie!
Ok, maybe food health and food safety are not on the highest point with meat laying out in the open sun on the trunk of a car, but when you know me, you know I just don’t care!
Had a small lunch as well at restaurant Wine Republic, good international menu, some very good local and international wines and for me a basic but very nice salad of breaded perch (fish) with beetroot and greens. Tasty and the perfect light lunch.
And in the evening I had the luck of being taken out by my dear friends to an international restaurant: Noyan Tun. Operated by a French chef that takes local ingredients and combines them with European products and in this way he makes a perfect fusion of Armenian-French cuisine.
The restaurant is located in the cellar of a wine shop and should look authentic (maybe it is?) but it is built in such a way it more felt like a fake built old cellar instead of being one, do you understand what I mean? http://www.noyantun.am/concept
What did I eat & drink?
- Different small appetizers, local snacks made out of puff pastry
- Beautiful mixed grilled vegetables, so tasty
- French and local cheese platter (the French are just too simple, but we are spoiled….)
- Different types of bread and dough products with 3 types of local “tapenade”, like in the Libyan cuisine. (chick peas&garlic)
- Seabass sautéed with tartare sauce and cashew&pistache nuts and extra lemon&carrot confit.
- All together with a great round red wine called Karasi, a real reccomendation!
Some good/bad points:
+++ Live piano and live singing by one of the waiters made me feel like being in Paris or New York
+++ A very strong international focus
+++ Beautiful local wine range
—– I often feel rushed in a lot of international restaurants, they just give a perfect and quick service, but for me personal I like to take things slower…. but it is not a real remark 🙂
Food: Most of it was very good and had strong developed tastes, however the cheese was a bit too cold and for me too simple, The seabass was just 1 or 2 minutes over being perfect, at the other hand it had the most perfect and delicious crispy skin! I missed the tartare sauce but that was compensated by sweet and simply perfect carrots “confit”. 7.5 out of 10
Coziness: Very private feeling, good seats, perfect music, nice surrounding with traditional and modern styles combined. The only small remark is that it felt made-up, like fabricated scene, I do not know why, probably it’s me…. 8.5 out of 10
Staff: So friendly and helpful, speaking close to perfect English, just good help! 8 out of 10
Price: I did not have to pay, like always on my business travel…. but I did see the prices and it reasonable priced for Western-Europe. I can imagine that for locals, with an average salary of €300 a month it would be to high. On average a €35,- p.p. is needed here. 7.1 out of 10
Overall another wonderful score of 7.8 out of 10