IRIS New Balkan Cuisine

Food & Culture Tour in Belgrade team had the honor to be the guest at this newly opened restaurant Iris New Balkan Cuisine, situated on the first floor of a residential building in the Sarajevska Street No 54 in Belgrade. This hidden place instantly revealed its charm as soon as the doors were opened by Mina Mirković, a sommelier and manager of the place.

The place is pure, without much decorative design and it leans toward almost completely ascetic interior which allows the food to be the focal point, as explained by Vanja Puškar, a chef and the founder of the place.

And he couldn’t be more right. We were pleasantly surprised by such a welcoming retreat in a form of a beautiful culinary experience.

Iris New Balkan Cuisine was founded by people who are passionate about demonstrating the essence of the food.

Through combining various ingredients they successfully transform them into something you would never imagine could be done.

A priority is, as they all stated, to extract the core flavor of meat, vegetables, fruit and spices and to design them into beautifully and immaculately made, tasty meals.

Besides Mina and Vanja, the team consists of three more founders: Branislav Krstić, a chef with an impressive career in one of the best hotels in town, Nemanja Papić, also a sommelier, and Blanka Zolak, for whom they claim is a real soldier and provides the needed discipline to maintain such a diverse and unique team.

After a while we got an insight into the formula for an excellent menu: the right ingredients provided by the local producers, who choose them from their trusted farmers.

Then the food arrived, and we were completely blown away!

Firstly, we tried a delicious home-made crispy bread with butter (on the left), spiced with rosemary and thyme, and followed by mousse from goat cheese with stone leek (on the right). The food was so aromatic that it triggered all of our senses.

“We offer far more from traditional recipes, although we love typical Balkan cuisine. Our restaurant is a small atelier of everything that is constructive and innovative and we made our menus and the whole concept in order to present as we may rightly call: culinary handicraft.”

We were astonished by the way pheasant consommé was served (on the left), followed by the dock rolls stuffed with minced mangalica and buša (mountainous cattle) beef meat, yogurt crème and spinach chips (on the right).

“We wanted to create a small atelier that will present the right measure of constructiveness and delight.”

For the first dessert we tried gratinated vanilla crème with sweet cherries cooked in tea leaves syrup from the Rtanj mountain, combined with meringue, tuile cracker and sweet cherry sorbet (on the left). As the second dessert we tasted elderflower panna cotta with lemon foam and melissa powder (on the right).

Everything we tasted you may find in their monthly made menus.

Menus consists of eight courses. You may pick a vegetarian or carnivore option and can combine it with selected wines from the Balkan region too. Each course follows your tempo, however the whole meal usually lasts from 1 hour and 15 minutes and Iris Balkan Cuisine supports the concept of slow food. So you may take your time to relax and enjoy.

The price for this tasty experience is 3000 – 3700 RSD per person for the menu, and you may add the wine degustation for the price of 2600 RSD. Wine degustation consists of six wines and a digestive, which are tailored to fit the menu, as well as a coffee after the meal.

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