Istok literally means East, so even though the restaurant officially offers Vietnamese cuisine, it is actually a thoughtful mixture, a variety of cultures and tastes (from Korea, Thailand…). One of the cooks once told me that the tastes here are mysterious and exciting, and if you enjoy Eastern cuisine you may find some traditional delicacies (like pho soup), as well as some meals with a twist. There are quite a few vegetarian plates, and the sweets offer is great – if you enjoy sugar after spice, that is.
Looking from the street in, Istok may look small, but in the back it has many more minimalist wooden tables and chairs, providing both an oriental and cozy atmosphere. The service is very good, and the music mostly well chosen and never too loud. Apart from the food, one of the main reasons I come here is the special blend that Kabinet brewery makes for “Istok”, and this draft beer is of all places (in Belgrade, and in the world) only served here; it is not merely a great collaboration – it is also a seriously tasty craft beer.
“Istok” is built around curiosity and the idea of balance, which also comes from the East, and this is something you can feel at all times. Personally, the non-exclusiveness of this place is what makes it most appealing.