When I heard that Vanja Puškar had opened another restaurant in Belgrade, I was ecstatic, especially since the restaurant is located in Dorćol, my favourite part of Belgrade, and about it having a bistro concept.
Vanja is already an owner and a chef in fine-dining restaurant New Balkan Cuisine Iris. Iva is Iris’s younger sister, opened in March 2019 and it has brought a breath of fresh air into the capital’s lukewarm gastro scene.
New Balkan Cuisine Iva offers Serbian cuisine as a certain type of modern, contemporary local cuisine, a mix of local ingredients combined with molecular gastronomy. The reason why I keep coming here is that I can finally have some old-school flavours in a modern setting. Here, chefs can get an extract, powder, cream, or even the smoke aroma of a stinging nettle or a pumpkin.
Since I am a breakfast person, my eye sparkled with joy when I read the first sentence in the menu — breakfast served all day! If you are into the classics, go for three eggs in a crispy dough and choose exactly how you like your eggs – scrambled, omelette, or poached. The smell of creamy cicvara (a mix of cornflour, oil and kajmak) with grilled Miroč cheese immediately invoked childhood memories.
My all-time favorite is the perfectly soft, caramelized pork neck with celery chips and cream along with bone marrow, but don’t hesitate to try Buša veal (a small breed of cow found throughout former Yugoslavia).