As our list of favourite haunts on the trendy Peel Street grows, Kaffana is a must mention and must return on our list. We went prior to their recent renovation but I believe these dishes are still available on the menu. As for how the place looks now, I’m not entirely sure but when we went, it was friendly and inviting. I don’t think the great vibe would have changed. I never really knew about Serbian cuisine and was intrigued, everything on the menu was a new experience to me at the time.
One look at the menu and we knew we belonged. It’s the place to be for meat lovers. All sorts of grilled meat! We opted to start with a couple of tapas to whet the appetite. I’ve always liked the idea of Cabbage Rolls so I ordered Sarma which was a little pot of pickled cabbage leaves filled with pork, beef and rice slow cooked. It was served with a side of yoghurt. The flavours were so delicious and the plain yoghurt cuts through the heavier meatiness. We were off to a great start. We also ordered some Proja. A baked corn bread filled with feta and ricotta cheese. Only having ever known the Mexican cornbread I was expecting that but this is something different. It’s lighter and fluffier, also much less sweet. The feta and ricotta was quite subtle. It was a good accompaniment to the cabbage rolls but on its own, probably a little plain.
I’m quite a fan of quail while Mr Foodie finds its bones too tiny and too finicky to eat but I ordered the Prepelica anyway. Coated in dry marinade and glazed with garlic, parsley and lemon juice, it was char-grilled to perfection.
The mains menu just screams MEAT MEAT MEAT and some fish but MEAT! This awesomeness made it hard for us to decide. Please note that all mains and platters are served with their house made bread, a potato salad and cabbage salad much like coleslaw. The potato salad is not quite like the German style ones, it’s a little milder in flavour and not mayonnaise laden which I later discovered worked well with the meats.
Whenever we see ribs on the menu, we almost never pass it up so here we are. The grand Kaffana Ribs – chargrilled baby back pork ribs. Most people associate good ribs with falling off the bone, melt in your mouth shreds of pork smothered in BBQ sauce. Kaffana ribs are not like that. It is seasoned with a dry rub and basted with their secret aged parsley and garlic glaze. We were worried it would be dry and tough but to all skeptics be prepared to eat your words! This slab of ribs was one of the best we have ever had. The seasoning is so tasty it keeps you wanting more. The meat is still succulent and tender and pulls off the bone easily enough but instead of disintegrating in your mouth, you get to chew it and keep tasting that awesome seasoning. It is char-grilled to perfection. No doubt.
Out of curiousity we also ordered the Karadjordjeva – a veal fillet filled with ricotta, Danish feta and cooked bacon. This was priced the same as the Kaffana Ribs though the serving size is miles apart. Nevertheless, it was a different style of schnitzel, like a cigar! One we’ve never had before. I must admit while the meat was tender and the filling did go with it, after a few bites it was getting too salty. Thank goodness for their mum’s homemade bread.
Kaffana has a lunch time burger menu that beckons a challenge with their 1KG Big Boi burger. I think we need to head in for lunch one day! As for me, I want some more of their cabbage rolls and perhaps a couple of skewers and steak from the grill next time. With their re-opening they now roast a whole pig on the spit sometimes to keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates. For those who want to try a bit of everything, their sharing platters are the way to go. Them ribs though……must have.
23 Peel Street