Belgrade / Serbian finest at Enso
Many specialized magazines will claim Homa is the best restaurant in Belgrade.
Still, we tried that one as well and we have no doubt saying that Enso was probably the ultimate bombshell of the trip.
The wooden interiors, black walls on one side, tree shapes on the other, tablets used as menu cards...
Everything shows the effort of a wealthy Serbian who came up with an appealing modern place (I know, tablets are questionable but at least in this case they have the merit of giving guests an idea of what will be served).
In most cases, there is a gap between the money flowing into the deco of the dining room and the quality coming out from the kitchen (especially when the owner is not a chef).
This is not the case with Enso. Blessed by the presence of 2 very young and creative chefs, true offsprings of Serbian culinary school, and the kindness and manners of Veljko, waiter and sommelier, able to walk us through an exclusive and surprising Serbian wine tasting: a fume blanc (Cilic 2015), the awarded Stari Zavet from the producer Janko and Fabula Lagum, an excellent mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.
You can opt between the menu à la carte or the very generous (and affordable) tasting menu, a waltz of 6 or 8 courses including tuna, rabbit, consommé, goose, mackerel, beef and dessert... A symphony of ingredients, flavors and consistency.
The first dish deserves a special mention: a cube of pink tuna, served with spinach coulis - just to add a light iron flavor, while giving a great colorful contribution-, honey with oil - probably the best addition to the main element of the dish- and lemon 'paste' - probably a bit too dominant but you can choose not to have it.
After the tuna, a slowly cooked (40 hrs) rabbit confit in duck fat and a consommé with truffle flavor, it's time for a strong dish: goose cooked sous vide with cognac, foie gras and mushrooms. Coulis of apricot and red wine to complete the dish and accompany the goose on its glorious journey.
The dish is particularly surprising for its intense perfume and balanced sweet taste, amplified by the goose glaze done with its own juices and wine.
Another fish dish of the tasting menu is a mackerel served with a smoky fish broth, slow cooked carrot, cherry tomatoes and spring onion.
There are a couple of technical mistakes for a fine dish: the broth is not 'clean' and abundant, the veggies are too big, slightly salty and the carrot partially burnt...
Said that, it was still an excellent dish with the fish perfectly cooked sous-vide and the broth with an incredible and persistent taste (made out of burnt fish bones)!