The Nova Lica restaurant festival in Belgrade From July 15 to 28, 12 of the best new establishments will present their tasting menus

From July 15 to 28, Mapa Mag will host the Nova Lica restaurant festival in Belgrade. For two weeks, 12 new restaurants opened in the last two years will offer special festival sets that fully showcase the talents of the chefs and the unique concepts of each place. The festival features a variety of establishments, from an ideal Vojvodina cuisine restaurant and an authentic Korean-Japanese project to a Texas barbecue and a vegan dark kitchen with modernist food.

The main goal of the festival is to give residents and tourists the opportunity to fully appreciate the gastronomic diversity of the new projects. Therefore, the price for all festival sets will be the same — 2000 dinars.

Here are the details about each participant.

Words: Mapa Mag
Photos: Konstantin Kondrukhov


 

Pietra West

Unlike its first establishment in Vračar (which is among the top 50 best pizzerias in Europe outside of Italy), the Pietra in New Belgrade has taken a broader approach to Italian cuisine. In the spacious new restaurant (designed by Anna Nenadović’s studio), you can try risotto, pasta, bruschetta, and lasagna, along with excellent European wines. For the festival, the team is preparing an unusual version of carpaccio, an original take on beef Wellington, and a tart with mango ice cream.

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Tasting menu

Slow-cooked veal carpaccio with San Marzano cream

Wellington Cotto: braised smoked pork with Calabrian ‘Nduja sausage and mushrooms in a Neapolitan pizza crust

Mango ice cream tart

Salaš Zvonko Bogdan

This restaurant of traditional Vojvodina cuisine, owned by musical legend and renowned winemaker Zvonko Bogdan, occupies a prime spot on the Beton Hala promenade. The place is exceptional for being a key spot for authentic Serbian food and wine in the city’s tourist area, while confidently maintaining the highest level of service. For the festival, the team has prepared a four-course set, with guests having a choice in two of the courses. For example, for the appetizer, you’ll have to choose between guinea fowl soup or Vojvodina tartare. Not an easy decision!

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Tasting menu

Guinea fowl soup / Vojvodina tartare

Pörkölt / Paorska Mućkalica

Cabbage salad

Poppy seed/walnut strudel

Bistromat

An amazing restaurant of signature cuisine by chef Nikola Kovačević in Zemun. Its distinctive features include an open kitchen, allowing guests to observe the chef at work, and a modernist approach to classic French cuisine, where the knowledge of traditional techniques and respect for tradition are harmoniously combined with experiments and a contemporary culinary perspective. Usually, the restaurant is closed during the summer, but for our festival, Nikola has interrupted his summer break for two weeks (just don’t forget to book a table in advance when you decide to come).

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Tasting menu

Cocktail “Kir Royale”

Steak tartare with сhive butter and toast

Filet mignon “Monte Carlo”, carrot cream with turmeric, butter seared spinach, roasted baby potatoes, and demi-glace sauce

Crème Brûlée

In smoke we trust

One of the most conceptually refined projects in the Gastrošor cluster, In Smoke We Trust is a Texas barbecue venture. The project is run by chefs Marin Rudić and Marko Karas, who have thoroughly studied American meat preparation traditions. The menu features the famous brisket, pulled pork, and other baked and smoked meat delicacies, all cooked in a genuine smoker. Note that the restaurant is closed on Mondays.

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Tasting menu

Pull Pork burger

Spicy potato wedges

Local craft beer

Moba

Definitely the most conceptual dark kitchen in Belgrade, Moba is so unique and interesting that we couldn’t resist inviting it to participate in the festival. Moba is a vegan project where real miracles are worked with vegetables and fruits. Their burgers with beetroot dried and fermented in koji mushrooms, vegan kebabs, pâtés, homemade bread, and cheese are all worth mentioning. For the festival, they are offering a set that includes a lion’s mane mushroom steak and luxurious truffle puree. 

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Tasting menu

Smoked lion’s mane mushroom steak with braised beets

Truffle mashed potatoes with pepper miso sauce

Salad with lime dressing

Chocolate Cherry Yogurt Cake

Tisa New Balkan Cuisine

The project by the Michelin guide-recognized team of Iva New Balkan Cuisine is much more spacious and elegant. The interior beautifully combines loft elements with minimalist classics and contemporary art. They offer wonderful breakfasts and conceptual, unusual dishes. The menu prepared by the chef for the festival is a perfect demonstration of their unique approach. Note that the restaurant is closed on Mondays.

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Tasting menu

Green gazpacho with Homolje stracciatella

Veal head croquettes with lemon aioli 

Pork brisket with young potatoes

Uganda Connect

Located in the Belgrade Waterfront complex, this restaurant offers authentic Ugandan cuisine and an amazing atmosphere. It seems to be the only place in Belgrade where you can truly immerse yourself in African culinary culture. Their festival set, which you absolutely must try, includes authentic Ugandan coffee, samosas, and green banana matoke stew.

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Tasting menu

Samosa beef

Matoke stew

Coffee of your choice

TT Asia

An Asian cuisine restaurant in Dorćol, TT Asia is a true gem for those who see Japanese and broader Asian cuisine as more than just sushi and rolls (although they are excellent here!). TT Asia serves bao buns with various fillings, exemplary ramen, pad thai, gyoza, and much more. Their collection of Asian alcohol and cocktails based on it is noteworthy. One of these cocktails, the jasmine gimlet, is included in the festival set. 

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Tasting menu

Bao bun with pulled beef

Creamy salmon roll

Exotic jasmine gimlet

BOM

Located in Vračar, BOM is an authentic Korean-Japanese cuisine restaurant started by a family duo — Korean Lin and Japanese Sokol. They serve kimbap (the Korean version of rolls with rice and fillings), bowls, unique spring rolls, and onigiri. Soon, BOM will offer a set menu featuring dishes from Korean royal cuisine. Several dishes from this upcoming set can be tasted during our restaurant festival. Note that the restaurant is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

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Tasting menu

Oiseon: Cucumber stuffed with carrot and egg

Japchae: Sweet potato noodles stir fried with vegetables and meat

Kkul Bocksunga: Peach with cream cheese and honey

Notto

A brand new Italian restaurant in the heart of Zemun that reinterprets Italian cuisine in a fusion style. The festival set perfectly illustrates this approach: Milanese risotto is served with saffron cream, Parmesan cream, and meat reduction, pasta with octopus ragout is complemented by lemon foam, and tiramisu is whipped using a siphon.

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Tasting menu

Grisini with lardo and 48-month-aged Grana Padano cheese

Risotto Milanese with saffron cream, Parmesan cream, and meat reduction cream

Paccheri pasta with shellfish and octopus ragout and lemon foam

Airy tiramisu from a siphon bottle

OVO bistro

A stylish gastronomic bistro located in the city center with a quiet inner courtyard, inventive cuisine, excellent wine and cocktail lists, and gourmet breakfast options. The elegant simplicity of the local interior is complemented by unique dishes, gourmet dinners crafted by Serbian chefs, and impeccable service. During the festival at Ovo, you’ll have the chance to try their perfect summer watermelon salad with goat cheese, as well as grilled peas with Spanish ham.

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Tasting menu

Grilled-peas with jamon

Watermelon with goat cheese

Geum

One of the most promising openings of the spring, this restaurant near the Botanical Garden features a restrained Scandinavian interior and serves experimental yet delicious food with a focus on local and ecological principles. The menu changes almost weekly, but for the festival, Chef Ivan Severov has crafted a truly unusual set. It includes a luxurious tartare with potato skin chips, cauliflower with lemon cream and garlic mousse, and a unique ice cream made from bread crusts and salted caramel.

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Tasting menu

Bull diaphragm tartare with a potato skin chip

Cauliflower steak with lemon zest cream and garlic mousse

Bread crust ice cream with malt caramel

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