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PostSubject: Cactus   Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:47 pm

[size=75:38jh8a6f]Sofia echo 24 March 2010

[size=150:38jh8a6f]Cactus

We planned our dinner at the new Cactus restaurant in Sofia’s Lozenets borough, one of two restaurants under the same ownership and name. The first, in Sofia’s city centre, is a longstanding venue;
the second Cactus opened last December.

The two restaurants currently share one website containing information (exclusively in Bulgarian) and only about the first Cactus, although a link sends viewers to another website with photographs of the new place.

Fortunately, accessing Cactus is straightforward because it is in lower Lozenets, at Pope John Paul II square right next to Evlogi Goergiev Boulevard. Once inside, we were pleasantly surprised by its simple, yet exquisite atmosphere, and the warm welcome extended to us. A polite waiter took our coats and let us choose our table. It was a Tuesday night so the place had several unoccupied tables.

Although I had made some provisional choices in advance, I decided to consult the waiter about our meal. The menu offers 11 choices of salads, starting from traditional Shopska and ovcharska (shepherd’s salad) through to more exotic Asian and pork carpaccio salads - which I decided to try. My friend chose the shrimp salad.

To be honest, I had some reservations about the carpaccio since it is, in effect, a raw, thin-sliced pork fillet but after I tried it my doubts were dispelled. The salads were of generous portions, enabling us to share them both. The combination of the carpaccio, green salad and the small quail eggs was surprisingly good. The shrimp salad also impressed us, notwithstanding the sauce that was a bit sour for our liking;
fortunately, it was served separately.

We decided to mark the end of the winter with a dark beer. Before serving it the waiter asked whether we preferred it with or without foam. I chose the second option. While impressing us with his skills by pouring the beer in one hand while holding both glasses in the other, he spilt some of the beer on the table. Given his politeness, we ignored it.
The real gourmet adventure started when the main course was served. My friend chose a chicken steak accompanied by barbecue sauce and french fries. After some considerable thought, I chose exotic chicken - marinated chicken fillets pureed with fig, pineapple and soy sauce and blanched carrots. I admit that I like to experiment with new flavours by mixing sweet and sour but this chicken surpassed my expectations.

The main dishes were served together with freshly baked bread, garnished with a bowl of butter and herbs that added to the bread’s pleasant taste. For dessert we chose good old tiramisu;
we ordered just one portion bearing in mind the generous servings of previous courses. As with the salads, the tiramisu was recommended to us by the waiter and it was a great success. The bill came to 50 leva and we had really enjoyed the evening.

Overall: 4/6
Service: 4/6
Atmosphere: 4/6
Food: 5/6
Price: $$$$
($ up to 12 leva a person for three courses;
$$ 12 to 20 leva pp;
$$$ 20 to 35 pp;
$$$$ 35 and over pp)

Address:
Sofia, 2 Milin Kamuk Str.
Tel: 865 74 20
Open: 10am -12pm
Mon-Sun noon-midnight
Credit cards: yes

[url=http:
//www.
restaurant-cactus.
com/:38jh8a6f][You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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