Before we had to make a run for the border, the gang and I stayed the night in the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica. I’ll admit I did not much enjoy our 12 hours in the city. I found it a tad moribund. This morbidity was a running theme in the less glamorous locations we visited throughout the Balkans. The outskirts of Split were a grim and prescient reminder of the bleak former governance of these countries. Dull grey concrete apartment blocks as far as the eye can see. Such was the case in Podgorica, but Desetka brought some colour back into our evening.
Pelat, mozzarella, kulen, feferoni
Coming into this vast restaurant, one expects it to be full of jovial Montenegrins, exhausted from a day’s dangerous driving, ready for a revitalising meal. Alas, the place was deserted. Perhaps this is the derivative of the restaurant’s own nomenclature. In any case, the fewer the better when it comes to dining in the Balkans. we were given the star treatment by staff. In fact, I recall that the meal was so cheap, we tipped the waiter enormously. In part because their currency is weak compared to sterling, but also because we were given the gold standard of hosting.
St Nick and I devoured three pizzas between us. The Pizza Desetka and the Diavolo. Both of which were phenomenal. The crust was thin and crispy, the ingredients were fresh and locally sourced, making for some novel flavours. The oil content was not as dramatic as it looks in the cover photo and above photograph. If you still think it too much, and consider yourself to be Moses’ equal in parting seas, there is a solution. When I find myself drowning in pizza grease, I take the napkin and rest it on top of the pizza. Excess oil seeps into the paper by osmosis. You may have to sacrifice a few napkins but this is more justifiable than sacrificing your arteries on the altar of silence. Think on it.
Pelat, mozzarella, šunka, kulen, gorgonzola, šampinjoni,
čeri paradajz, masline
ĆEVAPI 350gr Sausage meat, onions, baked potatoes
The Ćevapi doesn’t look like much but it was astounding. This is a traditional Bosnian dish, boasting its origins in the Ottoman Empire. It bears a remarkable similarity to köfte kebabs. I don’t know what they feed their animals in Montenegro, but this dish was loaded with flavours. You must try it if you find yourself in that part of the world.
At the golden waiter’s insistence, we sampled the tiramisu and choco pancake. Both of which were a superb example of culinary excellence. Layered and surprising, but also made tastefully without overdoing any of the essential ingredients. I for one despise it when tiramisu is coated with coffee powder. I expected the choco pancake to be coated in chocolate, some nutella hybrid for example. In fact, they had made a chocolate batter and topped it with fresh cream. I could not believe my eyes or my tastebuds. A true phenomenon.
In summation, Desetka exceeded our every expectation. We had even more food than was mentioned in this post. The Greek feta salad and omelette were great but it is difficult to fail them. And I have bombarded you with quite enough information for one post. I don’t believe the final price exceeded £40, despite our taking three courses each and a copious amount of alcohol. If you find yourself in the capital of Montenegro, for your sins, you must dine here.