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Bratislava Exotic Dining

If it is still a stretch to devote much space to Bratislava's exotic dining options, the day when it isn't is almost within reach. The city already has more than a half dozen Chinese restaurants, a Japanese restaurant, and eateries offering up cuisine from the Arab and Latin American worlds. Since they offer significant divergences from traditional central European fare, we have included a couple Mediterranean-style restaurants on our list. Dining here has become more cosmopolitan and it is only going to become more so.

If it is still a stretch to devote much space to Bratislava's exotic dining options, the day when it isn't is almost within reach. The city already has more than a half dozen Chinese restaurants, a Japanese restaurant, and eateries offering up cuisine from the Arab and Latin American worlds. Since they offer significant divergences from traditional central European fare, we have included a couple Mediterranean-style restaurants on our list. Dining here has become more cosmopolitan and it is only going to become more so.

Café Šeherezáda- This Arab restaurant has good hummus, pita bread, felafel and a good Arab salad. There is also a Slovak menu. Summer offers the option of dining on the patio. $. CC: no. Eng. menu: no. Res: no. Vysoká 15. % 536-1312. <10:00-22:00, M-F; 15:00-22:00 Sa-Su.

Casablanca- Ignore the weird crystal art and the ice cream parlor windows: This restaurant at the top of Koliba hill offers up a classy menu and fantastic food. The meals are traditional and very French, but the fish and the wine list has a Moroccan accent. Try the creamy onion tart served on a bed of lettuce (lettuce!); or the smoked salmon or beef madallions in red wine, pepper or mushroom sauces. The prices - like the menu in English, German and French - are Western, but the food makes it money well spent. $$$. CC: Yes. Eng. menu: Yes. Res: Yes. Jeséniova 53. % 371-767. < 12:00-24:00 M-F; 18.00-24.00, Sat, Su.

Červený Drak- The "Red Dragon" is a small Chinese restaurant a bit off the beaten track. You can pretty much count on a quiet dining experience, but the dim lighting makes it more suitable fro pleasure than business. Strengths include the soups and the spring rolls; Weaknesses include the chicken with lychees and the 10 Sk charge for chopsticks. $$. CC: no. Eng. menu: no. Res: no. Búdková 39. % 372-842. <11:45-22:45, M-Su.

Chang Cheng- Authentic Chinese dishes and landscape paintings. The fried wantons are excellent. Duck with bamboo shoots, mushrooms in a soy-based sauce. Combination meals give an opportunity to sample every dish, not just hog one for yourself. Peking duck must be ordered a day ahead and serves four. Top off your meal with deep fried bananas, apples or pineapples in honey. CC: yes. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Palisády 59.% 322-157 or 322-161 < 11:00 - 23:30 M-Su.

Chez David- This kosher restaurant has been approved by the highest authority - religious. While Bratislava's local rabbi has blessed this place for adhering to strict religious principles, it also toes the line on cleanliness, attention and fresh food. From the home-made hummus to roasted salmon in asparagus sauce, it's hard to go wrong ordering from the menu, which humors you with Yiddish jokes in Slovak, German and English. Watch the covercharge of 27 Sk per person and keep in mind that it is closed on the Sabbath (Fri. evening and all Sat.). $$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: yes. Res. yes. Zamocká 13. % 316-943 or 313-824. < 11:30-16:00, 18:00-22:00 M-Th, Su. 11:30-16:00 Fri.

Delfín- Decked out with Doric columns and limbless statues, this Greek restaurant has a true Athenian touch. But despite a few staples like real feta cheese, the menu is less than Olympian and you could run to Marathon and back by the time your food is served. $. Eng. menu: no. Res: yes. Ružová dolina 18. % 683-58. < 10:00-22:00, M-Su.

Hotel Devín- Of the hotel's three restaurants, the "Chinese" is noteworthy, but not for authentic cuisine or ambiance. With plenty of room between tables, the restaurant provides ample privacy for lunch meetings. $$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Riečna 4. % 533-0851. <12:00-16:00, 18:00-22:30, M-Su.

Jadran Gril- Mediterranean-style food, specializing in kebobs and gyros. Friendly service ad big portions make it worthwhile. If you miss MTV, come here and check out the corner television, where it's always playing. $$. CC: yes Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Rybná brána 5. % 10:00-20:30 M-Su.

Jasmin- The owners of this Chinese restaurant have taken a successful formula in Vienna and seamlessly applied it to Bratislava's tastes. Attentive and enthusiastic service combine with delicious cooking, a comfortable atmosphere and a great location to make this one of the city's best values. $$$. CC: yes Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Židovská 7. % 531-5182. 11:30-23:00 M-Su.

Lankai- The Orient fit into a centeral European wine cellar. Decorations give a Chinese air, but the food reminds you this is neither Beijing nor even Chinatown. Definitely a good place to satisfy that craving for lo mein or a cup of Chinese tea. $$. Eng. menu: yes. Res: no. Obchodná 42. % 332-074. < 11:00-22:00.

Music Café Hysteria- A Tex-Mex restaurant, the food is tasty but amounts vary with who is in the kitchen. The margaritas are the best ones in town. Two pool tables and a lively crowd, dancing is not unheard of here. This is a little tricky to find - follow the signs in Zimný Štadión. $$. CC: no. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Odbojárov 9. < 11:00-2:00 Su-Th, 11:00-5:00 F-Sa.

Shanghai- At its location adjacent to the Hotel Astra, not far from the city center and easily accessible by bus or trolleybus, Shanghai serves up fine Chinese cuisine, including a variety of imported seafood dishes. The décor is authentic, but verging on overly decorative. $$$. CC: no. Eng. menu: no. Res: yes. Prievozská 14. % 215-079. < 11:30-23:30 M-Su.

Tokyo- Take a trip to the Orient by sampling sushi and swilling sake. But watch out: the rice wine will knock the stuffing out of your wallet. Impressively authentic Japanese food, such as the tempura (fried fish and vegetables), yaki soba (noodle soup). On special occasions, order a round of sake (rice wine) in the straw-matted back room. The service here is impeccably courteous. $$$. CC: yes. Eng menu: yes. Res: no. Stromová 16. % 375-406. < 11:00-22:30.

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