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FOOD

Restaurant reviews

Koliba Expo
Templars
TGI Friday

Koliba Expo

Where: Kamzíkov vrch, Tel: 02/5477-1764,
Open: Mon-Sat, 12:00-01:00, Sun 12:00-22:00,
English menu: Yes,
Reservations: Yes ,
Rating: 7 out of 10

IN KOLIBA Expo, located in the woods near Bratislava's Kamzík television tower, the wait staff dress in folk costumes, the walls are decorated with animal pelts and Slovak ceramics, and the menu consists of traditional and invented Slovak dishes.

On the wide-ranging menu you will find such dishes as creamy garlic soup, bryndzová polievka (sheep cheese soup), chicken with pear brandy and fried apples, and wild boar in rosehip sauce. For desert, the chimney sweep's balls (kominárske guľky) cake is worth a look for the name alone.

The restaurant's building was displayed at the 1967 World Expo in Montreal, which gave the place its name. When the exhibition ended, the massive wooden structure was taken apart and rebuilt in Bratislava. The tables and chairs are in complete harmony with the interior, created from huge chunks of wood.

Note: Public transport does not go all the way up the hill. Since it is quite a long walk from the last stop of trolleybus #203, a car is recommended.


Templars

Where: Panská 18,
Tel: 0903/259-922,
Open: Mon-Fri 10:00-24:00, Sat-Sun 12:00-24:00,
English menu: Yes,
Reservations: Yes,
Rating: 8 out of 10

TEMPLARS is one of the few Bratislava restaurants that, rather than specialising in a national cuisine, bases its menu and decoration on a specific theme. Located in a downtown cellar, the owners have created a medieval atmosphere reminiscent of a castle.

The menu is very simple, featuring fairly standard Slovak fare, including fried zander with fried potatoes, vegetable garnish, and steamed broccoli, and sautéed chicken in a chilli-tomato sauce. For desert, try the apple strudel and hot raspberries, which both come with large portions of vanilla ice cream and cream.

Templars opened in spring 2001 and is still building a regular clientele. Its friendly service, unpretentious atmosphere, and tasty dishes should not disappoint.


TGI Friday

Where: Hviezdoslavovo nám. 3 ,
Tel: 02/5920-4060 ,
Open: Mon-Sun 11:00-24:00,
English menu: Yes,
Reservations: Yes ,
Rating: 4 out of 10

THE INTERIOR design of Bratislava's TGI Friday is the same as every Friday's in the world, with faux Tiffany lamps and bric-a-brac on the walls. The waiters have clearly been trained to be smiley and friendly, with one overzealous waitress telling us the day we went to "enjoy this beautiful sunny day", even though it had been grey and rainy since the morning.

Located in the newly renovated Hotel Carlton, the restaurant has one of the best and most spacious locations in town, which makes it possible to find a place to sit at any time of the day. This abundance of empty seats might also have something to do with the prices, and perhaps the quality of the food.

Two simple classics we sampled - a club sandwich and a Friday's burger - fell way below expectations. The bread was stale and the burger unimpressive. Likewise, the desserts disappointed. The New York-style cheesecake was not made with cream cheese but with tvaroh (Slovak cottage cheese), and instead of using graham crackers for the crust, as specified on the menu, the chef used regular pastry.

- Saša Petrášová

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