Oda Restaurant, Tirana 01-2020

It's nice and reassuring when a place you've read about online is also recommended by the Airbnb host and walking tour guide separately. After the very informative and quite tragic history of Albania's communist dictatorship, it was a pleasant change to walk past the many smiling faces of restaurant staff along Rruga Luigj Gurakuqi enticing us to sample the grilled meats on offer. Indeed if we were staying in that area or had a spare meal, I would definitely have gone there.

It was surprising to find Oda so empty during lunchtime. Maybe because it's a tiny bit difficult to find as the entrance is off the main road. Or maybe people seek it out but end up in the meat places instead.

- Fergese (cottage cheese, peppers) 360 lek - cottage cheese with delicious colourful peppers. Simple and eaten beautifully with the bread that resembled more of a scone or cake with nice crust;
- Lamb cooked in wooden stove (300g) 700 lek - very soft meat and strong flavour;
- Village chicken cooked in wooden stove 1500 lek - a whole chicken which was a bit chewy but not dry at all. Probably because it's been running around making full use of its life. It had a delicious natural flavour.

There's plenty of other dishes I wanted to try - stuffed eggplant, head of lamb, maybe even lamb innards - but those will have to wait until next time. Although I'd have to get through the street restaurants first I think.