Il Bio Gelato Di Salvatore, Budva 09-2018

I had a gelato place in mind in Budva and I knew it was between the bus station and the beach. Perfect. I planned to swing through on the way back after some time basking in the sun.

It's a long stand with many flavours on offer.

The hazelnut and pistachio were both adequate without either being very strong or overly memorable.

The server was very unhappy that she was in my photo. Oh well.

Kafana Rivijera, Budva 09-2018

One of the key decisions when planning Montenegro was whether to stay in Kotor or Budva. The lack of beaches in Kotor (not absolute, but the online reviews are mixed - to be fair I thought it was actually ok) is what attracts people to Budva. Budva is supposedly bumping in summer, but once September hits it quietens down a lot.

Before whaling it on the beach, lunch beckoned. I really wanted to eat at Portun. Sadly the opening hours on their front sign didn't correlate with them opening. And so after waiting specifically for them to open, then realising they wouldn't be, I was despondent. The waiter from the restaurant across the path (perhaps opportunistically) suggested eating at Rivijera instead. He didn't know when Portun would open. But they have the same owner. Ok...

Rivijera has a nice outdoor seating area with a canopy overhead that allows sun to filter through. It is certainly pleasant. I was happy to find that Njeguski stek featured after wondering where I would get to try it since missing out in Zabljak (

- Njeguski stek 400g (pork steak, smoked ham & cheese, cream cheese, homemade baked potato) €15.5 - pork heavily cooked and not very flavoursome or tender. Saved by the parts with cheese and prosciutto which added a big salty flavour hit;
- Special of seafood pasta €13 - black fat pasta cooked in a tasty tomato and slight spicy sauce featuring crisp prawns good calamari. Not al dente.

The food tasted nice. The pork was somewhat disappointing (a common theme in places that only know to cook meat extremely thoroughly). Portun was open by the time we finished lunch. I hope their opening times are more consistent if I'm back in Budva.

Ladovina Kitchen & Wine Bar, Kotor 09-2018

I really wanted to eat food cooked under the peka bell. Although I expected it to be much more available in Croatia and the Balkans, it seemed much more difficult a task, particularly because the few places that offered this only did so in 1kg servings. Which obviously meant for 2 people, there wouldn't be the opportunity to try anything else.

Ladovina was a well-related place outside of the Kotor city walls with nice outdoor atmosphere, good reviews, and lo and behold bell-cooked lamb, veal or octopus at a price per 100g. Perfect!

A walk-in on a rainy night meant there were no available tables (other than a couple not under cover) and so I made a dedicated reservation to anticipate the next night. This was a smoother evening, warm and barmy. People around still smoke which was the only annoyance.

- Ribarska supa (fisherman soup) €4 - very thin and watery but very fishy flavour;
- Octopus €16/200g - very tender pieces cooked in a tomato reduction. I definitely prefer grilled for the char flavour;
- Lamb €10/200g - very soft and good flavour although too much fat and not enough meat in our serve. Potatoes soaking in cooking juice all day were very nice;
- Stuffed calamari €14 - these were stuffed with bread and calamari pieces and cooked in the same tomato reduction as the octopus. In fact the dishes looked near identical with the sliced carrots. Maybe they are cooked together. It was also very tender, although I prefer grilled.

A good meal overall and the opportunity to try the peka bell dishes. I know now that I prefer my octopus and calamari grilled, and so would stick to meats for this again. However the lamb on this occasion was too fatty. Veal may be better for this, but also tends to have less flavour. I suppose I'd have to pick my poison. It would be lamb (being cheaper) and just ordering a larger serve.

Caffe Bar Cukar, Kotor 09-2018

This little cafe is a cute one full of colour of the adornments and flowers, and also includes a nice view of the stream leading to the lake. The sun shining makes for an excellent place to lunch and escape the city walls and daytrippers.

I was most drawn to the bubble waffles available there and the reviews for desserts. But being lunch time, lunch food was the priority.

- Omlet (3 eggs, cheese) €2.5 - very good, smooth, buttery, tasty omelette;
- Cukar sendvic (cheese, prsut, cheese, lettuce) €6 - you can see the very persistent wasp on my bread. The sandwich was ok but expensive considering the makeup and the general prices of food in Kotor. The bread particularly was basic white;
- Slatke palacinke (kinder cokolada) €3 - a decent crepe with some kinder chocolate sauce.

I was a bit disappointed to not have a bubble waffle or desserts. I planned to go back for it but never did. If for a meal, I'd get the omelette again.

Tanjga, Kotor 09-2018

Tanjga is well known in Kotor as the place to go for meat. Indeed I heard a local telling a tourist friend not to bother with anywhere else. It was conveniently located near the bus station and therefore near our flat.

Walking past during the day, I could smell and see the roast chickens rotating outside. Deep in the pits were potatoes left to marinade and cook in drippings all day. These chickens are only for lunch. So for the first night's dinner, we sat inside in front of the trays of raw meat waiting to be selected, the salads, the queue, and the staff who seemed a little stressed, a tiny bit aggressive, and occasionally missing someone's order.

After a reasonably long wait, our food arrived. You have to specially ask for them to put the ajvar on the plate, choosing between a normal looking one and a deeper colour spicier one.

- Mixed meat (600g meat, fries, salad, sauce) €10 - a cheap price for a lot of meat. 600g for one person? Surely enough it just fed 2, although I would contend there wasn't 600g of meat there. The dishes are also inconsistent as to which meats you get. They seem to big roughly at random (or maybe there's a hidden system I don't see). The meat itself included overcooked chicken, but soft pork and kebabs. All the meats were very flavoursome.  We also asked for grilled vegetables but they ran out and therefore gave 2 free pieces of eggplant. I could see more vegetables sitting there raw so...

I thought that I'd try roast chicken next time. Maybe for lunch there would be less chaos.

A few days later for lunch we managed to find a seat outside. We ordered a half chicken, french fries, salad, bread €7.5. They ran out of half chickens so gave 2 legs instead. It was pretty good chicken with flavoursome skin. Potatoes as expected were excellent after sitting in fat all day. There was also some beef which was only ok; crisp outsides but not much flavour otherwise.

I'd eat the roast chicken again, another serve of meat plate for dinner, or try the delicious large looking hamburger (250g meat for €4!!), but definitely not bother with the lunch beef.

Or'O, Zabljak 09-2018

The late morning bus to Kotor meant there was time for a nice sit down breakfast. There's a few bakeries around although none looked particularly good for a sit down meal.

Or'O has a nice looking dinner menu and a lovely outdoor space to enjoy the sun and watch people.

- Village Breakfast (2 eggs, beef prosciutto, beef sausage, kajmak, homemade ajvar) €4.7 - tremendously overcooked eggs but the meat was nice
- Homemade cheese pie 350g €4.3 - this was recommended over the buckwheat pie. The cheese flavour was minimal. It was basically twisty pastry. I was expecting a pie (ie. pastry outside with a filling) but sadly not.

3 different breads were given to eat with the breakfast but they charged €0.9.

Not a fantastic breakfast and would try somewhere else (not sure where exactly...) or get a takeaway bakery breakfast next time.

Konoba Luna, Zabljak 09-2018

After 6 days of wilderness, rehydrated food and the occasional luxury of carrying around a fresh vegetable (not including Guesthouse Nedajno's meals of course), we finally ended our hike in Zabljak. After securing a last minute random room somewhere, the booking agency recommended Luna as somewhere with traditional Montenegrin food and also very closeby.

It was a very busy dining area. The first person we saw said no space and walked off. The second (a few seconds later) said wait and he will check. The third soon after sat us at a nice empty 4 seater booth that had just been vacated.

The menu had delicious sounding items, and my hiking stomach wanted to try them all. Njeguski steak seemed to be popular with it being a large rolled chicken schnitzel. As tempted as I was, I was craving lamb since seeing it cooked at Trnovacko Lake several days earlier.

We ordered about 300-400g of the roast lamb (€20/kg). There was a lot of bone, but the meat was very tasty and simply seasoned, and the flavour drifted into the potato underneath. Grilled vegetables including excellent zucchini and mushroom followed. We also tried the specialty mountain dish kacamak (corn porridge) for €4.5. It was 300g of polenta with rich cheese and butter through it. Very nice but so heavy to finish between two.

Finally a pancake with chocolate ended the meal. Thick soft with some crisp. With that, we waddled back for a much needed sleep.

Very cheap meal and would happily go back for more lamb or try the Njeguski.

Guesthouse Nedajno, Montenegro 09-2018

The hike from Piva dam directly upwards over the pass was meant to take about 1.5-2h. 4h later after going back and forth and back and forth, falling and nettled, we turned back and licked our wounds. It turns out there are old markings on the trail of a red circle and they removed the white centre, rather than removing the whole lot. We got this mixed up with the normal red circle with white middle. Not the most helpful.

The guard at the dam took solace. After he had initially filled our water bottles before the climb, I offered him some dried figs which he accepted. Maybe that's why he took pity on us and eventually offered to drive us to Nedajno for €50. It was worth the saving of our souls and we ended up at this guesthouse.

Usually there are 2 daughters who speak English. However they were studying for exams and so it was more difficult to decipher.

Camp or cabin? Cabin comes with a bathroom and hot shower. Cabin it is. Dinner? Definitely.

After freshening up, we sat and were served our meals.

- Soup with some meat, maybe lamb;
- Fish with crisp skin on both sides. Reasonable soft flesh;
- Cevapi had more grainy texture and thicker than those in Sarajevo. The potatoes had incredible flavour. But neither the cevapi nor potatoes had any crisp bits;
- Free fresh salad.

€13 was for the whole meal. If I was ever there again (unlikely) I would ask for lamb.

Breakfast was ustipci fried doughnuts (similar to Chinese donuts in a different shape) with pine honey and jam and two different types of cheese (one sheep and one milder).