Tradition and Innovation in the Cuisine by ANDRe Tokev, Sofia
When Chef Tokev opened his own restaurant, I said, “Yeah! Finally!” It was up on Sofia ring road. Nice , huge, ready to welcome many fans of Andre’s cuisine. There was a slight collision with the waiter who welcomed us the first time, but then a young colleague wiped with the wizard’s skills all the negative touches of our experiences and made our evening unforgettable, and not only for the adults, but also for the children. Although my little daughter asked him with an innocent look whether there was sprat in the menu (fried sprat is a popular street food on the seaside) and the elder one, an admirer of gourmet restaurants and my assistant in the kitchen plots, pushed her with an elbow, the man with a very big smile and merry playfulness recommended another kind of fish, from which she remained super happy.
For my first impressions of ANDRe, you can read in
However, the number one dish tickling our centers of taste pleasures in the brain for all of us is Keiserschmarrn (a destructed pancake originating from German-speaking regions). We like it so much that I had to learn to make it at home, and that doesn’t stop us from going to ANDRe and ordering it like it’s the last pancake on Earth.
Then the restaurant moved to a central place, which suits it more.
For my first visit at the new spot, see the publication
This latest visit to ANDRe was again saturated with interesting and diverse experiences. But the most impressive was how Chef Tokev elegantly combined traditional recipes with innovative vision.
… Light snowflakes and small lights coming from a laser on the walls of the restaurant building, inside it was spacious and cosy. There are many halls and rooms, hardwood floors and many beautiful bas-reliefs as decoration, as well as festive decorations.
…. We were listening to Christmas music, in sync with our gradually captivating festive sensation in the last month of the year;
…. Again, we had a collision with the main waiter– another guy, not the one from my first visit. I explained quietly what concerns me in his approach to the customers, he understood my message well and even apologized;
Apologies from staff to the client is essential. A bad start can turn into a super unpleasant experience for both sides. There’s a chance to make things better, though. Instead of making loud fuss about a problem, simply to explain exactly where the problem is, the waiters to try to understand it and do something small, but important- to apologize for their mistake and to try to compensate somehow the error. This is an element of the Experience Economy (a theory by Gilmore and Pine), which is called, “learning relationship” between customers and business.
I mention it in my post
I’m not going to dig into details of the issue because I don’t aim to criticize one of my favourite restaurants, but to explain how problems can be quickly corrected if desired by both parties.
…. The sweet scent of elder in the jelly of the compliment starter- a wonderful gourmet start;
…. No less impressive finish with sorbet of quince and roses- a unique fragrance accompanied by playful bubbles of sparkling wine, poured in front of you around the sorbet to pinch the tongue and palate, underneath a wondrous crispy biscuit, with a slightly spicy taste and aniseed flavour makes this dessert even more fun and exotic!
(There were handmade pastries, which I thought were for a dessert compliment, but we had no pleasure to be treated with them, I don’t know why!)
…. Let it be ANDRe’s Surf-and-Turf- it used to be my favorite dish, but my eldest daughter had already grabbed the title Biggest Fan of ANDRe’s Surf and Turf– bits of beef, shrimps, crispy asparagus, on delicious pita and miscellaneous wondrous sauces;
…. Be careful with the butter and the bread – they are so delicious that it is possible to get immersed with them and not have space in the stomach to try the other wonderful dishes from the menu;
…. A new item for me, in the autumn menu- Trienitsa, that is to say, something like pasta, rubbed between the fingers that grannies used to prepare once upon a time in Bulgaria, in a tender creamy texture, accompanied by pumpkin cream, flakes parmesan and very pleasant crispy carrots croutons.Well done, Chef, mega cool and original is this thing! It’s even better with a nice glass of white wine. In my case it was Sauvignon Blanc, Silver Angel, from my favorite Bulgarian winery Midalidare. Read what I wrote about it.
…. Another very intriguing dish was – cabbage sarma, stuffed with turbot. Also very good and unconventional, I was challenged to prepare one by myself, but with a leaf of sauerkraut. I’m looking forward to have my sauerkraut ready, then I’ll give this idea a try!
I state with full responsibility that whatever you order in ANDRe, everything is terribly interesting and delicious!
Did I tell that Keiserschmarrn was our favorite? 😊 Ok, just to remind!
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A: Sofia, 31 “Khan Krum” str.
T: + 359 888 931 151
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