Unlike Indian and other Asian cuisines, Serbian cuisine is not exactly known for its richflavor because of the kinds of herbs and spices in most of its dishes. Indian dishes and Southeast Asian cuisine typically use various vegetables, spices and herbs to give theirdishes much flavor as well as distinct tastes.

Serbian cuisine, on the other hand, doesnot rely too much on numerous kinds of spices. Instead, it uses ingredients and variousspicing methods that come from several influences such as the Magyar (Hungarian), Mediterranean, and Turkish cuisine. This mixing of different cultures becomes apparent in the tastes and appearances of Serbian dishes.

If you fancy tasting various dishes and experiencing different cultures from all over theworld, then you can try the food at the Balkan Express, a small restaurant that boasts ofits authentic Serbian dishes. Located in the metropolitan area, Balkan Express offers foodlovers a taste of traditional Serbian dishes created by an authentic Serbian chef who alsohappens to be one of the two owners of the restaurant.

The other owner is Marko Batricevic, the chef's brother and member of De La SalleUniversity's 2007 UAAP Basketball Team. Marko has been living in the country for someseven years and decided that it was a good idea to introduce their traditional dishes to theFilipinos, thus creating Balkan Express. Inside this place, people will find that the interioris plain but the aroma of the dishes being cooked and served fills up the place. The ownerswill also be putting up pictures so that patrons can catch a glimpse of their hometown aswell as their culture.

Although not everyone is familiar with Serbian cuisine, most Filipinos will find the dishesto be familiar-tasting, especially the meat-based ones. One such meat-based choice in themenu is the Stuffed Pljeskavica which is grilled Serbian hamburger served with homemadesauce, onion, lettuce, tomato and French fries. One can order chicken instead of beef for thisdish, but the beef is said to have more flavor than the chicken. Another dish is the Balkandish called Cevapcici which is made of grilled minced meat served inside a burger bun withadded tomato, homemade sauce, French fries and onions. The meat is rolled into smallpieces that look like little fingers.

Balkan Express also serves a popular international stew called the Goulash. This consists oflean beef, paprika, onions and noodles. Serbian cuisine is also popular for its soups madewith poultry, beef and noodles. Balkan Express has two uniquely Serbian dishes that you'llhave to order at least a day in advance because it takes time to prepare them. The Musakais a layered oven casserole dish made of ground beef, yogurt, shredded potato, onions andmilk, while the Butkice is oven-baked pork knuckles that is served together with bakedcarrots and potatoes.

To get your fix of authentic Serbian dishes and satisfy your palettes, you can find the Balkan Express at 87 Jose Abad Santos St. corner Mons St. in Little Baguio, San Juan City.