Set in an old wagon, the place has a simple, yet functional design, and a simple, but regularly updated menu list – just several dishes to choose from. The concept of the restaurant is clear – fresh food of hand-picked seasonal products, beautifully presented with a captivating blend of spices.
The kitchen is fusion – European contemporary, Eastern cuisine, or traditional Bulgarian, interpreted in a modern way. Chef June Yoshida is a Bulgaria-born enthusiast, with Japanese roots. He studied in Le Cordon Bleu and spent a couple of years in the USA, which formed his attitude towards food and cooking. In the USA, he says, one can witness a mix of cultures and taste different local and ethnic cuisines: Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Mexican, etc. But what June is impressed with the most, is the farm-to-table approach: using quality local ingredients by a few, verified producers.
Although the concept of farm-to-table dining seems difficult to manage in a big-city restaurant, the Happy Pig still finds a way to locally source its menu. We can recommend the spinach and strawberry salad in spring, or the salmon tarama with Arabian bread for colder months. This is just to start with.
The restaurant caters for both vegetarians and meat-lovers – one can choose from 3-4 main courses of marinated pork fillet, pan-fried chicken, veal or lamb. Although the service is a bit too casual, the waiters do ask how you would like your meat – rare, medium, or well done. Make sure to ask for a wine recommendation – new wine additions are regularly introduced to their list and are worth trying. While there, we had a glass of an aromatic rose wine, which actually had a stunning orange-color. Sadly, we did not remember its name.
In the warm summer evenings, you can enjoy any of their crafty cocktails in the quiet and green garden area. The cocktails are served in vintage glassware like a mason jar for Bloody Mary, or an elegant goblet for Daiquiri and Margarita. Again – ask for recommendation. At lunch time on week days they offer some 30% off on the fancy alcoholic drinks.
We never got the idea of the name – Happy Pig. Although a catchy one, it hardly represents what the restaurant stands for – a world-class cuisine, served in eclectic, yet cozy ambiance.
If you are anywhere in Sofia’s city center, head straight for a winner dinner. If you are visiting Sofia during the weekend, you can take advantage of Happy Pig’s Sunday brunch – really nice one. We simply love this place!
Some of the pictures below:
Indian style croquettes, with potatoes, dal, and micro greens
Greek halloumi with tomato jelly and rucoli
Italian panna cotta with basil, strawberry consommé, and panna cotta with mojito, cocoa and mint
Exceptional cheese cake with rose hips, brandy and coconut