Asado Grill, Bulgaria’s first Argentinian restaurant, is very spacious, with a welcome mixture of open-plan tables and side booths. It is right near the centre of Sofia, on James Bourchier Boulevard. The theme is derived from Argentina’s association with quality beef – cow hides adorn the walls and upholster the chairs. A real hearth adds to the feeling of openness, as do the dry stone walls and columns. A bizarre black-and-white picture, hung in segments, of a piece of beef seemed a little over the top.

The menu is certainly authentic as regards the names of dishes, however, as we only visited once (the restaurant opened in early December 2009), it is not possible to comment on most of the dishes. On offer are many salads, one of which incorporates beef – the steak salad (8.90 leva), with steak, lettuce, carrots, courgettes and dressing. The starters continue the meat theme, such as the empanadas with beef, cheese and ham, or vegetable filling (3.90 leva); the Argentinian chorizo (sausage made of pork shoulder with different spices) at 6.90 leva; or the beef liver with bacon and red wine sauce (8.80 leva) and a range of others.

With the main courses, the meat fest seems to be never-ending – try the beef burger (8.90 leva), or the churrasco and choripán burgers, both served on ciabatta bread (9.80 leva). Other meat specialities include lamb cutlets, roasted chicken with piri-piri sauce, and the South American hunger-killing dish, matambre. But, as everyone knows, the soul of Argentine cuisine is the excellent beef.

At Asado Grill Restaurant, you can get rump steak, entrecôte, roast beef, ribeye steak and more, with the prices that vary between 17 and 28 leva per portion. These can be served with grilled vegetables, potato purée or chips as a side dish. For dessert, try the banana and chocolate cheesecake (4.90 leva), the alfajores (Argentinian biscuits with sweetened condensed milk, 4.90 leva) or the chocolate soufflé (5.90 leva).

On the drinks menu are spirits like Bulgarian rakiya, gin, vodka, whisky and brandy. Beer is only served in 330ml bottles. You can also enjoy Asado’s cocktails – Bloody Mary, Martini, Daiquiri and Sangria. The wine list contains mostly Argentinian wines, from Mendoza, Trapiche, Argento and other places, along with some Bulgarian vintages; prices vary from 17 to 49 leva a bottle.

All in all, the quality-price ratio at Asado represents value for money, along with a new experience in Bulgaria. Our only observation is that the service and temperature of the food could be improved, but with that said, the restaurant only recently opened and has not yet had time to iron out these problems. To be truly fair to this stylish restaurant, another visit will have to be made.

Address: Sofia, Lozenets, 2 Sveti Sedmochislenitsi Str
Open: 11.00-24.00
Telephone: 02/ 963 25 99