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Kotiloto The chef and co-owner Dalibor recreates the authentic taste of Serbian cuisine


26 Krayrechna Str., Dragalevtsi, Sofia
+359 89 773 6656
11:30 - 22:00
(Mon - Sun)
  • Kind: Restaurant
  • Multi Kulti Recommended
  • Vegetarian friendly
  • Cards Accepted

Tags: kotiloto, serbian restaurant

We talk to Dalibor Marinkovic or as friends call him Datsi, who is one of the owners and master of the grill at “Kotiloto”.

He came to Bulgaria 9 years ago, when he was invited to work as a chef in a Serbian restaurant. Here he met his current wife, who is half Bulgarian, half Asian, her mother is from Kazakhstan. They have a two-year-old girl, called Militse.

What he likes most about Bulgaria is the people and the mentality. “Serbs and Bulgarians, are very similar in terms of tradition, cuisine, diet, mentality, culture, and customs. We are very close to each other – Serbia is only 60 km away from here,” Datsi says. “I don’t feel far away from my birthplace.” His favorite Bulgarian dish is the meatball soup that his wife makes​​.

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What he misses the most from Serbia is his home, where he grew up, his relatives and loved ones. His favorite childhood dish is ushtiptsi – kebapcheta with cheese and bacon, slightly spicy and grilled.

The restaurant was opened in 2011. Daci and Yonko named their restaurant “Kotiloto” (The Litter) because, as Datsi says, they are of the same kin, they have the same blood group, even though he is Serbian, and Yonko is Bulgarian. “We work together very well with Yonko, we get along, and we are an excellent team.”

The place is special mostly because of the popular Serbian charcoal grill. “Serbs are famous for serving large portions. Because we feed the eyes first, then we feed the soul,” says smiling Datsi. “Our meals are large and beautifully decorated, so that our customers leave happy and satisfied.” Besides the food, the restaurant presents the traditional Serbian spirit and way of life. Each year, Datsi and his Bulgarian partner recreate the legendary Serbian Guča Festival in his restaurant, organizing a special musical program with authentic Serbian orchestra.

Datsi does not change the recipes to make them closer to Bulgarians’ taste but follows the tradition and authenticity of Serbian cuisine. “Bulgarians travel to Serbia a lot and have Serbian friends – they will immediately know if the dishes I offer don’t have the authentic Serbian taste,” Datsi says. He also offers dishes after his own recipes.

The most frequent visitors to the restaurant are equally Bulgarians and foreigners. “Often our Bulgarian guests bring foreigners here to show them the Balkan mentality, diet and delicious food.”

Interview: An Fam
Translation from Bulgarian: Boyan Boychev
Photo: Stefan Suchev
Illustration: Dmitry Yagodin for Compote Collective
November 30, 2013