Sometimes restaurant dining fails to pique your interest, as all interiors begin to have a sameness, but wait until you set foot at Sormoni to experience the spirit and charm with the influence of Imereti region from the western part of Georgia. The arrival experience is into an enchanting courtyard which is referencing the old Georgian terrace houses with the wooden balustrades and cut-out designs painted in an inviting vibrant blue colour. With a multitude of greenery – mature trees, potted plants and ivy creeping up the courtyard walls that invites you to a tranquil sanctuary and immediately cut off from the bustling urban life.
Admirable and colorful painted bird house boxes can be found in the courtyard and with lights strung across the cozy courtyard for evening dining encourages an even more intimacy ambience and dining experience, it is completely captivating.
Spacious dining room adjacent to the courtyard can also be accessed via the back street, passing through the giant black iron gated door and stained glass door. A slender and tall tree extends out through the covered ceiling and roof next to the mini stage where live music is performed in the evening.
The soup is light, refreshing, herby and made with rich chicken broth, lightly creamy and buttery and the broth is thickened with beaten eggs and wheat flour as well as lemon curd for its tangy and citrusy palate. The boiled chicken breast is tender and meaty and sprinkled with parsley and sometimes even with peppermint. Quite “detoxifying” to open the appetite and it also works well as a palate cleanser.
Oriental black fungus is used and well tossed with the leafy greens. The salad presentation looked overly drowned by the dressing yet surprisingly still has the crunch on the bite. The dressing is quite tasty with a touch of sweetness and a hint of sweet chilli. When you dig in further, slices of chicken meat well marinated with spices can be found and enjoy with every morsel of the greens. Divine!
The chicken is thinly sliced yet not exactly tender and garnished with a few breadsticks accompanied by dollops of cream cheese and well portioned avocados that sit on a bed of a generous portion of tasty tossed salad. It is a meal in itself if you opt for a light lunch.
Sormoni version of Khinkali has a combination of pork and beef with sulguni cheese and cream. Despite only six medium sizes of Khinkali is served but the creamy cheese is rich and flavoursome. It may not be your traditional way to enjoy Khinkali from its presentation by using your bare hand as the creamy cheese is still bubbling when it is brought to the table, that means it is still steamy hot. The soup inside the thick dough paste may have slipped out from the way it was cooked yet we can’t slurp or taste much of the watery soup which was a shame especially when a good Khinkali is to be enjoyed. However, the beef and pork filling is quite delicious. It may be a little messy to enjoy especially with this cheesy version but it is worth it! To finish up the devilish sulguni cheese, the best way is to dip in with the Georgian bread by enjoying it the way you sum up the Swiss fondue. It is sinfully to die for!
Presented on a wooden platter and heavily buried with chunky deep-fried potatoes, capsicums, onions, baby corns as well as pineapples to add some depth to the overall flavour (as if it was needed, but not). Slices of sulguni cheese are melted in front of you with a handheld burner as part of show presentation. While most pork dishes we had in Tbilisi in the past few days was rather too dry and less juicy, this succulent pork is so tender and moist, well marinated and accompanied by creamy walnut garlic sauce. Do not miss ordering this pork specialty!
Nicely presented! The trout was halved and well placed with the tail sticking out in the air like it is still alive and “dancing”, garnished with pomegranates. A lovely flavour and well fried to perfection with crispy outer skin and the flesh is tender, juicy and meaty.
The whole bird is offered and a relatively generous portion. Black fungus is once again used, together with cherry tomato, truffle and a cherry sauce. The chicken was superb, being tender and little gamey and the cherry sauce harmonizes every palate and to bring such a richness of flavours together. An absolute winner!
While every dish we tried resonated with us, the joy did not stop there. We were offered some ChaCha from their own distiller and was recommended to drink with these heartwarming and rustic dishes. It was presented in a flaming ritual – the flame is to show respect to the special guests and the glass is warmed over the flame to take the chill off the glass (it was suggested to us to imbibe even before the soup, which we thoroughly enjoyed). გაუმარჯოს gaumarjo and bottoms up!
The service is attentive, with Georgi looking after us and imparting so much knowledge about the food and wine and why he is recommending these to us. Georgi also took the liberty to pair our meals with a couple of glasses of the rich amber Georgian Rtvelise Kisi Qvevri and Rtvelisi Tsinandali white wines from Kakheti region as well as a few unlabeled red wines from their private cellar collection. His wonderful sense of humour will surely enlighten your dining experience and was quite caring about our needs. With great food unite us all together, authentic and rustic Georgian food will surely tighten a good bonding, and a warm hospitality incorporated is not forgotten.
Design & Decor: 4/5
Food & Beverage: 4.5/5
Value For Money: 4/5
57 Alexander Kazbegi Ave,
Tel: +995 599 987 700