We stayed in the Georgian Black Sea resort of Batumi for three nights.
Our hotel was located near the Batumi Piazza, a grand Italian style square with bars and restaurants around the outside. On our first night, we’d enjoyed a large lunch on route, and wanted a simple snack and drink. We chose a Georgian restaurant, Mimino, at the opposite end to a stage with live, loud music. However, the menu was only accessible by QR code which meant firstly logging on to the complimentary Wi-Fi. As we were struggling, a young waiter tried helping, even leaving us with his phone at one stage. We eventually managed to order a bottle of white wine online, but gave up on food, as nothing took our fancy, and the system was slow and complicated.
The same happened when we wanted a mid-afternoon beer at the Quiet Woman pub, but a helpful girl relented and let us order verbally via her.
Slightly further away was Rustaveli Avenue and we chose to eat at Bern where we opted for the pavement terrace as live music was promised at 8pm, even though it was a little noisy from the traffic. Our young waitress had excellent English and our G&T aperitifs were beautifully served with a separate container of ice and lemon on the side. By this stage, we’d been in Georgia for some time, and I’d enjoyed a range of khachapuri, or cheesey bread, but had been saving myself for trying the Adjaruli khacapuri, until we arrived in the region of Adjara. In addition, we ordered a Greek salad, which was a good size for sharing, and BBQ chicken, six large pieces of tender chicken with a dipping sauce. The khachapuri, with its iconic boat shape and egg yolk, looked magnificent but as I was unsure how to tackle it, I asked the waitress who helpfully fetched a knife and fork and prepared it for us. She started by using the knife to scrape the cheese from the walls of the bread, before running the pat of butter around the warm outside of the bread to melt it. The rest of the butter and the egg yolk were then thoroughly mixed into the cheese mixture. It was absolutely delicious, and we finished every morsel. With a bottle of Tsinandali white wine, Borjomi sparkling water and a latte, the bill, which included service, came to 127 Lari (£38) which we thought was a bargain.
For our final night we headed to Porto Franco, less than a five-minute walk from the hotel. As it was a pleasant night, we sat outside with a G&T, again beautifully served. After a treat the previous night, it was going to be a hard act to follow, but it managed admirably. We ate inside and were a little surprised at the simplicity of the restaurant which had six long tables with bench style seating. We ordered a green salad to begin, which was large and tasty with a lemon dressing, and as we were by the coast, salmon in a vinegar sauce. This was two pieces of salmon swimming in a deliciously sharp, herby-green sauce. I ordered a dish I’d not seen on other menus, a khachapuri skewer which was a rolled up flat bread stuffed with cheese served on a large lethal looking skewer. Once again, we cleared our plates and with the same drinks as the previous night, the bill was virtually the same.