We left to the seaside decided to include in our trip also Dalboka farm for a good meal with sea fruits. I had decided to try this time also the snails. I had the opportunity also in Morocco, but when I saw them in a bowl, with or without the soup in which they had boiled, they really didn’t look too appealing to me.
About Dalboka Farm
The company Dalboka Ltd. was registered in 1993. It is specialized in the cultivation and production of mussels in the Black Sea. The main food of the mussels is phytoplankton and zooplankton. A mussels filtres 82 l of marine water for 24 hours. But the mussels should not be considered filtering papers. These living creatures have the possibility to select their food. That’s why, the environment in which they live must be very clean. The Dalboka farms are located in one of the cleanest regions in the north-east part of the country and on the shore of the Black Sea – Kaliakra Bay. The first underwater farm was built and put into operation in 1994. In August 2003, the Dalboka company built a surface mussels farm through the SAPARD programme. They extended the farm in 2006.
The unprocessed meat of cultivated mussels contains mainly water (78-86%), but also proteins (8-15%), lipids (0.14-3.2%) and minerals (0.89 -2.2%). If we assume that the nutrition value of an egg is 100%, the nutrition value of a crab is 95% and the nutrition value of a veal portion is 80%, then the nutrition value of the mussels is 98%. As a conclusion, the mussel meat is a very high quality food.
How do you get to Dalboka farm?
If you come from Bulgaria, the restaurant is about 30 km from Balcik. If you come from Romania, it is close to Vama Veche and 2 May. We chose to sleep in 2 May. We left at 11 o’clock, hoping to eat at 13, but we only succeeded to eat at about 14 o’clock (the road was crowded until the customs in Vama Veche, it took a lot of time to buy the vignette and we did not reserve a table in advance).
After you enter in Bulgaria you should drive 50 km in the direction of Kavarna. Before entering Kavarna, you’ll see two signs to Kaliakra Cape and Dalboka farm, the road being the same at the beginning. After about 4 km, you’ll see another sign to the right, to Dalboka. Drive ahead 1.5 km more and you’ll get to the farm. A lot of people prefer to leave their cars on the hill and I recommend the same. We did not do it, and when we left our engine died three times before we reached the top of the hill. On the shore, there are two restaurants. The one of the Dalboka farm is the one on the right and that’s the one we chose.
Make a reservation by phone in advance. We did not do it and we waited on the line for about 10 minutes, hoping that someone else would not honor their reservation. When we left, the line was muuuuch longer. The policy of the restaurant is to wait for 30 minutes for the people that have booked a table, only afterwards they give the table to somebody else. So, if you do make a reservation, do not be more than 30 minutes late or call back again to let them know. We did not go to the restaurant on the left, but I’ve heard that they also have very good food. By them, there was no line and the atmosphere seemed more elegant.
What can you eat at the Dalboka farm?
The prices are decent, the serving is very fast and the portions are big.
The view from the restaurant is beautiful. Black Sea is much cleaner than on the Romanian shore and a dark blue.
- mussels skewers with coconut – 4 leva. We both think it was very good. It comes with a spicy sauce, some maize beans and bean sprouts, which in this combination were not bad at all.
- mussel soup – 5 leva. I had already eaten mussel soup in Balcik some years ago and it was much better back then. This had a whitish color, I cannot say from what. Călin liked it as it was, but I added have a limon to eat it.
- mussels with mushroom in wine sauce – 8 leva. We asked, in fact, for mussels with polenta, but being one under the other, there was a misunderstanding probably. It is like a salad and it was much better than I thought it would be.
- mussels with vegetables – 8 leva. The nature mussels are good, but with the sauce they were even better.
- mussels with pumpkin filling – 6 leva. I did not taste the mussel at all and, even if I’m not a big pumpkin fun, they tasted really good.
What else was in the menu?
Do you remember that, at the beginning of the article, I said that I wanted to try sea snails? The didn’t have. I would have tried them as a skewer for 4 leva. How I got to taste snails that day, you can read here.
For the ones that do not enjoy the thought of eating mussels, there are various types of fish, sea fish and river fish. Here you can find an online menu, but it has not been updated.
In the new menu, there is also a section “for the ones that don’t know why they are here”. Among others, here is listed also chicken for 6 leva 90 grams, 66 leva a kilogram, which is more than 35 euro per kilo. For the ones that don’t like either sea food, or fish, it can be a little expensive. They also have side dishes and the portions are pretty big.
Currency and costs
The currency of Bulgaria is leva, but at Dalboka farm you can also pay in lei or with a card. If you want to have leva on you, you can change at the customs. The exchange rate is around 1.95 leva for one euro.
You can pay for the vigniette in lei, euro or leva. For the cars there is no vigniette for a day. The vigniette costs 15 leva for one week and 30 leva for a month. In euro, the vigniette for one week costs 8 euro.
At Dalboka farm, we ate for 35 (18 euro), including bread and water.
What else can you do around Dalboka farm?
If you want to spend a little more time on the Bulgarian shore, close to it there are:
- Kaliakra Cape – here you can easily spend one hour or two, wandering through the ruins of the fortress that once was here and admiring the Black Sea’s waters.
- The snails farm – here I got to taste snails. You can also take a farm tour, and the poster with the internal organs of a snail surprised me. I wouldn’t have thought it has such a complex organism. There are presented the edible snail species and how they are bred.
- Balcik – the town loved by Queen Mary of Romania, with the palace and the gardens. This lies at about 30 km from the farm.