In the very heart of Ljubljana, Restavracija Most offers a whole range of Slovenian flavours, equally interesting to foreign and domestic guests, which draws on the entire culinary past of Slovenian regions and prepares domestic products in a somewhat modern way. This is an excellent restaurant for getting to know Slovenian gastronomy, as well as Slovenian wines, which rightly have an ever-increasing status on the wine list of the world. In the company of chef Žan Tominšek and host Anđela Gilić, we embarked on a rich gastronomic adventure with the flavours of Slovenia.
„This restaurant is based on natural and traditional flavours that represent all regions of Slovenia. We choose traditional tastes and prepare them a little differently. There is no overcrowding, the dishes are simple but with original flavours", says the chef who is originally from Gornja Savinjska and does not hide his enthusiasm for local products, but he does not neglect other tastes either.
„There is a lot of Mediterranean food on our menu, which is what Most Restaurant is known for. However, all this has its own Slovenian addition. For example, it is inevitable to use buckwheat, even though it came to Slovenia only in the 15th century. We recreate old Slovenian recipes in the symbiosis of the Mediterranean and the Alps", reveals Anđela, who is from Split. Despite her unbroken ties with his city, she is at home in Ljubljana and a special zeal for the development of Slovenian cuisine can be seen.
The aforementioned combination is already evident in the first dish, king prawn carpaccio. A refreshing combination of flavours is provided by wakame algae, trout caviar, fresh radish, lemon mayonnaise, vegetables, all with the addition of chive oil, an infusion that creates a great decoration but also connects the aromas. Along with this cold appetizer, we tasted an autochthonous white wine variety from the Kras, Vitovska grganja, Štoka winery. An elegant wine goes well with this cold appetizer.
Combining food and drinks is a standard expectation that has reached an above-average level of professionalism at Most Restaurant. At the moment, there was no sommelier in the restaurant, but Anđela is a first-level sommelier and she successfully convinced us of all the benefits of Slovenian wines: "Almost the entire wine offer is Slovenian. Only three labels are Italian, while the rest of the wine exclusively comes from Slovenia. The most productive wine region, Goriška brda, is the most represented on the wine list, but we try to represent Styria, Dolenjska, Bela Krajina, Primorska...“
There are more and more people around us, because Petkovškovo nabrežje is an extremely busy location on the banks of the Ljubljanica and with an enchanting view of the city of Ljubljana. "80% of foreigners are here in the summer, and around 60% in the winter. The location determined that the main guests here are foreigners. Large groups also come to us. We also make special menus for product presentations. Last year we had a menu that accompanied the rum workshop. Some flavour combinations were strange, but incredibly successful, such as the combination of lamb and rum", Anđela tells us while our two warm appetizers are being prepared.
First, the home-made black gnocchi arrive, which are surprisingly mild and light, handmade from potatoes and dough and squid ink, but the real delight comes with the phenomenal capesantes and shrimp bisque. Cooking skills are visible at every step. The sweet smell of the shrimp is unbeatable, and so is the texture, because the shrimp are soft and did not fall apart. Young spinach, candied lemon powder, rice chips and the inevitable chive pesto were served with it, as if the combination of shrimp and chives, which was a favorite dish of the ancient Roman gourmet Apicius, was closely followed.
He would surely also enjoy the white wine blend of old Slovenian wine sorts called Stara brajda 2019, which the winery Ščurek from Brdo kept in oak barrels for 24 months. This great wine with a deep golden yellow coloir is reminiscent of ripe apples and floral aromas. With moderate acids and full flavour, it goes well with mild seafood.
Teran's risotto is a rich appetizer consisting of cut sirloin, goat cheese cream, apple gel, pickled apple and fried walnuts. You can feel all the flavours again in this dish, but apart from the strong meat, preference should be given to the apple. All this is accompanied by a teran base, which is the wine of the entire Istria, both Croatian and Slovenian. The rice is cooked in the teran, and the sirloin and other ingredients are added.
This risotto is a little heavier and is suitable for the winter months. Summer varieties of risotto are offered with Adriatic seafood. "We all see to it that the staff is as educated as possible regarding the offer, but also culinary trends. In addition to a good a la carte menu, we also offer homemade lunches here. We regularly look at seasonal products. Now, in the winter, we have turnips, blood sausages, pork chops, which people like to eat at this time of year", the chef explains to us, for whom such seasonal challenges are no difficulty in the kitchen. Teran's risotto is accompanied by the pleasant and very drinkable red wine Kristančič from Medana.
Poultry has always been a strong part of Slovenian gastronomy, especially duck. The duck breast delighted us both with its taste and its unmistakable smell, which is a particularly good thing for any gastronomad who is often somewhat disappointed by the lack of original meat smells. Creamy polenta is offered alongside the brisket, which is the chef's innovation that replaces the already somewhat boring varieties of hard-boiled or grilled polenta. It is adorned with additional spices that remain a secret.
Duck is popular in Slovenia at the time of Saint Martin, a very important wine holiday. Everything in this dish is somewhat reminiscent of "Martinje", both duck and polenta, as well as other additions such as red cabbage, fermented teran sauce, mustard seeds, and freeze-dried raspberries. At first glance, questionmarks appear, but the combination very skillfully rounded all the flavours into a harmonious whole. It was also inspired by Lodoma Šuklje 2021, an excellent wine from Metlika in Bela Krajina, which brings aromas of black pepper and dark berries. Full-bodied and with velvety tannins, this Blaufränkisch is a great companion for winter gastronomic delights.
Deer fillet is also a dish for the winter season. In a land of forests and mountains, it is not surprising to find a lot of game on the menu. It is served with homemade cottage cheese štruklji and muscat pumpkin. There is also a great red beetroot cream, a sweet and sour combination of raspberry and prune gel, and pickled greens chips that are dehydrated and harmoniously acidify the experience. It goes well with the retro biodimanic wine Guerila from the Vipava Valley.
The demand for vegan food, including desserts, is on the rise. Good consumers, vegans are also looking for additional imagination in cooking, and Restaurant Most decided to offer a vegan carrot cake. The ingenious dessert is based on generous and extremely tasty carrots, accompanied by pear ice cream with pimentos, flambéed prunes, lemon zest and hazelnuts.
Parfait of white chocolate and pumpkin oil is an increasingly popular dessert that confirms the widespread use of the beloved oil in Slovenia. In Prekmurje, pumpkin oil has been made for generations, and this dessert is almost a culinary monument to "black gold", which gives a strong smell but not so pronounced taste - white chocolate soon takes over the main pleasure on the palate. Desserts were accompanied by a tasting of dessert picolito from Klet Brdo, a not too sweet wine that perfectly rounded off these interesting desserts.
As an additional dessert and parting drink, we were served a magnificent plum brandy (šljivovica), aged for six years in an oak barrel, which is served with dried plum aside. A rhapsody of flavours completes the phenomenal gastronomic story of this restaurant in the heart of Ljubljana.
Petkovškovo nabrežje 21,
Telefon: +386 (0)1 232 81 83
P: Taste of Adriatic & Restavracija Most