Many thanks to Alice George Communications, I was part of a fun & large group of bloggers for a night of scrumptious Croatian food and stellar company, barely 2 weeks after my virginal visit.
It was a gathering of old and new friends I would say, having the opportunity to make new acquittances with some food bloggers and meeting up again with the usual suspects ie cumianciki, FBB, Frat, babe_kl, etc.
The bunch of us were seated upstairs, on one long table & we pretty much had the whole area to ourselves.
For more about Croatia and its beautiful country, including some breathtaking pics, hop over to FBB’s post, since the man himself has actually been there!
Dinner progressed in good time, starting with Dina, and Alice giving an intro speech of the restaurant, the food and yeah, thanking us for our attendance. Hmm, shouldn’t it be the other way round??
A round of 10 mocktails to get the appetite going..
Of course, Dubrovnik being a country in Europe & Dubrovnik in Solaris an European restaurant, one can expect nothing less than an impressive wine list, all carefully selected to go with the Croatian fare.
Alas though, there was no free flowing alcoholic drinks of any sort that night, much to the chagrin of the Alcoholics & Brothers ie FBB, Frat and etc, and the mocktails above were passed around and shared with a straw.
I didn’t staple most of them, but from the general feedback around the table, most were great thirst quenchers, while others were so-so.
The ORZO with prawns garnered the most interest that night.
The shape of the pasta alone got everyone at the table abuzz.. “Is it rice? Is it risotto? No, it’s ORZO!”
For the pasta illiterate; ie myself, Orzo is actually Italian for barley, but here, it is a term used to describe rice shaped pasta.
A bit out of the norm shape-wise, but a very delicious dish. Slightly chewy in texture, each “grain” wonderfully coated in lovely tomato-based sauce, this was immediately met with un-contested “approval”, when Dina asked whether it should be included in their upcoming revamped menu in Dubrovnik.
Spaghetti ala Buzara, is a typical Croatian way of serving their pasta, Chef Zoran has said, whereas the tomato based version leans more towards Greek- Mediterranean.
This is simplicity at its best really, much alike aglio olio, but seriously awesome! Fresh prawns & quality virgin olive oil heightens the overall flavours.
The food arrived in a constant stream after that.
We were introduced to some popular sides dishes, and their signature LAMB PEKA..
but 1st, the sides…
Rather than just plain baked potatoes, which would have been just ordinary, the potato was 1st mashed, mixed with herbs & butter/cream and then stuffed back into the skin, much alike your potato salad. Super comfort carbs really.
Sauteed Mushrooms.. light in taste and meaty in texture.
Some blended spinach in milk..
All to be eaten with this tender, wood fired, roasted under an iron bell lamb dish.
Absolutely delish, meat, tendon, skin and all.
I love the meat nearest to the bone.
More lamb.. in the form of burgers. My heart rate must have accelerated when I saw this. Heck, put anything between 2 slices of bread and you got my interest anyway.
Alas, my luck shitted on me on this one. While FBB munched away happily, ciki&cumi and I gave up after a few bites. A quick check around the table concluded that some patties were not ‘made” equal. Ours were overly salty while the rest enjoyed moist, juicy slabs of patties with ricotta cheese embedded within.
Darn, I had had half a mind to take another from the plate, but that will risk having another “one bite bitten” burger on my plate which will look really bad. Even worse if I somewhat deprived a fellow foodie from his share of the burgers …
“Eh..how come you don’t have a burger..?”
“Well, there wasn’t enough to go around..”
Then everyone looked at my plate, with 2 half bitten burgers sitting on it.
Sigh, where’s DBKL when you need one. (Unka, u heard me??)
Dig your spoon in and unearth chunks of lamb in ricotta cheese. The thick gravy underneath all that cheese can be classified as thick stew I guess.
Frat chatting with Alice.
The chef cum owner himself then made an appearance. ……..
………and demonstrated the art of making Crepe Suzette.
Our dessert on fire. Literally.
I honestly felt the food was good that night. Especially the lamb peka & the ORZO!
However, I had a few gripes on their food on my last visit, ie; the pizza, hence I took the opportunity to query Dina, daughter of the Head Chef/Owner Zoran Djumic cum GM of Dubrovnik about it. Well, her explanations for that were satisfactory enough, and she did elucidate that the food is authentically Croatian (in the case of the lamb & chicken), not modified to Asean taste-buds & its best to appreciate it without prior expectations.
So I guess it’s the case of ordering the right dishes or keep in mind the most quoted statement of all time “Taste is very subjective…”
So there you go, do pay Dubrovnik a visit if you haven’t had Croatian food before, or if your bank account doesn’t look as if a trip there is possible anytime soon ;p
A meal here in a group is wise, especially since the tab can then be divided.
Ciki’s post is up too. Read it here!