Dubrovnik – Solaris, Mont Kiara – AGAIN!

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.

dubrovnik

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.

dining area

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??

dina


dina & alice


A round of 10 mocktails to get the appetite going..

drink

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.

orzo w prawns

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.

orzo

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.

buzara

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…

Gratinated Jacket Potatoes, with a crispy layer of parmesan & cheddar cheese.

baked potato

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.

stuffed potato

Sauteed Mushrooms.. light in taste and meaty in texture.

sauted mushrooms

Some blended spinach in milk..

milk-ed spinach

Stir fried kai lan… ok ok, I kid. But err..yeah…stir fried vegetables of some sort..

veg

All to be eaten with this tender, wood fired, roasted under an iron bell lamb dish.

momre lamb

Absolutely delish, meat, tendon, skin and all.

lamb

I love the meat nearest to the bone.

my lamb

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.

lamb burgers

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 …

Imagine..
“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.
EEkks!
Sigh, where’s DBKL when you need one. (Unka, u heard me??)

Next dish, a form of goulash, the Croatian kind so to speak. Came looking rather like lasagne doesn’t it?
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.

DSC00052

lamb goulash1

Frat chatting with Alice.

frat & alice

The chef cum owner himself then made an appearance. ……..

chef zoran

………and demonstrated the art of making Crepe Suzette.

DSC00065

Our dessert on fire. Literally.

flame
Doused in generous amount of Cointreau and brandy, this was lip smacking good, especially eaten when its hot. Yup, like FBB advised, BEFORE the alcohol evaporates!
crepe suzette


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!