There are few restaurants around in Zagreb that raise eye brows when you check-in there, Boban Restoran is one of them. The restaurant’s reputation recedes beyond dining Zagreb’s well-heeled, it stems as far as the country- anyone whose anyone in Croatia has had a table at Boban Restoran. However, despite the glitterati, it’s unpretentious beginning right from the front door with a courteous maître d’ and bubbly waitstaff.
Boban is no newcomer on the gastro scene, the restaurant has over two decades of success behind it. Owned by one of Croatia’s most familiar names in football, Zvonimir Boban, it has survived the test of time and competition.
While many others around have come and gone, Boban remains and from my own observations, doesn’t look like it’s going out of business anytime soon. It was my second visit over the last year to Boban, was it as fancy as my first?
Not wanting to spoil my main meal with a heavy starter, I selected the bruschetta with roasted peppers, aubergine and feta cheese.
While looking over the menu, I had a snoop over at what the two men to my left had ordered. Since I don’t know how to do anything discretely, they notice and were overwhelmingly happy with their selections, recommending the baked sea bass with seasonal vegetables. I too, ordered the sea bass and completely forget about the truffle pasta I had my heart set on before walking in.
It arrives in a knotted parcel of parchment paper, opening up to a pleasant surprise. My boyfriend opts for a salmon with steamed spinach leaves. A plate of roasted potatoes separated us as we devoured our meals in silence.
Never one to say no to a dessert, one of my weaknesses since getting sober, I notice several plates of a specific cake roaming around to different tables. I ask the waitress, “That white cake I keep seeing…“
“Yes yes, the meringue cake with pistachio, great choice…” she insists.
Our waitress has a friendly persona, is confident interacting with english speaking guests and far from the often snotty and superior attitude you can come across in Croatia. She’s a breath of fresh air, one many in the gastro- hospitality industry could learn from.
My goodness do I have a radar for excellent sweets. Boban’s crowd pleaser is the meringue cake with pistachio and pine nuts, each bite in was closer to the finish line, for once one I didn’t want to reach.
My boyfriend selected the tiramisu but will happily affirm that my choice was way better.
Boban Restoran is also considered a Michelin Guide Restaurant (a michelin plate), a great honour to a restaurant that never ceases to impress upon each visit. Since I have taken my time to finish this post, I have revisited this restaurant once more and once again was happy to be back. Whenever someone asks me about restaurants to eat at in Zagreb that are not overrated, overpriced and won’t fail to deliver, I always send them to Boban.
I honestly can’t wait to be back.