There have been a few occasions where my humble Snapchat following have reacted to a dining experience, I eat out a lot so it takes one hell of a meal to trigger a reaction. One experience was Sketch Lecture Room & Library, like seriously how did I even get there? I thought I was heading to the Gallery but I ended up with a 2 Michelin-Star restaurant to tick off my bucket list. Another was The Ivy Garden in Chelsea, that “bombe” dessert was on another level and sent shockwaves throughout South America. And who can forget the opening of the bottle of Cristal Rose circa 2000 at Arches in North West London? That wasn’t even the highlight, the bottle of Chateau Haut-Brion from 1966 was. It literally is the oldest bottle of wine I’ve ever had and it was exceptional, forever ruining my wine-o adventures with bottles less than 20 years old.
When I am travelling I like to do a little research on where I should eat and order a hendricks gin & tonic. A couple of weeks before heading off to Ljubljana, I sent out a Tweet open for suggestion on where I should eat. I specifically asked for a Michelin-Star dining experience but unfortunately there are none in Ljubljana. A few restaurants have come close, in particular JB Restavracija with highly reknowned Chef Janez Bratovž running the kitchen.
If you’ve been following me long enough, you’ll notice a pattern in my thrilling desire to always share a view, with the back of my blonde head. When I am booking a hotel room, I without fail request a suite with a view and I’ve never come across a Hotel that didn’t deliver. If a restaurant can accommodate my request, even better. Keeping in mind I had no idea what to expect from Ljubljana as a city in general, I jumped into the small city, feet first with my eyes shut. Hotel Lev gave me a suite with a view of the Castle and view of the place I’d later have lunch, Restavracija Strelec, inside the Castle.
Getting to Ljubljana Castle is fairly simple and if you’re fit enough to trek your way up a steep hill, I highly recommend this, the view on the way up is just breath taking but a mission, I’m warning you. I was more concerned with how I’d get down after a few glasses of whatever was waiting for me at Restavracija Strelec. But there is also a road leading to the top and plenty of parking and a “Funicular Railway” transfer from the bottom to the top which costs 4€ return.
As I arrived to Restavracija Strelec, I was immediately greeted by a friendly staff member who pointed me into the direction of my table by the window inside the restaurant. I insisted I wanted a table in the outdoor area overlooking the entire city for my blog which also meant that I was in view of the prying eyes of tourists on the other end of the roped off area separating the restaurant with the Castle’s common area. The waiter then explained the menu and mentioned that it is a seasonal menu reflecting the produce currently in season and everything was locally sourced. There are also set prices for the number of courses you’d like to have- 3 Plates 30 €, 4 Plates 42 €, 5 Plates 51 € and 6 Plates 61 €. My waiter then asked me if I’d like a glass of local sparkling wine, Bijana Brut Rose to start off with. I told him to let the show begin and my experience was entirely in his hands.
“Compliments of the Chef,” are starting to become my four favourite words together and I was surprised when these two plates of joy arrived accompanied by that sentence. I really enjoyed the chicken pate with parmesan foam, the two went together nicely.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of my starter consisting of red trout with sweet potato and sweet potato puree but you can watch it in my video here. The trout was particularly different as it was cooked in tea, adding to the texture and unsuspecting aroma of flavours hitting my tastebuds. This was also a cold starter.
My waiter was so excited to introduce me to the “most perfect wine to compliment my main course.” I trusted his enthusiasm and sommelier abilities so continued on with the show. He brought out a bottle of Vipavska Dolina Fornazaric Rubino 2012 and my first reaction was, “This bottle is a baby.” He insisted that this “baby” would develop into a memorable glass of red wine so he poured me a glass and I twirled it and let it sit for about ten minutes before having a taste. I ended up buying a bottle of this wine for home.
“I really can’t have another lamb based meal, that will make it 3 weeks in a row in my videos,” I tell my waiter. Again, he’s insisting that this slowed cook and carefully marinated Lamb Shank will never leave my memory. It was a toss up between the roast duck breast or lamb shank and I decided to go with the lamb. This meal was very interesting in presentation, the plate was almost overwhelmed. I let the presentation slide here and let the quality of the meal do the talking. The lamb shank was so juicy, soft and full of flavour, it made me forget about my phone. It also went really well with the eggplant puree, something I’d never had before.
My dessert was a plate of fruity fun. I’m very reluctant to order a dessert with too much fruit in it, it’s just not my style and never has been. However, these strawberries with white chocolate and rhubarb were something special. I was a little distracted by the hint of mint which I felt overpowered the dish but a quick spoon full of the strawberry puree was a great solution.
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Price for 1- 3 courses- 80.00€
(+ I purchased a bottle of Vipavska Dolina Fornazaric Rubino 2012 to take back to the hotel.)
#AKRating | 8.5/10
Situated in the Ljubljana castle, Ljubljana 1000, Slovenia
Tel: +386 31 687 648