Located in a semi-industrial area of Zagreb’s city centre, RougeMarin is an eclectic venue to eat at, very different to your usual Croatian restaurant. If anything, It reminded me of my better dining experiences in both Sydney and London. Set in a former lightbulb factory, guests are greeted with a smile and the “no-fuss” type service is evident almost immediately, as promised on their website. I always enjoy when a place that walks their talk.
My visit to RougeMarin wasn’t too premeditated and I asked my cousin to pick a place for us to dine at for her husband’s belated birthday dinner. After a sneak peak on their website, I immediately like what I see because it was far from your typical balkan meat platter, sour cabbage type restaurant, it was in line with everything I had become accustomed to while living in London.
Another day goes by and I am no where nearer to being vegan, let alone vegetarian. As per usual, I am immediately attracted to anything on the menu with meat. My plant-based diet dreams fly out the window. I select the marinated pork loin on cauliflower cream, broccoli and pine nut salad which goes down quite well, and quickly. In my opinion, the pork lion was about two minutes too cold but I’ll forgive them because the broccoli was steamed to perfection, hinting scents of a smoked BBQ.
My cousin chose the BBQ smoked ribs, a dish I first had my eyes on. She later tells me that this is the first time she’s ever eaten ribs ‘like this,’ because she’s only ever had pork ribs in grah. The ribs are good, I end up finishing hers also, I know, I’m a bad Jew. Baked potatoes on point also.
The birthday boy decides to have the pork loin wok with jasmine rice and stir-fry vegetables, which is a rather large serving- for him. God only knows how I’d finish off a plate like that. He’s happy so we’re all happy.
To Dessert or Not To Dessert?
What a stupid question! Thanks to my sobriety, I’ve gotten my sweet tooth back. Yes, this literally happened because I no longer get my sugar fix from the copious amounts of alcohol I drink. Can you imagine what I’m like when my grandmother announces she’s making pancakes? Oh My F-God, I already have the sugar ready.
My final sugar fix for the day is the chocolate mousse with raspberries and I finish it faster than I take take a photo for insta stories. That’s a good sign, just not for my booty.
My cousin, who has announced she is in pms, dives deep into her triple chocolate mousse cake and yes, it’s as soft and delicious as it looks.
Evidently, the clearest winner of the desserts was the chocolate mousse with passionfruit which my cousin’s daughter had trouble sharing but because she has a soft spot for me, she let me take a few (large) bites. Without the chocolate crumbs, this dessert would be a splitting headache waiting to happen however, Chef Marin knows his sh!t and there wasn’t a single plate that went back to the kitchen with any leftovers for a doggy bag.
Will I be back? Absolutely.