The from 12th June to 21st June was Spring Restaurant week in Slovenia. This is normally held earlier in spring but due to lock-down it was moved to the end of spring this year. I saw it as the perfect opportunity to explore restaurants in Ljubljana, although I could have gone anywhere in Slovenia as there were many restaurants across the country participating.
Thinking that as a single person I may have limited access, I applied for a reservation at 6 restaurants, and was successful at 5. In order – Shambala 13th June, Maxim 17 June, Le Petit 19 June – these were all dinner reservations and then lunch at Landerik and Altrokè 20th and 21st respectively. The only one I knew anything about was Shambala.
I had fun, getting dressed up and going out, after the time spent at home. Dining out has always been my favorite form of entertainment, and I have eaten at some amazing restaurants over the years. Restaurant week is a way to showcase the individual restaurants and their food.
My favourites were Maxim and Landerik, then Le Petit and Altrokè and last was Shambala
Shambala – I had read lots of reviews about how great the Asian food is and how authentic it is. The menu presented for restaurant week was delicious, well presented but the typical Asian flavours of chili, garlic, lemongrass, ginger etc were very very muted if not at all present. I was in fact disappointed. I will go back to try the usual menu as it has on it the types of dishes I would expect.
Maxim – A more formal dining experience, waiters in suits, white gloves and there was a pianist. I decided to match the food with suggested wines, and also indulged in a glass of Baron Rothschild champagne to start, as I didn’t realise that there was sparkling wine in the pairings. This gave me a chance to compare the champagne to a sparkling wine and yes there was a significant difference. The food was delicious, flavours on point and the beef melted in my mouth. I loved the whole experience, this is my type of food and restaurant, and will definitely go back for special occcasions.
Le Petit – French bistro style food. The staff were welcoming, the environment upstairs is rustic country. I chose the fish menu and wines to match. The food was good, flavourful and well presented. The fish main was moist and tasty, I would have liked a side of potato with it. The highlight for me was the Cherry Sorbet that was the best, I have since researched recipes to make myself as this was inspiring. I will be going back here for the food and atmosphere – a good place to eat.
Landerik – this was a lunch reservation, the waiter was fantastic, he introduced the concept of restaurant week, highlighting local foods etc. Background music was light jazz (my favourite). Again I paired the wine with the food. I have to say this was the most innovative menu, use of what are considered “basic” or “foundation” ingredients in ways that truly made them shine. Dessert OMG it was stunning delicious I have never eaten anything like it and will definitely go back to try the different versions of it.
Altrokè – lunch reservation and the last of 5 meals. I found this one to be a bit hit and miss, no sparkling water and I was there at start of day, no wines to match the food listed but I was still given wines for the courses. The beef starter was fresh with complimentary flavours. The soup didn’t have a strong fennel taste which for me was good. The risotto was delicious but couldn’t taste or see the saffron. The duck was superb however the dumplings and mash on the plate were cold. The desert was delicious.
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