A Slovenian culinary project, which equals affordable fancy food.
Teden restavracij (restaurant week) is a Slovenian culinary campaign, which promotes excellent Slovene cuisine, as in fancy gourmet restaurants. The participating restaurants allover Slovenia offer a special menu for the duration of the week, consisting of at least 3 courses for a fixed price, which is considerably lower than usual. That means it’s a great chance for us plebs to enjoy some much fancier food than we could usually afford and discover some new restaurants, but beware, they get you hooked on coming back at full price.
All restaurants that participate are invited to do so by the food critic Uroš Mencingar after he visits and reviews them. He seems to know what he’s about, because restaurant week is getting increasingly successful. The restaurants are supposed to be the best in Slovenia and range from fancy slow dining to more hearty, comfort food or exotic options, so there’s something for everyone.
Restaurant week runs twice per year for 10 days, even though it is called a week, and has been running for a few years now. In autumn 2019 there were 100 participating restaurants and the price for one meal was 19 eur, excluding drinks, but they offer an accompanying wine selection or additional courses if you want to go the extra mile. The menus are posted online in advance so you can pick and choose where to go and reservations are mandatory. You need to book a spot as soon as possible, because they usually fill up quite fast. Since restaurant week happens twice per year, I really recommend it if you’re ever in Slovenia at the right time. 🙂 In fact, you should probably plan your visit around this if you’re a foodie, as this is the right time to visit and enjoy some fancy food.
Restaurant week autumn 2019
I’ve known about it for quite a while now, but I never got around to making a reservation until October 2019. My boyfriend and I tried out the Kult 316 restaurant, which is a fancy place run by the Higher school for hospitality and tourism in Ljubljana, where the students get to show off their work. We were more than satisfied, with both the service and the food. So much so, that we’re planning to come back and blow our budget during non-restaurant weeks as well. It turns out, that their regular menus are not actually eating-bread-and-water-for-a-month expensive, so this was a winning choice altogether, as we now know a new fancy and affordable place.
Here’s the menu photographed on the cover photo that I’ve tried to translate into English to give you a sense of the fanciness we got on our plates:
- Choux dough pastry with curly sprouts pesto and purple carrots with plums, mustard, trout caviar and crunchy breadcrumbs
- Cold almond soup with Indian cress oil and apples
- Venison tartare with elderberry gel, pine tree mayonnaise, hazelnuts, penny bun mushroom foam and lettuce
- Guinea fowl fillet and chicken mavželj, celery root with brown butter, quince, Brussels sprouts and meat sauce
- Chestnut cream with white chocolate, chocolate crumble, meringue with mandarins, plum and black tea sorbet
You can see the food photos here, without the soup course, because I was too excited about the food to take that photo. 🙂
Restaurant week spring 2020
The spring edition of restaurant week usually happens in April, but this year it got postponed to June due to the coronavirus crisis. This time we went to Altroke, a restaurant in Ljubljana Oldtown with Istrian-inspired food. The menu looked delicious (see on the photo below) and I actually had quite high expectations – although the food was good, I was a bit disappointed, because it wasn’t WOW! good like last year. The dessert was just a bit too sweet, with nothing sour to balance that, and the appetiser meat tagliata was a bit tasteless. The service was somewhat rushed and they kept forgetting to pour us more wine (they were pouring by the glass), same with tiny jugs of water. This may sound like nitpicking, but that’s what you expect when you go to a fancy restaurant, particularly during restaurant week when all the places are flexing their culinary muscles.
Nonetheless the food was good and even great for the promotional price of 19eur, and the fennel soup was amazing! I don’t think I’ll be coming back to pay the full price though, because Altroke is quite expensive and definitely overpriced from what we’ve seen here.
I’ll keep updating this post with quick restaurant reviews from Teden restavracij every time we attend one, so make sure to check back occasionally. 🙂