[This blog tends to receive a better class of recommendations for food: from my friend Simon who, if he should start a food blog, will put this blog to shame.]
Attached is an invite to the soft launch for a new restaurant called Dubrovnik in SoHoKL. I did the ID for the place so you’re not allowed to bitch about that aspect. It’s been branded as a Mediterranean restaurant mainly because not many folk in KL know about the Adriatic. The owners and managers are Croatians and their food is primarily Croatian, which is a blend of Eastern European and Italian.
My Saturday afternoon was spent at the restaurant doing food tasting from 1-6pm and we sampled a number of items from their proposed menu;-
Simple salad made with romaine lettuce, sliced hard boiled eggs and kidney beans. Dressed simply with Istrian olive oil, a particularly full flavored unfiltered oil that fills the mouth with the flavor of olives. It’s almost like eating whole olives. Which is great if you’re like me and dig olives and not so good if you don’t. If I were making ti at home, I’d probably replace the kidney beans with fagioli cause I dig them. A super simple salad that allows the olive oil to do the talking.
Chicken & Vegetable Broth
Their take on the ubiquitous chicken soup uses only dark meat on the bone. This gave the soup a very rustic, home cooked feel. The root vegetables were cut quite fine but not so they would disintegrate, leaving the broth clear. The broth was not completely skimmed, leaving just a hint of chicken fat on the surface. It was flavorful and really quite hearty, so the suggestion was to serve a reduced portion. Small dumplings make it quite substantial.
I like the idea of a clear broth as a refereshing change from thick, blended soups….
Brudetto w. Polenta
The Brudetto is a seafood stew made with prawns, shelfish and squid in a tomato and onion base with white wine. It’s not terribly unlike a bouillabaise in many ways but without the rouy. It was served with a generous side of polenta.
As an experiment, the brudetto was finished in their wood fired oven but was left in for just a little too long, resulting in the brudetto being over reduced and a little charring of the top layer. Some of the prawns on top were overcooked as a result…. The flavor was however very good, the liquids being very concentrated. Good stuff but not enough to last the huge plate of polenta that was served.
I love polenta but I suggested that they offer an alternative like mash or spetzle since they make their own pasta. Polenta is a little outside the box for most Malaysian palates.
Rumpsteak in a red wine reduction with mushrooms, spinach and semolina dumplings
After the Brudetto we had a break in the food though the drinking etc. continued. Then the bottle of red came out to remind us that we had a meat course to consider.
Our preferences were duly noted and relayed to the kitchen. When we were served, pretty much everyone got rare or just a notch above….just the way I like it.
The steak was wonderfully tender and utterly devoid of any tough stuff. The red wine reduction was extremely subtle and gave the meat a nice, extended finish rather than competing with it for attention. I ate at Prime, the Le Meridien’s steak shop last night and in comparison the meat (150day Oz) was tougher and the sauces seemed terribly unsubtle.
The mushrooms weren’t soggy and had a nice bite and the spinach was not overcooked into an amorphous lump. You could still make out the leaves. The semolina dumplings had a very strong cream and butter flavor which I is rather too much for many Malaysians. I would pare back the dairy on the dumpling and probably serve just one and add a little potato for the less robust palate.
One of the nicest steaks I have ever had, remarkable in its simplicity and clarity. The meat was excellent and the preparation allowed it to shine.
Chocolate Mousse on a Chocolate and Cherry Sponge
Chocolate on top, chocolate in the middle and chocolate below and cherries inside and beside. The chocolate was not overly sweet and worked as a rich luscious base to the cherries. I had mine with a measure of Maraska Zada maraschino (from Croatia naturally) and it was a match made in heaven (or hellishly sinful)
Dubtovnik will be using their wood fired oven to make pizzas and breads as well. We sampled some of both and I’m hoping they decide to take up my suggestion to do fresh baked focaccia just drizzled with their Istrian olive oil as a basis for an open faced sandwich……yum.
The house wines are a Placido Pinot Grigio and Chianti. Both were happily quaffable but the steak deserved more than the Chianti could deliver.
Croatia has some really amazing grappa/rakija. The ‘normal’ stuff has delicious botanicals IMO but the real gems are the honey grappa (Mr. Sweet strikes again!) and their pear grappa (Poire Willems just seems so crude in comparison). The maraschino is really excellent..with or without dessert.
The outlet is (tragically) Pork Free but if Dubrovnik does well, maybe we can convince Mr. and Ms. Djumic to open a sister outlet that isn’t… There is a Croatian saying, “There is no bird like a pig….”
It’s not a fine dining outlet but the eating is excellent. Me. I’m happy as a pig in mud, terroir and sweet drinks…..I’m lovin it. And it looks pretty cool too…..:)
P.S. Ivan, would you mind spreading the word to your fellow cybercourmet’s? Will bribe you with good grappa….:)
[No problems, good Grappa is always good. 🙂 ]
Restoran Dubrovnik is at J-0G-14, No. 2 Jalan Solaris, Solaris Mont Kiara, Tel: 03/62036780
Your blog, in the relationship between Japan’s blog.
Japan recently introduced an information site. Foreigners who are relatively unknown in Japan to introduce the information. Surprise is full of information.
We hope once the link please.
Hie there, I’m a food blogger and I’ll be going to the restaurant this saturday. Heard so much about the ambiance and the food. Will admire your work this week! Cheers
@kampungboycitygal: Cheers! Hope you have a great time there! Remember, it’s Croatian food. 🙂
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