Dinner by Heston BlumenthalJune 6, 2018
Naked Kitchen and Coffee BarJuly 17, 2018
This time, a month ago, I was sitting relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Dubrovnik at the Royal Blue Hotel. Luxury at its very best and what’s probably a rather accurate version of my idea of heaven on earth. Aside from the absolute beauty of this European city’s beaches and the uniqueness of its historical city walls and architecture, Dubrovnik also has a lot to offer as far as fine dining, modern cuisine goes.
My benedict and I decided to treat ourselves to dinner at one of Dubrovnik’s best restaurants; 360 Dubrovnik. The restaurant is located within the walls of the old city and overlooks the port as well as an outcrop of the city's gorgeous architecture. 360 Dubrovnik is a Michelin star restaurant that serves Mediterranean cuisine featuring locally sourced produce from various regions of Croatia. The restaurant is popular with both locals and tourists so we were advised to make a booking a few days in advance.
We arrived at our dinner booking at 9:30pm (perhaps a “late” booking for us South Africans but a perfectly normal evening time slot for Europeans). We were quickly seated at a table outside overlooking the port; a stunning view of the still water with glistening sparkles of the city lights. We were offered a glance at the wine list – which was more of a book really – by the sommelier. 360 Dubrovnik boasts a very extensive wine list of wines from all over the globe (including some South African wines). Given our lack of knowledge of most European wines, we asked the sommelier to make a suggestion of a local Croatian wine that will best pair with our meals. He recommended the Coronica Malvazija Istarska. This is of the white Malvasia grape variety that’s widely grown in Croatia. For starters I opted for the scampi. The scampi was served wrapped and fried in kadaif (finely shredded phyllo) with a side of artichoke and a ‘scampi cappuccino’. This was an outstanding starter. The scampi was crunchy and tasty and beautiful complimented by the creamy flavoursome ‘cappuccino’. I could very easily have devoured an entire plate of these for my main meal too. My benedict selected the carrot starter. This was an array of differently prepared carrot including slow cooked carrot, carrot cream and carrot chips served with black garlic and pine nuts. This too, was a great starter. For my main meal, I chose the seabass. This was served on a cream of garlic and potatoes with cuttlefish, a lemon cream and green sauce. The fish was slow cooked and the skin deep fried to ensure it was crisp and crunchy. The fish was beautiful; perfectly cooked (obviously), light and well balanced by the rich crunchy element of the skin. The garlic and potato cream was so smooth and tasty. I really enjoyed this dish. My benedict opted for octopus as his main course. This was served with lime ravioli and chickpeas in a dark fish soup. Our waiter informed us that the octopus had been slow cooked for over 8 hours to ensure that it was soft and tender and indeed it was. Shortly after our mains, we were brought a palate cleanser which comprised a mango sorbet, salted caramel toffee, a crumble and a macaron. This was such an intricate and tasty palate cleanser; true evidence of the care and passion backstage in the kitchen. I ended off my meal with the coffee dessert. This was a chocolate and coffee ganache served with cocoa nibs crumble, mascarpone cream and vanilla ice cream. The ganache was smooth and rich well balanced by the bitter coffee flavour and the sweet and refreshing vanilla ice cream. My benedict chose the mango and coconut dessert. This was a uniquely served dish with mango chips, champagne mousse and coconut sorbet. A really beautifully plated and tasty dessert.
I thoroughly enjoyed my dinner at 360 Dubrovnik. The staff were friendly and helpful and the service absolutely exceptional! The restaurant itself is beautiful and elegant with gorgeous views of the port and the city; a real must for sunset. The food was creative and modern and most certainly delicious! I hope to return to visit 360 Restaurant again one day on a future trip to the gorgeous city of Dubrovnik.