Slovenia Lunch

Bailliage Slovenia
Dolenjske Toplice, June 24, 2023

Master Chef Robert Gregorčič excels
" The sweet ending was another highlight of this excellent lunch "

Where better, before the holidays, than to go to Dolenjske Toplice, located on the outskirts of the forests of Roga, for lunch at the Herbelier Hotel & Inn.

At the reception, as a greeting from the kitchen - courtesy of Master Chef Robert Gregorčič and his brigade - we enjoyed ‘oysters’ (a type of mushroom) on nettle puree, with corn flakes and spicy cheese served on wooden boards. However we ate from plates not directly from the boards which is the usual practice in Slovenia, especially on tourist farms. A dry sparkling wine “Rozalija” from the Pečarič winery in Bela Krajina was the accompaniment.

Then we moved inside the inn to a communal table where we enjoyed Gregorčič's masterpieces. First, he surprised us with excellent, cold-smoked carp from the Gorišek fish farm one of the best in Slovenia. The fish flesh was exceptional in taste. A 2018 Chardonnay also from Pečarič was the perfect partner.

From the vegetables of the Bučar farm, the cooking team prepared a vegetable dumpling made from young cabbage leaves stuffed with stale bread and bacon, saffron sauce and parsley roots. Another excellent plate washed down with Freliho's 2019 Sylvaner.

The main course was almost to be expected considering our choice of Dolenjske Toplice for this gathering. On the plates were pink slices of venison loin in a butter sauce. Accompanied by an extremely tasty statuette of fresh porcini mushrooms with slices of fermented young zucchini. Hunting Association of Dolenjske Toplice hunters were responsible for the deer. Red wine “flowed” - a 2016 vintage from the house of Albiana.

The sweet ending was another highlight of this excellent lunch. In a glass were marinated strawberries and elderberry ice cream. On the other part of the oval plate was white chocolate mousse with lemon grass.

Before leaving, we tasted a variety of cookies, drank coffee and spirits, especially bitters, from our hosts.

Vive la Chaîne!

Prof Dr Janez Bogataj
Conseiller Gastronomique

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