The goal of the ambitious team at Galerija Okusov is to bring traditional Slovenian food into the modern hustle. They excel in the quest with the voluntary eco-label, the Green Key, which is quite an accomplishment. Besides various dining options, they are expanding their offer in complementary fields. One example is their line of food products that can be purchased online. Soon they will also offer accommodation to extend their hospitality. But what about their food? Is it good? Let’s dive into the Galerija Okusov review.
Arrival at the Galerija Okusov restaurant starts with a cinematic drive through the avenue park. At the end of this avenue stands the forsaken baroque mansion. We sank in the idea of how amazing it would be if this mansion is a 5-star hotel and our lunch is in their main restaurant.
Needless to say, the ranching glow is gone, but a cozy and easy-going vibe of rustic minimalism is there to stay. The serene feel is enhanced by the warm wooden furnishing, white arched ceiling, and living flowers everywhere. However, personally, I would change curtains with some funky blue color and add some details, so we could fill the missing gap between old and new.
Drinks Menu at Galerija Okusov
The well-stocked bar is full of local, as well as international spirits and liqueurs. Together with extensive wine collection, they form a solid base for signature mixed drinks. Some are stronger than others, with one tropical alcohol-free exception. Those of you, who are looking for local non-alcoholic beverages check their homemade fruit and herbal juices.
Galerija Okusov wine list deserves a special mention since it is almost 100 pages long. Ian went through the pages while I took a walk up and down the substantial wine cooler. Both of us concluded that Slovenian and foreign wine offer should satisfy any fussy drinker.
Gin based cocktail included macerated asparagus and strawberries. Besides the straightforward strawberry aroma, we also got fragrant elderflowers on the nose. Homemade elderflower syrup sweetened the dring together with the eco-friendly apple juice. A counterbalance to the sweet part mixologist added the lemon juice, apple vinegar, and red wine. Lastly, the bubbles from the mineral water made the thirst-quenching drink.
Galerija Okusov Food Review
Before we get to the food review, it is fair to say a few words about the influences. Seasonal changes and demand are changing the Galerija Okusov menu. Most important is the availability of fresh, local produce, while Chef’s inspiration comes from nature and traditional regional dishes. With a low environmental impact in mind, the innovative team isn’t afraid of change. As a matter of fact, they welcome new ingredients.
Profiterole & Ricotta
Right at the start, we were delightfully surprised with the nectarous honey. For a second, we didn’t know what hit us, since we were expecting the flavors to be only on top of the spoon. There it was the lovely round drop of goat milk ricotta cheese, resting in the apple juice reduction. Next to the spoon Chef placed fluffy profiterole, rolled in burned daikon, and filled with a combination of smooth liver pate and crunchy daikon radish.
Veal & Rocket
Veal tartare came to our table in a company of the sourdough potato focaccia, a rustic beauty, that added charm and crunch to the well-rounded appetizer. We adored the crust and bouncy texture of the moist dough, which was absolutely delicious on its own.
Can you imagine crispy focaccia with the veal carpaccio, crunchy celery, quickly pickled radish, and rocket trio? It is exactly what it sounds, delicious.
Chicken Ragu & Spaetzle
The scent of cooked cucumbers feels like a promise of summertime comfort food to us. Once we tasted it, we started appreciating the individual taste of the various tender young vegetables and the soft dumpling-like noodles. Sometimes we added some aged cream cheese, for a cooling turn. The hidden star in the ragu and spaetzle dough were different parts of the wild garlic. Indeed, this humble-looking dish exceeded our expectations and supplied each spoon with creamy deliciousness.
Trout & Pea
While Ian strived for a photo of” action at the table”, I adored the vibrant green color of the pored gravy. Witnessing the changing surface of the seasoned buttermilk with dill oil, indeed added the mesmeric effect. Besides the invigorating “green milk” we got pea puree and a few young raw peas as a green part of the plate. Earthy tones were covered by the button mushroom carpaccio and slightly smoky mushroom puree next to the key factor. The dimmed spotlight was left to the juicy trout, fried in the crisp sourdough tempura.
Pig & Tubers
Our nose got excited by the aroma of pickled elderflowers and baked pork. To be more specific about the pork, this was the Slovenian native Blackbelted pig, praised for its fatty parts. Therefore, the bulky piece of fat is a must, leaving behind tasty bits of gently smoked meat. Sides were upgraded traditional dishes, each with a task.
Caramelized potato pavé soaked up the gravy and smooth spinach puree while supplying salt. Pickled young onion took care of the crunchy refreshment, and mustard seeds in sour cream connect all the flavors.
Strawberries & Asparagus
The dessert unfolded around the strawberries, prepared in three ways. The leading role had the smooth strawberry ice cream, under which was strawberry reduction and chopped fresh strawberries. Surrounding it were the broken pieces of meringue, under which was a thick cream. The gentle tasting asparagus cream was lusciously delicate with a hint of bitterness.
Galerija Okusov can be translated as "Gallery of Flavors". Looks like artists here know which flavors go well together and how to make masterpieces. Galerija Okusov certainly is a venue for all gourmands and travelers who are eager for Slovenian flavors in a contemporary look. We simply love their sustainable approach and creativity. Warmly recommended!