A Promenade Through Magical Tastes
A young, popular and ambitious chef takes over a restaurant and fills it with energy, a good ambience and mostly - unforgettable culinary creations.
Lake Bled is one of Slovenia’s most praised natural gems and as such, a prominent tourist magnet. The restaurants on offer on the shores come in all flavours and price ranges, some of them actually on par with Bled’s natural glamour. Yet there is one place a gourmet should not miss.
Promenada, humbly nested below Hotel Park is a restaurant where you will not get a menu because it is written on a blackboard. The reason may be aesthetic but mostly it is practical for the chef, Bine Volčič, modifies it according to his inspiration. Of course it also corresponds to what is seasonally available but in any case, it offers high-end cuisine at affordable prices.
The Elvis of Cuisine
Bine Volčič is a star of the young wave of Slovenian chefs, limitless in culinary ideas and no less skilful behind the stove. Cuisine is something you can learn but some people are literally born into it. Bine, now in early thirties, started with kitchen experiments at the age of nine. His resume includes a set of Michelin-starred Parisian restaurants, followed by a few remarkable Slovenian ones, until he finally got the chance to do it his own way at Promenada. Unlike many old school chefs, he views top cuisine in an innovative and relaxed way where a placemat with just too many forks and knifes in front of a guest makes little point: what matters is the dish, its look, feel and mostly the taste. He doesn’t want to put any adjective in front of his restaurant and for him there’s no such thing as competition, he believes the few great chefs in Slovenia should cooperate. Cooperation is common at a session of Bled’s top trio, which includes Bine, in the consistently sold-out “Three Chefs” event. So enough about the master, let’s see what he has prepared.
Promenada’s ever-changing menu adapts to the seasons produce and creative mood of the master chef. There are however three “brand dishes” which culinary pilgrims should be able to taste at any time. There’s no better game to play than the “close your eyes and guess what you’ve tasted” with the starter. Well, it is challenging even with the eyes open. The kiss of beetroot puree with the cuttlefish ravioli, filled with young goat cheese and smoked trout was really enchanting.
The main dish of the three-course showdown was veal cheek with a completely unique taste and an incredibly soft feel, which lies in its four-day spicing and then 18 hours of slow cooking. Good things indeed take time. Chef Bine admitted it took him a long time and a number of attempts to achieve the taste he desired. And finally the dessert! Passion fruit crème brûlée with buckwheat ice cream and a few drops of coffee combine for a truly happy ending.
Set by the famous Bled promenade and as such an obvious choice for many tourists, Promenada is highly favoured by its regular visitors. It may not be a glamorous at first sight, but rather a small, beautifully arranged space, most comfortable with around thirty guests at a time. Panorama bets on its content. Judging by the awards and popularity, Bine Volčič is definitely one of the best chefs in the country. And one of the busiest too, he will appear as a supreme judge in the upcoming Slovenian cooking reality show “A Restaurant Seeking Chef”.
In conclusion, there might be restaurants in Bled which somehow rely on the idyllic natural setting of the lake. This one definitely doesn’t - maybe its vice versa.
A Trusted Brand
Gourmet Restaurant Promenada was opened in 2010. It is owned by Sava Turizem d.d., part of the Sava Hotels & Resorts trademark located in six popular tourist destinations across Slovenia. According to the reviews, Promenada belongs in the top echelon of Slovenian restaurants.
Open: 12pm – 10pm (summertime till 11pm)
Food type: continental
Price range: Tasting menu: EUR 29-52
Reservations: highly recommended
Cuttlefish ravioli with smoked trout and goat cheese, beetroot puree and wasabi sauce
Glazed veal cheeks with smoked violet potatoes, young spring vegetables
Passion fruit crème brûlée, buckwheat ice cream and coffee coulis
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