Spring is in the Air at Maxim Restaurant
Ljubljana is filled with fine dining eateries, yet Maxim restaurant stands strong as one of Ljubljana’s finest. Boasting to be one of the oldest eatery in the city, Maxim has collected many awards over the years for being the best in town!
Maxim Master chef Andrej Kuhar has spent most of his culinary years in Germany training and working in some of Germany’s finest establishments. At the ripe young age of 28, Andrej received his first Michelin star and since then this accomplished chef has acquired six in total (to date). In returning to his roots in Slovenia he has worked short time in finest restaurant Villa Bled and finally finding his solitude at Maxim in the center of Ljubljana.
All plates, consisting of renowned chef Andrej Kuhar bear the primary seal of the current season, guaranteed freshness, excellent quality and origin. You can choose “a la carte” menu with four daily meals or gourmet menu with seven.
Internationally acclaimed Michelin star Chef Andrej Kuhar and Manager Mrs Alenka Urek have put their heads together and decided to create a memorable event for special Maxi gold card holders and invited guests.
All of this extensive cookery knowledge puts Chef Kuhar in an excellent position to come up with these celebrated culinary affairs. This was second of many monthly events that Maxim will be hosting this year. With an array of different themes and accompanied with prestigious Slovenian wine makers, such evenings are bound to be memorable. I was lucky enough to be invited for the second event of 2012. Fortunately you do not have to be an elite gold card member or a close Friend of Chef Kuhar to be able to attend these gastronomic gatherings. You can contact Mrs Urek directly for information about up and coming events. The event that I was fortunate enough to attend was the “celebration of spring”. The well thought out seven course tasting menu was paired with esteemed wine maker Marko Podkubovšek and his partner Jurij Brumec of Sanctum wines. Sanctum wines, which also have a very impressive international cliental, showcased some of their new spring wines as well as some classic favourite. The wines served at this event were paired off beautifully with every dish. From Sanctums delicious Spring is in the Air at Maxim Restaurant crisp dry Chardonnay classic to a lovely full bodied duet of “Moje” red and their prestigious modri pinot. Impressive wine for an impressive culinary evening.
The guests were all welcomed and greeted by Chef Kuhar and Mrs Urek. Upon arrival you were handed an attractive aperitif of Aperol, topped off with Slovenian sparkling wine. This is such a classic spring time aperitif that you often see people sipping in the outside cafes along the river. It always gets me in the mood for the days of spring.
Wild Scottish salmon with apple confit, julienne of spring radish and a wasabi Crème Fraiche, paired with Pullus, Sauvignon Blanc, 2011. The flavours of this dish came together so well. The buttery flavour from the salmon, the tartness from the apple and just a little heat from the wasabi cream. The apples played the part of the bridge that bound this dish so well with the Sauvignon Blanc. The Sauvignon was fresh and dry, well rounded with hints of grapefruit and apple. A great start.
Crawfish served in a half shell with mango salsa and a mixed herb salad, dressed in sweet mustard vinaigrette. This was a good looking dish, fresh gorgeous flavours that were light and refreshing. Always a favourite of mine. It was served with Sanctum’s classic 2011 Chardonnay. One of my favourite of the evening! Buttery in texture, alluring on the nose with hints of apple, floral and toasted nuts. Effortlessly drinkable despite, hefty alcohol content.
Visually this dish was extraordinary. I was told it took ten hours just to clean the shells of the sea urchins. Sea urchin creamed with baby scallops and fish fumet. Presented in the shell that sat on a bird’s nest of fried rice noodles. Topped with Crème Fraiche and a dollop of passion fruit. This was a fantastic dish. The flavours were generous and velvety with a lovely lingering effect. I know the birds nest was manly for a visual effect, but one could hardly resist nibbling on the crunchy morsels whilst looking at your empty shell and wishing for more. This dish was served with Sanctum Sivi pinot. Rose tinted after having been macerated for 24hours to get the colour and all the flavour from the grape. This was a young wine and had only been in the bottle for a short time. However the extra acidy you get form the elongated maceration process, really helped you reach another level in the flavour. This wine will only get better with time.
Poached sea bass braised in a clear red and yellow pepper fish consommé on a bed of pak-choi. This was very much a dish that would I would consider a Slovenian French fusion. The clear pepper broth was so distinguished and elegant, the fish was perfectly cooked. It was paired with Chardonnay prestige, 2009. This full bodied chardonnay was aged in oak for 28 months. With hints of sweet pears and lemons against a backdrop of toast and smoke.
Braised Skate wing with capers and baby croutons accompanied with buckwheat and baby vegetable compote and finished with an orange salt. A divine blend of flavours. The capers add the perfect amount of acidity to break through the creaminess of the skate fish. The croutons add the extra bite to the dish that only enhanced it. I love buckwheat and it was really nice to see it in a more stylish and graceful setting. It was interesting that Marcko chose to serve a red wine, “moje Redce” with this dish. It was a light red wine, not heavy with minimal tannin. Being a more robust fish, as skate and the heartiness of buckwheat the Moje redce worked.
Spring lamb served with new potatoes, artichoke hart, spring vegetables and artichoke puree. Finished with a demi glace. This lamb was succulent, perfectly cooked and seasoned. The artichoke hart was a flawless accompaniment for the lamb. Superb! The wine was the Modri Pinot, 2009. Wow, this was a really wonderful wine to have with the delicate flavours of spring lamb. While dark and dusty on the nose with hints of black cherry fruit and spice. Nice Medium bodied with a lush, smooth texture. Excellent.
Seventh Course (finish line)
A duet of Chocolate mouse torte resting on what I would call a homemade chocolate bar biscotti. Also was pineapple sorbet that was also paired with the biscotti. This was a stunning looking dessert. That just shows you the skill of Chef Kuhar kitchen. It was reach and creamy and the pineapple sorbet was the perfect way to refresh your pallet after. This was served with an ice dessert wine, Skrivnost, 2009. Dessert wine this is truly an amazing dessert wine. Swirling your glass and almost never see the wine stop coating the side of the glass. Honey mixed with fresh ripe fruit every drop of this wine packs with flavors. What a way to end the tasting!
Chef Andrej and Manager Mrs Alenka have put a lot of work into making this event into a success. It is obvious that they care very much about their work and there commitment to creating a great celebration of food and country. Two noteworthy individuals, with a distinguished team of chefs and waiters supporting them, all of them doing remarkable things at Maxim. To get on their mailing list for these up and coming, unforgetable events just sent email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. They will change monthly and always be offering something exciting and new. Everyone is welcome to take part in these gastronomic gatherings. Just contact Maxim or Mrs Alenka Urek, send email or just phone for further information and reservations.
Mon - Fri: 11am – 11pm,
Saturday, Sunday by prior arrangement
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