What the dishes from “Hiša Denk” tell us

Culinary-Literary Reflections – Episode 1
Michaela Preiner

Passing colourful forests and still green vineyards, we head through autumnal southern Styria to “Hisa Denk” in Slovenia, a few minutes’ drive from the Spielfeld border. At first glance, Gregor Vračko’s gourmet restaurant looks like a Sleeping Beauty. Built in a modern style, yet with noble restraint, it unfolds its charm only shortly after entering.

The attentive, young service, leather-clad and urbane in appearance, is well informed about likes and dislikes in advance. When you are greeted at the counter, you can catch a glimpse of the kitchen through the glass door. There, too, it is young people who are concentrated on their work.

There is a reason why the dishes you are served are nameless: they speak to the guests, you just have to listen a little! But since it is the name that makes a course unmistakable and at the same time captures the ephemeral, I have taken the liberty of giving each one a name.

Deer, beef and goose celebrate autumn

“We amuse-gueule bites kick things off by showing you what autumn can taste like!” Goose liver with porcini cream, doughnuts with beef filling, tacos with venison tartare and a porcini butter in the company of home-baked white sourdough bread make for a cheerful debut.

The pumpkin shines in competition with the radishes

Pink and orange glow from the starter plate. Delicately melting pumpkin ice cream, pickled radishes, chestnut puree and a smooth dressing, green-splashed on the plate’s base, instantly charm and ask: “Aren’t we a work of art?”

A Reinanke dresses up

Reinanken fillets surrounded by potato scallops with mushroom gôut and tender spinach leaves flirt in a salami costume. “Oops, you wouldn’t have expected that from us,” they joke non-verbally from the plate. Culinary humour in a gourmet restaurant – without any obtrusiveness – that is something refreshingly new.

Star appearance for a prawn

“They can be funny all they want, but I’m the star” – that’s how it sounds from the first moment the giant shrimp settles down in front of you. A hint of verbena, a delicate hint of leek and pieces of cauliflower, as if lifted from a silhouette album, rejoice in their noble appearance on the iridescent shell.

The char twice in love

“Come on, let`s go!”, says the char to his own tartare, which is shamefacedly staying a little away from his plate. However, the king of freshwater fish cannot hide the fact that his love for the neighbouring porcini cream is by no means merely platonic.

A calf’s cheek is banging for time

“Enough of quick deeds, now experience what it means to have been carefully and long braised”, you learn when you take your first bite into the veal cheek, which comes up trumps with “cabbage noodles” and a truffle cream.

The quail’s egg is not the quail’s egg

What already began with the Reinanken costume finds its unsurpassed continuation on the quail plate. Quail breast and shank have a “fake quail egg” in tow, which turns out to be enchanted yellow beet and celery with foie gras grated on top. Figs and beetroot glow as if they are aware of what would be missing without them.

The King of the Forest does the honours

His Majesty the deer knows that he must only surround himself with tastes that are worthy of him. Mashed Jerusalem artichokes and spinach as an entourage have skilfully brought a sauce level with cocoa and elderberry cream to their side. “Melting on the tongue is my speciality,” the king of the forest announces to the palate.

“Forget the strudel”, says the plum

“I have learned more than just the subject of strudel,” the educated plum exults in jelly and foam, accompanied by yoghurt, cinnamon and white chocolate.

The Pear Celebrates Wedding

“I want my appearance to be all white”, demands a noble pear, crowned with a delicate honeycomb veil and surrounded by light vanilla cream.

Grapes on the catwalk!

Finally, dark and white grapes delight with the claim: “If we’re going to dress up, let’s dress up in haute couture”. This comes in the form of ice cream sticks, pralines or dumplings with filling and graciously leaves a coconut-flavoured mochi on the catwalk as well.

The warm autumn sun makes the colourful leaves in the Hiša Thinking Garden glow. On the neighbouring property, you can see that the parent building will soon be joined by like-minded neighbours. The informality that the restaurant conveys on every visit – despite the exceptionally high quality of the food, you never get the impression that you have to be elitist – guarantees that you will come back. Next season at the latest.

This article was automatically translated with deepl.com

Deer, beef and goose celebrate autumn

“We amuse-gueule bites kick things off by showing you what autumn can taste like!” Goose liver with porcini cream, doughnuts with beef filling, tacos with venison tartare and a porcini butter in the company of home-baked white sourdough bread make for a cheerful debut.

The pumpkin shines in competition with the radishes

Pink and orange glow from the starter plate. Delicately melting pumpkin ice cream, pickled radishes, chestnut puree and a smooth dressing, green-splashed on the plate’s base, instantly charm and ask: “Aren’t we a work of art?”

A Reinanke dresses up

Reinanken fillets surrounded by potato scallops with mushroom gôut and tender spinach leaves flirt in a salami costume. “Oops, you wouldn’t have expected that from us,” they joke non-verbally from the plate. Culinary humour in a gourmet restaurant – without any obtrusiveness – that is something refreshingly new.

Star appearance for a prawn

“They can be funny all they want, but I’m the star” – that’s how it sounds from the first moment the giant shrimp settles down in front of you. A hint of verbena, a delicate hint of leek and pieces of cauliflower, as if lifted from a silhouette album, rejoice in their noble appearance on the iridescent shell.

The char twice in love

“Come on, let`s go!”, says the char to his own tartare, which is shamefacedly staying a little away from his plate. However, the king of freshwater fish cannot hide the fact that his love for the neighbouring porcini cream is by no means merely platonic.

A calf’s cheek is banging for time

“Enough of quick deeds, now experience what it means to have been carefully and long braised”, you learn when you take your first bite into the veal cheek, which comes up trumps with “cabbage noodles” and a truffle cream.

The quail’s egg is not the quail’s egg

What already began with the Reinanken costume finds its unsurpassed continuation on the quail plate. Quail breast and shank have a “fake quail egg” in tow, which turns out to be enchanted yellow beet and celery with foie gras grated on top. Figs and beetroot glow as if they are aware of what would be missing without them.

The King of the Forest does the honours

His Majesty the Stag knows that he must only surround himself with tastes that are worthy of him. Mashed Jerusalem artichokes and spinach as an entourage have skilfully brought a sauce level with cocoa and elderberry cream to their side. “Melting on the tongue is my speciality,” the king of the forest announces to the palate.

“Forget the strudel”, says the plum

“I have learned more than just the subject of strudel,” the educated plum exults in jelly and foam, accompanied by yoghurt, cinnamon and white chocolate.

The Pear Celebrates Wedding

“I want my appearance to be all white”, demands a noble pear, crowned with a delicate honeycomb veil and surrounded by light vanilla cream.

Grapes on the catwalk!

Finally, dark and white grapes delight with the claim: “If we’re going to dress up, let’s dress up in haute couture”. This comes in the form of ice cream sticks, pralines or dumplings with filling and graciously leaves a coconut-flavoured mochi on the catwalk as well.

The warm autumn sun makes the colourful leaves in the Hiša Thinking Garden glow. On the neighbouring property, you can see that the parent building will soon be joined by like-minded neighbours. The informality that the restaurant conveys on every visit – despite the exceptionally high quality of the food, you never get the impression that you have to be elitist – guarantees that you will come back. Next season at the latest.

This article was automatically translated with deepl.com

Dieser Artikel ist auch verfügbar auf: German

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