Kult316 is one of two teaching center of culinary and tourism in Slovenia that opened up just a few years ago. Guests are welcomed with the view of the ground floor of this new creative incubator of most recent trends, knowledge and fresh ideas in culinary and tourism. It offers a few experiences with a cafe, »intimate corner for a cup of freshly roasted coffee and homemade croissant«.
The most important is the restaurant part that spoils its guests with fresh culinary delights with specialties from Slovene gastronomic regions with a modern twist. They also have a conference hall, a learning kitchen, wine cellar, brewery and even »an elegant night in a deluxe double bed hotel room 316«, which is actually a learning hotel for future students that will work in a hotel. Kult316 in Šentvid, Ljubljana is a likable experience of an animation of a real restaurant in which even the guests themselves are learning! So let’s see what we learned.
About the restaurant
Kult316 is a restaurant that is part of one of the most important teaching centers for culinary and tourism in the whole country. The number 316 in their name is the attitude of the district of Ljubljana, Šentvid, where the center is located. Actually, the location of the Church of Saint Vitus that is just a few steps away from the center. The character of Saint Vitus is also portrayed on the etiquette of their solid white wines (grey pinot noir and Sauvignon).
The main attraction of the restaurant is their open kitchen where guests can observe all the preparation of their foods as well as all the teaching and learning process. They often have visiting chefs from different nationalities and therefore they prepare a different kind of theme nights, like the most recent French and Peruvian.
In this edition of the Restaurant Week, they prepared a 3-course set menu with a cold appetizer, a choice of two entrees, and a dessert. Two more dishes were available for an extensive menu but we decided to stay with the basic one. All restaurants also offer wine pairing for each of the course but we decided to order just water. At about 10 euros, the wine pairing was the cheapest in all the restaurants I visited that week.
Before the start of the menu, we were served a very interesting amuse bouche. It is almost obligatory for the restaurants participating in this event to prepare some spreads or an amuse bouche before the other courses. Amuse bouche is a French term for a smaller bite to prepare the guest for the meal and to offer a glimpse of the chef’s style. And what an amuse bouche this was! First, we were served with a cold herb soup with radish and olive oil that was served in an inviting cup. And right after that a second waiter came and brought us something in a box. It was a sheep curd cheese with trout roe wrapped up in some kind of a pastry which first looked like a cup. The soup tasted really good and I liked that it was a bit spicy because of the radish.
Next course was the cold appetizer and oh boy it was something! The perfectly marinated asparagus was wrapped in a shortcrust pastry and covered with poached and dried egg yolk. Together with the very reach hazelnut mayonnaise and balsamic oil syrup, it was on the edge of perfection and I can hardly think of anything to improve this dish. The wine offered at this course was a 2017 dry Sauvignon of Bizjak winery from Vipava valley wine region.
The following course did not fall behind the appetizer at all and was just as great if not even better. For the entree, we could choose between a meat or a vegetarian dish. Since we wanted to try both options this is what we did. I opted for the meat dish. This was a neck and fillet of wild boar, white bacon of a black-belted pig (an autochthonous pig species in Slovenia). And for the side, I had pea puree with a pinch of wild garlic, meat sauce with blackberry, fried Brussels sprouts and wild garlic oil.
While the other half of the table opted for the vegetarian option. There were some ingredients that were the same in both dishes (puree, only blackberries, Brussels sprouts, and the wild garlic oil). Other than that it was different. The main part was smoked and quickly grilled salad hearts, roasted almonds and young vegetables. Both options were really good and can not find any bad points at all. They also get my praise for having a vegetarian option because not all the restaurants in this event have them. The wine offered at this course was a 2015 Pinot noir of Sanctum winery from Štajerska wine region.
The best was left for the end. We were already quite full but as everyone says there is always space for a dessert. And we definitely did not want to miss out this mouth-watering one! A perfect strudel dough was wrapped into a circle and laying on a rhubarb compote with raspberry. White chocolate and elderberry foam inside the circle made it even better. And there was something else as well. When we got the dessert and when one waiter was explaining the components, another waiter came and sprayed just a little bit of eatable raspberry perfume! I have never seen anything like that before and it was a really great addition to the dessert. The dessert itself tasted really good although, in my opinion, it was a little bit too sour. That is probably because I am not that big fan of sour foods. The wine offered for dessert was a 2016 semisweet Moscato Giallo of Prus winery from Bela Krajina wine region.
The extra two dishes from the extensive menu were a hot appetizer and another dessert. For the appetizer, they offered pot barley porridge with squid, fennel and a sauce of squid and thorny oyster. The dessert was a green apple sorbet with basil, mint, and spinach with olive oil and lemon dust. Both of them cost 8 euros which is actually quite affordable because in some other cases just one extra dish cost about the same.
At Kult316 they do not learn just on guests but right in front of them. Guests do not experience just the elegant ambiance and excellent service because at the same time they receive the whole cooking show. This institution provides beautiful plating that is enriching the old Slovene cuisine with modern Slovene cuisine. The service was absolutely perfect and really professional. Even in some much higher level restaurant, you can not get a service of this level all the time. All the food was very inviting and really good. Based on this the future of Slovene cuisine is not in danger. Furthermore, with this kind of knowledge at that young age Slovene culinary can really strive for perfection in the near future. All in all this restaurant was definitely a pleasant surprise and a big highlight for me during that week.
Prušnikova ulica 74, Ljubljana, Slovenija; http://www.kult316.si/
Monday – Friday 12:00 – 22:00; Saturday, Sundays & Holidays closed
Type of cuisine: Modern Slovene cuisine
Overall rating: ★★★★★
Cost: 19 € (€€€€)
Visited in April 2019
€ – less than 5 euros
€€ – between 5 and 15 euros
€€€ – between 15 and 25 euros
€€€€ – over 25 euros