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Steaks and Mediterranean seafood by the banks of the Sava
There’s always something of a Zagreb-in-springtime buzz surrounding Balon: its location, set back from the Sava riverbank, gives it a slightly out-of-the-centre feel, while the relaxingly leafy terrace helps to make it a destination restaurant rather than just a practical choice for lunch. The menu revolves around steaks and Mediterranean seafood. Main courses are refined but don’t require too much explaining – the fish fillet still comes with traditional Croatian garnish of mangold and boiled potato. Service is polished and attentive – we were particularly impressed by the fact that they brought two different olive oils to the table and discussed their relative merits.
Indeed there’s a nothing-will-ever-go-wrong aspect to dining at Balon, and it’s for this reason you see so many suits and ties in the place – sophisticated Croatian-European cuisine with plenty of finesse (but not too much experimentation) goes down rather well with the business community.
We have eaten meat and fish dishes here several times before and never been disappointed. On our most recent, light-lunching visit we went for a seafood risotto (95Kn) that was both exemplary in quality and substantial enough to serve as a main. There are only two vegetarian items on the menu but they involve an admirable degree of creativity: our cream of pesto and potato with tofu mousse (65Kn) turned out to be a multi-coloured swirl with a suitably broad palette of flavours. The chocolate mousse with crunchy, nutty casing (38Kn) is the pick of the desserts.
|Opening hours:||11am-midnight Mon-Sat, 11.00-17.00 Sun|