»Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy tapas, which is almost the same," reads the paper pamflet by the Istrian Tapas restaurant. 

If you happen to go strolling down the Slovenian coast (along the Portoroz promenade to be exact) and you suddenly begin to feel famished, then by all means, do what we did - head over to Istrian Tapas, new restaurant in Hotel Slovenija, one out of 6 hotels LifeClass Portorož.

On a delightful tapas menu one will find colourful bites such as beef tartare with herbs, fritaja with truffles "fai da te", roasted eggplant cream with Slovenian tofu, sea bass carpaccio from Fonda fish farm, goat cheese from Pomjan and jam of Farmstead Butul, sardines in sweet-sour marinade, Karst or Istrian dry-cured ham, thick slices of home-made salami, and salt cod in black corn. Of course, we weren't able to resist the tempation, so we tried absolutely everything. But that was just a warm-up!  

We had to take a peek at the other menu, where one can find a bit larger portions of food. We were able to choose among various types of pasta, as prepared with fish, oysters, truffles aor seashells by master chef Marko Gorela. But the menu offers so much more than that. Gorela prepares something special for his guests every single day, so your taste buds will never be bored. He personally makes sure that all ingredients he uses are of local origin and prepares them in a modern way. He, of course, never fails his customers with a sweet tooth.

We let him decide for us and we were all but disappointed by the dishes he recommended. We were able to see him work his magic in the kitchen right from where we were sitting.The kitchen is of an open sort, so guests can witness a proper cooking show while waiting for their food. And even if you don't feel like observing how your culinary delight is coming to life, you can easily distract yourself by reading all about the asparagus, artichoke, truffle, fritaja, olives, Mediterranean cuisine, Istrian wines such as Refosco and Malvasia, genuine Piran salt, as well as Istrian fish and meat dishes. 

Carefully selected are not only the ingredients, wines, liqueurs, and locally produced  juices, but also herbs, purchased from local vendors. With every bite you take, you experience a part of Istria. What other way is there to conculde this exquisite gourmet than with a delicious dessert? And there are plenty Istrian tapas can offer. We chose the "Salt flower" cake, containing local salt from the Sečovlje saltpans, and oh boy, what a great choice that was!

Bite after bite you will be able to experience the real Slovenian Istria.

Jan. 11, 2017 Living photo: Istrian Tapas

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