The Dubrovnik restaurant is set in the old walled town of Dubrovnik, itself a miraculously well preserved piece of architecture. The dining room is a floor up and on a roof terrace, serving quite an ambitious menu with a fine dining atmosphere, complete with white linen tablecloths and dinner-jacketed waiters. There is an a la carte menu, which is the way that we went, but also two eight tasting menus at 420 kuna (£50) or 650 kuna (£77) should you wish. If you come here then bear in mind that a taxi can only drop you at one of the gates to the walled town, and there is then a five minute walk involving some steps to actually get to the restaurant. On the positive side, the old town is stunning to look at, so it is a rewarding walk.
The wine list is almost entirely Croatian except for the champagne, starting at 290 kuna (£34) and not showing the vintages. Sample labels were Bire Grk at 400 kuna for a bottle that can be found in the high street for 210 kuna, Posip Majstor Stina at 600 kuna for a wine that retails at kuna 195, and Billecart Salmon Brut champagne at 800 kuna for a wine that will set you back 472 kuna in a shop. It was interesting to try a small glass of the Prolek Karaman sweet Malvasia dessert wine that was first made here in 1383, with the grapes air-dried on racks. This wine has recently been revived and was lovely.
The meal started with a distinctly odd complimentary nibble of a little local cheese with broccoli flower mousse and pistachio crumbs. This seemed to me an ill-judged flavour combination (9/20). At this point I was dreading what was to follow so was really surprised by the starter of porcini risotto with foie gras and Croatian summer truffles. This risotto, made with vialone nano rice, was genuinely good, topped with shavings of Istrian summer truffles, which did not have much truffle scent, and also served with a piece of pan-fried foie gras. The truffles and foie gras were presumably there to add a luxurious air to the dish, but actually I would have been happier just to have had the porcini risotto without these embellishments, as the rice had good texture and the stock brought a pleasing flavour that nicely complemented the mushrooms (14/20).
My main course was fillet of wild sea bass with cauliflower cream, asparagus and carrots. The vegetables were pleasant and the fish was actually quite good, nicely cooked and having plenty of flavour (14/20). Dessert was less successful, a sort of chocolate lava cake, involving a centre of warm, melting chocolate mousse with almond chips and mint ice cream. The chocolate was reasonable but the mint ice cream was too dominant a flavour. Mint is a tricky flavour in food as it can be so strong, and here it shunted aside everything else on the plate (12/20).
The service was very good indeed, our waiter speaking excellent English, as did his manager. Our bill, including plenty of good wine, came to 1,235 kuna (£147). If you shared a modest bottle of wine then a more typical cost per person might be around £71. Overall, Dubrovnik was rather an erratic and quite expensive experience, with its peculiar canapé and not very successful dessert contrasting with genuinely excellent risotto and good sea bass main course.