ValsabbionPula | Croatia

  • added: Apr 12 2010
  • author: foodsketches
  • comments:
Editor's choiceHidden jewel
We were spoiled with personalised attention and this made our evening even more special and enjoyable.

Croatia is one of those places that are not yet too commercialised and less known to the wider gourmet public. I must admit that until I met my husband, I knew little of this country, and for some reason it did not fascinate me as much as Italy or France did... Sadly, it shows how much we miss, and how much we constrain ourselves at times...

Istria county has an amazing landscape to offer: luscious green forests, pine trees and the most clear sea I have ever seen. Its people are hard working farmers whose well being depends on the produce of their fields, gardens and valleys. These people have a special connection to the earth – it gives them life and in return, these people cultivate the soil, with loving hands they care for tomatoes, grape vines, olive trees or simple potatoes.  Such devotion does not go unnoticed.

Back in the nineties 2 sisters, Sonja & Sandra Peric, decided to create a special place. They even had a recipe for its success:

  • 1000 gr of human creativity
  • 150 gr of culture & tradition
  • 10 gr  of nature 
  • ... & little bit of irrationality

The outcome was worth the wait: a small boutique hotel located near Pula on the beautiful sea bay and with the most renowned restaurant in all of the Croatia. I am happy to present to you Valsabbion! It is a place with a lot of style; modern comfort and soothing privacy. The hotel has only 10 rooms.  3 rooms have impressive terraces with spectacular views over the bay. Each room is individually designed and offers a lot of space and comfort. On the top floor of the hotel you would find spa facilities: swimming pool, small sauna, exercise room and a possibility to undergo a few wellness treatments. If you travel from a far & believe me, this place is not easy to find at all, we would suggest that you book a room at this hotel. This would be a guarantee of relaxing and truly unique experience for the weekend! And if the weather is good – nothing should stop you from enjoying the bay area and conquering the sea.


As the sun would be going down, it is time to surprise your senses: be it a new taste discovery or a new plate canvas or an intriguing aroma... It is time to indulge in a pure bliss of gourmet experience. Valsabbion is by far the only gastronomical lab in Croatia offering molecular cuisine. All its produce is strictly local & seasonal. Croatia boasts amazing variety of seafood; fragrant herbs; flavourful vegetables, wild mushrooms (even white truffles!)... what else can you wish for in the kitchen! Service is absolutely impeccable and you can be sure that the waiter would explain in great detail where the ingredients come from; how they are prepared and would suggest pairing of the wine. We recommend going for the tasting menu as it would be an unforgettable discovery. Things that impressed us the most were an appetizer of different olive oils; crab shake – almost a theatrical performance of the crab dish made with various ingredients that were added to the crab meat at a table and then all mixed in a beautiful crystal glass; scampi in the fog  - the most delicious and tender scampi (from Kvarner Bay) I have ever eaten in my life served “in the fog” coming right out of the kitchen (this effect was due to using liquid nitrogen prior to serving the dish); oysters on celery cream; risotto with wild asparagus served on goats cheese... And when the time came to deserts, it was impossible to pick just one option – we had fennel ice cream with spicy black chocolate soufflé and olive oil; and another plate of “purple what” – red wine sorbet which had a smooth texture and invigorating effect on our senses. As I noted before, you can pair each dish with the choice of wine recommended by the sommelier. We went for this option and never regretted it , as all suggested wines were local and it was a very interesting discovery of the local wine region.

We must admit that we were spoiled with personalised attention and it made our evening even more special and enjoyable. We also managed to get a peek into the kitchen which was simply state of the art kitchen technology with a flavour of a chemist lab... Big thank you to the devoted team of this place who never stop creating and searching for the new flavours & combinations to surprise our palate!


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