Dining inside a castle is always something special! It isn’t every day to have lunch at the heritage building from the 11th century, right? Also, you’ll eat like a king at the Pavus restaurant, whether you choose the degustation menu or just a dish or two. In any way, you’ll surely enjoy Chef Marko Pavcnik’s creations. Now let’s bite into the degustation menu Wild and Free Diary had a pleasure to taste. Here is our Restaurant Pavus Review, just for you.
- Pavus Restaurant Ambiance
- Pavus Restaurant Menu
- First Course – Trout Sashimi
- Second Course – Deer Carpaccio
- Third Course – Poached Egg, Truffles, Celery
- Fourth Course – Black-belted Pig, Miso, Kimchi and Eggplant
- Dessert at Pavus Restaurant
- Restaurant Pavus Review Card
- Price and Location
Pavus Restaurant Ambiance
This medieval castle has stone walls with small windows that give away a little moody vibe. For more down to earth feel there is dark wooden furniture everywhere. Also, the handmade ornaments act playful and make the restaurant more laid-back. Since the Castle Tabor is on top of the hill, we got to see the surrounding forest as well as the Lasko town in the valley.
In reality, this fairytale Castle Tabor has one minus we can’t be quiet about. On the day of our visit, a large plastic tent occupied the castle’s courtyard and ruined the outside image. Probably they were preparing for some bigger event, and we have another excuse for our next visit.
Pavus Restaurant Menu
Chef Marko Pavcnik at Pavus restaurant embraces modern Slovenian cuisine with a free spirit. He is incorporating wild ingredients and combining international favorites into his dishes. While the tasting menu changes with seasons, the final dish depends on the items Chef Marko Pavcnik has at hand. On the day of our lunch at Pavus restaurant, we got to taste the mix of Asian and European influences on Slovenian cuisine. Just right, for our slow transition from Asia to Europe. Enough Said, Let’s dig into our Restaurant Pavus Review.
If I have to pick one combination of this two-part pallet starter, I choose the “sassy glassy.” Well, allow me to call it so, mostly due to the glass in which the creamy foam stands. It’s about the refreshing cucumber flavor and cube of terrine floating in it. I loved the gentle salty-sour balance of briefly pickled cucumber and meaty piece. The second bite at Pavus restaurant showed French influence in Slovenian cuisine. Freshly made pate on a crispy slice – yummm.
First Course – Trout Sashimi
“Slovenian style” marinated Trout Sashimi starts with condiments like radish pickled in beetroot’s juice as let’s say “ginger replacement.” While the gravy made of elderflower berries worked with aromas in trout’s marinade. Let’s say the gravy could be taking the place of a “runny sushi condiment” swap.
For the “thick paste,” we got the orange cream that melted quickly and coated trout. On top of that, there were cuttlefish ink polenta and spicy Nasturtiums. The whole dish works very refreshingly, clean and great balanced. Watch out Japan!
Second Course – Deer Carpaccio
Maybe quinoa chips were meant for a dip in foie gras foam. If not, there is still an option for the future. Firstly, it is the deep-fried quinoa chips we loved, with or without anything else. However, when combined with goose liver foam, the balanced buttery notes took over. Add to that some raspberry and a piece of black walnut skin for some sweetness.
Of course, that’s not all. On the bottom, there is delicious deer carpaccio. Deer carpaccio shows Italian influences, plus over 50% of Slovenia is still devoted to nature. Tender meat with black forest fruits and delicious goose liver foam is an amazing head start.
Third Course – Poached Egg, Truffles, Celery
On this plate, we could taste celery seasoned with truffles, poached egg, and bread crumbs. First, it was about nourishing celery head foam to which parsley contributed some freshness. Colorful match to this tasty garnish proved to be the mild celery oil made of celery stems and leaves. Chef at Pavus restaurant even pickled the celery root. That means he is using the whole plant and show his creativity.
As we all know, creativity is not enough, so let’s check other aspects. We love the balance between oil and poached egg. Also, herb oil can easily overwhelm the main component, but not here.
Fourth Course – Black-belted Pig, Miso, Kimchi and Eggplant
Our interpretation of this dish is; “Reality, here and now.” The star on the plate is the Krskopolje Pig. The Krskopolje pig or black-belted pig is the only preserved Slovenian indigenous pig breed. This pig was popular to keep among regional farmers so it makes even more sense to serve it at the Restaurant Pavus. Now, if we compare it with the commercial pork, it has a stronger color, intensive aroma, and is tastier because of marbled meat and slower growth. The aroma in this particular dish circled towards China with their famous five-spice mix. Asian influence expanded through kimchi and the miso addition.
Proteins in this dish were flawless, miso sauce and pickled addition were right on spot. Add fried rice ball and five spices to this combination and we get a great dish.
Dessert at Pavus Restaurant
One part of the dessert was refreshing, while the rest bonded in comforting notes. To point out, there was fragrant Slovenian native wine (Jurka) sorbet in deep pink color. The color is all-natural from grape’s dark purple peel, also known as a rich source of antioxidants. Chef Marko Pavcnik enhanced grape’s fruity-floral aroma with Asian aromatic spices. He seasoned the Greek yogurt with cardamom while pumpkin got star anise. As a crunchy element, there were buckwheat popcorns, which get along perfectly with yogurt and pumpkin.
We must also mention the expanded fragrant symphony when we combined the dessert with aromatic “Diseci Traminec” from Slovenian winery. It not only prolonged the taste but also added wings to grapes aroma. Talking about wine…
Ahhh yes, finally in a country with a rich wine history. To be honest, the wine was one of the things we truly missed back there in Asia. However, we will make up for that. For our Restaurant Pavus review, we paired our main course with Merlot Benedetic, 2016 and Tilia Rubido, 2017. Merlot with its deeper ruby color and red fruits on the nose was a perfect match for our pig. Low acidity and fresh finish with a slice of spiciness on spot!
On the other side, Tilia Rubido is a chapter for itself. It is 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, matured in barrique barrels for about two years. It is elegant and playful at the same time. Some dried prunes, fresh red fruits, jam, smoke, and full body. This glass was nice with the pork, but I wouldn’t mind to have it with our Deer Carpaccio as well. Exceptional wine! For dessert, we added “Diseci Treaminec”, which means aromatic Traminer. Ian doesn’t like this one, due to the irritating aroma, minding him on perfumed wine. But I loved it.
JRE Restaurants usually don’t disappoint, and our Restaurant Pavus Review can only confirm that. Our five-course menu was a delicious and fun experience. Slovenian ingredients going hand in hand with Asian spices, sure why not. If these twists are Chefs’ signature, let it be. This castle lunch was delicious and we warmly recommend the restaurant to all travelers.
Restaurant Pavus Review Card
- ATMOSPHERE – 9.3/109.3/10
- SERVICE – 9.6/109.6/10
- PRESENTATION – 9.6/109.6/10
- FOOD – 9.5/109.5/10
- DRINKS – 8.8/108.8/10
- VALUE – 9.3/109.3/10
Price and Location
The five-course menu at Pavus restaurant costs about 54 USD per person. Note that making a reservation is highly recommended and will assure a pleasurable experience. If you want to adjust the menu due to your dietary restrictions it is best to inform them already in your reservation. Here is a link to the location for easier navigation.
Pavus Restaurant Dress Code
Whenever you visit the Pavus restaurant, we suggest you consider obeying the smart-casual dress code. After all, you will be entering the noble premises.