Word has already got around about the Russian dacha as a wonderful historic villa and a destination at the gates of Ljubljana. It is located in the village of Zg. Gameljne at the foot of Ljubljana’s local mountain, the Šmarna gora. Four exceptional female cooks and an exceptional location.
Russian Dacha is a cultural monument. Restoration, invested by the current owner dr. Aleš Musar, took place under the watchful supervision of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage. After more than two years the villa got its final image in which it shone in 1908.
In addition to visiting a beautiful villa, the dreamlike café with its charming summer garden is certainly one of the reasons for a visit. But there are many others: The Russian dacha is also developing into an interesting event location. It started with a series of small, romantic summer concerts in boutique-style or standup comedy evenings.
But the owner of the Russian dacha has also some other ambitions: he wants to make the dacha a culinary hotspot in Slovenia with well-known chefs as guest cooks. The dacha is already fully equipped for this. A professional kitchen is available, highly representative dining rooms in the villa or in the café pavilion or on the terrace of the summer garden make a hosting possible from 10 to 40 guests. The culinary evenings will take place regularly in the future. The dacha can also be used for private celebrations or companies can book it for small but fine events in the villa or medium size up to 70 people in the garden summer terrace.
A funny quartet started as guest chefs: Four dynamic girls, all four participants in the famous TV cooking reality show »MasterChef Slovenia«, formed the new brand AfterChef and one can book them. These four girls conjured up an excellent four-course meal on the table and the host Aleš Musar personally provided the right drink, started with sparkling wine, followed by Malvazija and Shiraz. As a digestive I had a privilege to enjoy a wonderful Courvoisier.
But back to the girls. They really did a good job. A menu with a character, but round, carefully thought and prepared with style. This is what we ate:
- Kaja Balentič – Basil lamb on black polenta, basil and mushroom foam
- Kristina Jakopič – Marinated shrimps on basil risotto
- Ana Potočnik – Lemon tart
- Tanja Pirc – A creamy vegetable soup with a poached egg
It was truly a privilege for me to be a participant of this fine event and I can only say: a doubly successful premiere, for the four AfterChef girls as well as for the Russian Dacha.
One can already look forward to the next culinary event for which a premiere is announced for September. That will be so called “Cesarska večerja” or Imperial dinner. It is an extraordinary event, a dialogue between the food and theater. The host of the dinner is Mr. Franc Petrič, the owner of Russian dacha from 1907 to 1915, played by Slovenian theater, movie and TV actor and comedian Jernej Kuntner with his family. The menu of this dinner is an authentic replica of the menu from 1908, when the 60th anniversary of the reign of Emperor Franz Joseph was solemnly celebrated at the Union Hotel in Ljubljana. Through the five-course menu one will get to know the way of life of the wealthy Slovenian middle-class family, have fun and learn a lot. A wonderful walk through time, cuisine and theater.
More information about the Russian Dacha can be found here: https://www.russian-dacha.