The Column with Simone B. Michielen: Inspiration in a voucher


Sometimes, I just make the right decision. Buying vouchers for lunch or dinner dates during my social isolation was by far my best when there were not a lot more decisions to be made than when to go to a local shop and what to cook. Buying one for Restaurant Mak in Maribor, well, that was in any circumstance a perfect idea!

Yesterday was D(avid)-Day. The voucher in itself was already a promise, this guy knows how to seduce. David’s mission is to cook. Not more, not less. And he knows how to do it!

Is there a menu? No. His quote on his website is “accept that perfect love requires absolute vulnerability” and I strongly advise you to surrender when you enter Mak.

I did. Following corona rules we disinfected our hands when we entered the restaurant at 12.30 and BAM! first surprise came in a small spray to disinfect our mouth. All taste buds straight, ready to go.

At Mak, you don’t ask questions, at least I don’t. What is served? Perfect little dishes, bites, finger food, an almost endless flow of amuse bouche, and my mouth was very amused by them. One remark, eating with your fingers and disinfection spray are not the best combination. But anyway, with inspiration in almost every little dish that was served, for me the fresh oyster with a cream of sweet potato and a touch of chili was for sure something to remember. Another one was the soup with apple and smoked eel. Apple and smoked eel is a classic and delicious combination which I like to serve too, but I never expected it in Maribor. David knows what he is doing! As does his staff. Nice guys, with passion for food and wines. The served wines were complimentary to the food and were brought with just the right amount of information. Nice.

I don’t know how David does it, but he is everywhere. Giving attention, making jokes, explaining the dishes, cooking and also inviting us to the cellar, where he poured another glass of wine, served with a fresh cut of homemade sausage on a slice of bread with lemon olive oil served as an original tapa, on top of the glass. When in the cellar, you can’t miss all the vinyl records and good sound system. We were treated with Queen (how does he even know this is my favourite music?).

After this nice intermezzo we went on. Surprise after surprise was served, simple ingredients served in harmony, that’s all it needs for a perfect taste. Around four, we started with the desserts. I like it more and more that also the desserts are served as amuses, but if so, I need to be surprised a little bit more. In all the dishes up till now there was this element that made my taste buds and heart jump up a little. I missed it at the end. Nothing wrong here, nice cherry sorbet, chocolate mousse and presentation, but David! A girl’s heart is won by sweets…

Don’t visit Mak when you are in a hurry. It would not do justice to the creativity and feeling of liberation you feel when you are there. Perfect love takes time, give it.