Badi’s Chef Moris Damiani, the man behind the wonders they placed on our table, started out heavy at the very first meal, serving toasted bread and olive oils from Umag and Savudrija:
Terra Istriana – extra virgin olive oil
Mate timbro istriano – of intense scent and flavour but leaving no bitter taste
Mate trasparenza marina –of intensive scent, yellowish in colour, complementing fish dishes
Kmet (Istrian bjelica)
Mate oils are produced by the 75-year-old Mate Vekić from Savudrija, and we were served the world famous Teranino as aperitif, several times. Then things got really serious. Sole carpaccio on a black rice croccante covered with grated black truffles. A combination of a crunchy base, freshness of the fish and honey sweetness with a complementing flavour of black truffles grated abundantly just as we would do it if the truffles were the chocolate on top of our semolina. The delightful freshness of the fish and the black truffle flavour of a long-lasting taste, with the contrasting crunchy flavour and the black and white variation. Malvasia Degrassi, of a slight fruity aroma, was the drink of the hour.
Next on the menu were the Grana Padano cheese fondue, Roman gnocchi and breaded sole fillet with sesame. The Roman gnocchi is made of semolina and baked in the oven. The sole fillet is very tender, melting in your mouth combined with cheese. Sesame is that little thing which brings everything together perfectly and just when you think it doesn’t get any better than this, there come black fagottini filled with sole on a goat cheese cream, covered with none less than marigold flowers. They look as the perfect bed of flowers to lay on, but if they say we are to eat it, who are we to argue :). A combination of a compact, almost shortcrust pastry of fagottini and a gentle filling resembling sole pâté. Tasty, gentle, soft…
And then… the play of the day! Sole fillet in a hazelnut capenade, pumpkin purée, oyster cream, marinated purple onions, goat cheese cream with marinated anchovies and red onions baked in salt! A genuine rhapsody of colours and flavours on a plate: sour (marinated purple onion), sweet (pumpkin), saltish (oysters), creamy, at moments salty (goat cheese with anchovies)… This dish deserves to have a film made in its honour, or at least a TV show. It’s incredible!
After all that it was time for the Umag fried pastry (fritule) on vanilla cream, covered with melted chocolate and mint leaves, filled with raisins, pine nuts and hazelnuts. We were wondering when all this will come to an end, drinking our last glass of malvasia. The lovely waitress finally stopped filling our glasses as we were too quiet. Nado Badurina “Badi”, the owner, explained the story behind every meal and took us on a tour of the kitchen. An old school gentleman, very polite with exquisite manners, yet keeping up with the modern times. He told us about the need to be present on social networks, share announcements, work on the marketing and follow the trends. A clean and representative kitchen and a cosy ambiance with prevailing features of stone and the warm shade of dark red colour. Surely a place to both remember and recommend. Istria it is!
We will definitely be back in December, having fun at the Adriatic Squid Days, and if you feel up to it and fancy codfish specialties, make sure you visit the Badi restaurant during the Christmas holidays.