The Slovenia Times

Urban gallery of wild tastes


Immediately after opening, the team with chef Jovan was pushed to the very top of culinary options in Slovenia. Lunch or dinner, business or private, wedding or anniversary celebrations, culinary tourism or catering at the location of choice.

Wild - Local - Urban

A Baroque park near a hop growing plantation with a mighty mansion from the 18th century - this is the sight that pampers your eyes while driving along the avenue toward Galerija okusov. It is located in the manor house, in the midst of the boundless nature of the Savinja valley. Away from the everyday hustle and bustle, yet close to the motorway, it is an excellent choice for a relaxed pampering of the taste buds.

The story experienced when visiting is real, unsophisticated. At the front of the restaurant proudly stands a mighty Baroque park, one of the few still preserved in Slovenia where merely sitting is a true experience - at the edges there are herbal-vegetable gardens which are intended for visitors to use to spice up their dish to their taste. The "castle town" for children finds its place here and one cannot but stop at the summer kitchen and when the weather is nice, pleasant aromas drift from dishes being roasted from under the bell or on the grill. Behind the restaurant, the path along the hop plantation invites a walk.

Even when entering the interior of Galerija okusov, the connection with nature is not lost; on the contrary, it welcomes you every step of the way. Small pots filled with fresh herbs, wicker baskets with planted salad vegetables, fresh flowers in test tubes, massive oak furniture and the smell from the kitchen which embraces you in greeting. Everything is local, Slovenian, as is also the setting - simple, without excessive decoration, with crystal glasses from the Steklarna Rogaška Glassworks for the drop of choice and with an enamel Emo bowl for fresh water. Yes, it is different, provocative
and wild here.

An overview of the menu convinces you of just that. It is seasonally designed and provides memories of grandmother's kitchen, yet the tastes are surprising. Surplus - that's the very first reaction of our little grey cells. The service is elegant but unobtrusive; it is all about a relaxed conversation with the staff and chef, who makes an effort to personally greet every guest and chat with them. Quite often he gives quick tips about how to prepare a selected dish at home - in a way a quick 101 over dinner. Taste buds explode at the very first bite of the homemade bread fresh from the oven. Just when you think you have experienced everything, you are pleasantly surprised by the service. Plates are swiftly replaced with natural materials such as bark, creek stone, bone and once again a direct connection with nature is made. With every course the significance of the fusion of tastes in wild creations by chef Borut Jovan is unveiled.

Jovan is reluctant to boast but others will tell you that he is excellent. How could he not be when he is entirely devoted to his work? Every stir of the wooden spoon equipped with love can be tasted; every plate created with the precise accuracy of an artistic spirit can be seen; herbs freshly picked from the garden can be smelt and the team is happy to see every guest can be understood by their happy faces when they chat with their guests. This is a complete adventure offered at lunch, dinner, birthday party or business lunch.

Looking over the piano your eyes cannot resist the full shelves of Slovenian delicacies. Herbal and smoked salts, herbal pesto, jams - also with plum brandy and Refosco wine - home-made pasta, cookies, herbal home-made juices... Products joined under the brand Lojz Lojz. The story behind it is simple, too. All ingredients, as in the kitchen of the Galerija okusov, are home-made, local, Slovenian, made with a touch of distinctiveness striving for the perfect taste, all made in-house, nothing gets out of control. Since all products are homemade, hand-made and calling for attention, they got their name - partly as a joke, partly true - from the prestigious brand Royce Royce, only that the brand of the full flavour was designed by the two Lojzes.

Chef Borut Jovan and designer Gašper Puhan are co-owners of the superior cuisine restaurant which spreads the consciousness of Slovenian traditional cuisine and at the same time breaks down the stereotypes about the impossible in cuisine. As a child, Jovan decided to become a chef and as a student he made it his goal to open his own restaurant. After being educated in Michelin's restaurants in Italy, Spain, France and Denmark, after running restaurants across Slovenia, he is now living his dream. With his business partner they designed a restaurant that attracts domestic and foreign guests and the critics place it at the very top. Uroš Menciger, a culinary critic wrote in his review of the absolute 5 suns: "The Galerija okusov is the most wonderful restaurant to happen in Slovenia in 2014! And it is only April." (Nedelo, April 13, 2014). Jovan immersed his soul into the restaurant; his brain, however, is from time to time set free wandering abroad where it can absorb new knowledge again and again.

The Galerija okusov is a simply designed story of success which offers a little extra to its guests. When making a reservation, guests are asked about their wishes, peculiarities and food allergies respectively, and plates are customised for vegetarians, there is also a raw food menu, celiac disease diet... Several halls offer endless possibilities for events - business conferences, celebrations and socialising for private parties, concerts, wedding ceremonies and celebrations. With the catering offer, location is not a problem.

The small but enthusiastic team, with a broad range of personnel profiles, is also special because they organise all events. The offer is supplemented by culinary tourism, as a full adventure for the entire company. You can take a walk through the valley of "the green gold" and taste the refreshing juice of nature. The hop plantations in the Galerija okusov are not an accident - they were brought to the Savinja valley, to Slovenia, by Count Anton Gaisruck who had the mansion Novo Celje built, in the manor house of which the Galerija okusov is located, and inspired by the Viennese Schönbrunn. For a more active tourist adventure you can take the Mega Savinja adventure where the surroundings can be met through an active game of field orientation. You can also broaden your knowledge on a journey of the history from the 12th century starting at Žovnek Castle in Braslovče all the way to the Celje Castle where the last Prince of Celje, Ulrik of Celje, died tragically. Each tourist experience finishes in its own style with the culinary adventure at the Galerija okusov.

Urban and wild, modern and traditional, local and global - this is Galerija okusov.

Galerija okusov
Novo Celje 9
3301 Petrovče
T: +386 (0)31 657 605

Thursday and Friday:
11.00am - 3.00pm and
6.00pm - 10.00 pm
11.00am - 10.00pm

Reservations are required.


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