London’s first Croatian concept restaurant
Words Elysia Agnew
As Croatia grows as a luxury tourist spot, it’s surprising to find the lack of venues in London where we can celebrate the delicious food that draws us to the beautiful country – until now. Venturin is London’s very first authentic Dalmatian pop-up restaurant. It’s a place that brings those sunshine experiences to life, bringing guests in from the dark, cold nights and whisking them away to a pleasant summer evening on the Croatian coastline.
To set the scene: think fresh fish and the tranquility of a life by the ocean. Not just a haven of Croatian food, Venturin takes all of the senses into consideration. The look, smells, sounds and overall feel of the place is like stepping back in time to your summer holiday – a seemingly distant memory of fun, food and freedom. The name comes from a long forgotten word used in Dalmatia by local fishermen, in reference to night fishing. It means: ‘the last dark before the dawn’. The interiors are cosy and chic, finished with effortless stone walls, bleached wood, baskets hanging from the ceiling and flickering candles in every nook and cranny.
Venturin is a creative Croatian concept and culinary experience offering both an a la carte menu and a five-course set dinner. It’s a gastronomical journey of the flavours that epitomize this spectacular country. With a glass of prosecco on arrival, we tuck into the Venturin Platter: a selection of fish pate, roquet, goats cheese and almond pesto, sea bass carpaccio covered in Croatian olive oil, anchovies and smoked tuna covered with Dalmatian herbs. It’s the perfect sharing plate, embodying everything we love about fresh, summer seafood; whether you’ve experienced Croatia first hand or not. If you have, it will take you back to a happy memory; If you haven’t, you’ll be desperate to try out the real thing.
Next up is the summer tomato soup, prepared with fresh mint and king prawns and served up in a jam jar with a spicy kick from the herbs and spices. The third dish, buzara, is one of the most traditional Dalmatian dishes – mussels and shrimps prepared in garlic, parsley and tomato sauce. The main event is the gregada; another traditional dish combining onions, white wine, potato and fish. A delicate stew filled with flavours and fresh ingredients.
Something sweet (and healthy) to finish: a carrot and chocolate orange cake combo. It’s gluten, sugar and lactose free and is absolutely delicious. The perfect finish to a culinary journey – capturing a true essence of Croatia.
If you’ve visited the Mediterranean paradise that is Croatia, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the most delicious moment of your trip. If you haven’t, Venturin will have you wanting to seek out something more – whether that is booking up your next foodie feast or searching for your next summer holiday. Here’s to hoping this pop-up sticks around in Battersea.