A restaurant of enviable reputation and a fifteen-year tradition with one of the most beautiful Zagreb terraces and a small children's playground hidden from the sun and curious views from the road after a short time of hibernation returns to the gastro map of Zagreb where it is the place - in the very top.

Balloon almost from the very beginning kept simple formulas of the unpretentious restaurant, but a sophisticated kitchen with several meals that made the table to be reserved a few days in advance. First of all, we mean simply glossy steak in several variations (which are still the backbone of the menu), and when you add a rich and carefully crafted wine ticket and impeccable service - it's clear why businesspeople go through the week, and families with children on weekends seek their place in the greenery beside the bohemian house.

Approximately two years ago the owner Krešimir Ledić began with the renovation of the interior which needed refreshment, and both terraces were cut off: one in front of the entrance (primarily intended for smokers), and the other main terrace which is still one of Balon's adute today.

Balon, Stipan Iličić, terrace (photo by SZ)

The changes that could then be observed in the traces, the arrival of the chef Stipana Iličića with the additional engagement of the leader Alena Latinovića In the last 4 months, Balloon breathed enough hot air to bring it to the heights where it was once ... and more!

Stipan Iličić, young twentyseven year old Head from Metkovic about ten years ago, he was not quite sure if cooking was his true call, and like most of his peers he was more oblivious to the midwifery mate while he was preparing lunch than helping her in the kitchen. The practice was literally done in the Amphora on Hvar, so that only 4 years later it became the chief chef in Dubrovnik restaurant Magellan, and then went to the internship in the Netherlands and in the restaurant Librije with three Michelin stars continuing to expand their knowledge and where they gained an unforgettable experience along with chef Jonnie Boer.

Until then, Stipan had worked patiently in marshmallows and barbecued meals that came out of the bar and where he had no time or opportunity to be creative, but he managed to get the routine and get on the speed. He had learned the knowledge of his older colleagues and had already decided that he would use to the fullest extent fresh and homemade foods with Dalmatian cuisine as a starting point. "Even today, in my nostrils, I have a scent of homemade psaltery sweets that spread out of the restaurant Theater in which the thorns cooked soups every morning and prepared the old recipes they brought from home "- Stipan says.

"Only when I went to Valamar's restaurant Langusto at Baba's jacket and got to know fine dining, I fell in love with cooking, which is also seen in me "- laughs as he tells us how everything he cooks naturally and tries and nosebleeds and a few kilos of surplus. He learned how to use the food completely and how to effectively present them on the plate, and he further perfected it in the already mentioned De Libri where he cleaned only the herbs and grass from the ground for the first ten days and cut them off at a certain angle and chef Boer would he just tugged: "this is ok or - this is not good".

Returning to Zagreb, he had to go back prešaltati in a different way: In De Libri there were only 12 dishes on the map, only one changed each month, and in advance knew exactly how many people and how many dishes should be prepared.

"Today, it seems to me that Stipan is coming to us," Krešo Ledic tells us, "We wanted to keep part of the Balon classics but to breathe their lively and present them in a different, creative way, and at the same time enrich the menu with new , exciting dishes with homemade ingredients enriched with some exotic ingredients. "

Balloon cannons today - apart from the fact that the ingredients on it are fed down so much that you can eat dessert and drink another glass of wine before leaving - they tell the story of Stipan's enthusiasm and the effort that each ingredient has its justification for being on the plate. Even the steak in the Spanish sauce that chops all day does not look as before ... but it's as good as it used to be!

We still wanted to try something new, and Stipan recommended a three course meal with a slightly different chocolate souffle with roasted almond cake and vanilla ice cream to the end.

On the memorial of the octopus for the appetizer in our head, we heard an alarm - so what is it different now, what a surprise it is? Luckily, we cheated: octopus, not only does it look great on the plate, but it is also when it is served with your mouth: cooked in a traditional way, but it does not lose strength while it is still hot under a mold in a mold that turns its juices when it cools they want. Perhaps nothing special until you feel star anise and cherry tomato soup in the recipe of Ane's recipe, and small bunnies of balmy vinegar splatter tasty buds. For a complete brewing of the taste of this otherwise simple dish, it is a cream from a confused saffron and a white port on a plain of fresh potato. Can anything better after this start?
And again, the dish we made has always been on the menu in Balona - liver hood, sometimes just as an apple of beef - is now in the main role: a lightly wrapped basil that conceals an unimaginably soft lumbar liver, combined with the confetti of the cycle, chutney of pears and ginger, with reduced sangria and even one more bombs, this time of white balsamic vinegar and barrel reveals the fifth, ultimative hmmm umami flavor. In this case, we agreed that the name might be wrong and that this dish is more suitable stun flavor…
Balon, liver liver by Stipan Iličić (photo by SZ)

For the rest, we abandoned tradition and steak in Spanish sauce, but with the desire to try something that blends honey, sweet and salty. Stipan was gone for a while in the kitchen while she was pacifier chest marinated in balmy octu first pulled on charcoal and then burst into the oven to get a nice, slightly crunchy crust. For a bit of anger he served chili and flour, and we got sweet with a red cabbage that cinnamon, apple, honey and port. Umami, omami ..., see for yourself!

Balon, pacifier chest marinated in balmy octu by Stipan Iličić (photo by SZ)

Of course, with each meal we enjoyed the wines that are mostly covered with glasses, which are - the best way to book a place in the shade and cheer the hedonists in yourself.