Right in the centre of the Croatian capital lies this highly popular eatery; Mundoaka Street Food pushes the envelope in the Croatian culinary sphere with a menu which changes daily and its original and unique dishes created by chef, Mario Mihelj.
In the middle of the summer, the restaurant is completely packed. After being open for three years now, the hype for this eatery is still on. We are seated on the terrace overlooking the main square of Zagreb – where the atmosphere is energetic and fresh. The menu is short and enticing, we decide on two appetizers and two main courses to share.
The first appetizer is the Gazpacho – a cold summer soup with ripe beef tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers with red wine vinegar and sourdough bread croutons, basil oil, and cherry tomatoes. This dish is quite an acquired taste – the ripe tomatoes are tart and the rice wine vinegar adds a lovely acidity to the dish. The cherry tomatoes and sourdough croutons creates another level of complexity by introducing other textures, and the basil oil (which is super delicious) brings the entire dish together. The flavours of the Gazpacho can be misconstrued as bitter and almost tasteless; the fresh ingredients used shine through meaning you taste each individual ingredient.
The second appetizer is the Buratta with Fresh Cherry Tomato Cream – Buratta is bathed in a cherry tomato cream and embellished with Grano Padano touille, fresh basil, basil oil. This dish was rather disappointing, we expected creamy and buttery Buratta but rather we were met by a chewy and firm texture. On the other hand, the cherry tomato cream was devine and beautifully adorned with basil oil (I can’t get enough of it) and delicious Grano Padano touille.
For the mains, the Half Chicken is one of the more popular dishes on their menu. A boneless half a chicken is deliciously marinated and grilled to a nice crisp, and served with a sweet harissa sauce, halved baby potatoes baked with thyme and Fontina cheese, and a simple mixed leaf salad with Mundoaka salad dressing.
The second main course is a new menu item and perfect for the summer – Lamb Koftas in Tortilla. Minced lamb is spiced with Ras El Hanout (a North African spice mix), rolled, and cooked to form the Koftas. This is then prepared in a Tortilla with a spicy pepper romanesco sauce, roasted eggplant and served with a fresh yogurt and mint cream, young salad and feta cheese garnish.
We end our meal by sharing a delightful Blueberry Cheesecake. This light and refreshing dessert is the sweet and ideal ending post meal. A creamy and tart filling sits above a crispy and buttery base and is well garnished with chopped pistachios and served with fresh mixed berries – making it easily one of the best desserts I’ve had in the city in a while.
Considering the food being served, I find the prices appropriate, however it is still high comparing other restaurants in the area. The service is friendly and knowledgeable regarding the menu and food being served, however there is still lots of space for improvement.
I will end one one note; I wouldn’t consider Mundoaka “streetfood”, as it emphasises. If it requires sitting down and eating with utensils, it’s not really street food. If you’re looking for real street food, you should skip Mundoaka. But, the food is good and if you have enough time to sit down and eat, Mundoaka is a must.