Fusion gastronomy - from breakfast to clubbing
Since its recent opening, the innovative Boogie Lab, located in a new modern residential and commercial complex in the city centre, has been buzzing with visitors.
Its concept combines several forms of gastronomy in a way which is unique in this city. It is the project of the well-known and experienced master baker Karlo Vulin who stands behind the famous Kroštula bakery in Zadar and the Invisible bakery in Zagreb (which is the place for the best croissants in the city). The famous chef Dino Galvagno contributed as the food consultant.
The name of this bakery/bistro/pizza place/cocktail bar consists of two words: the word Lab implies the idea of experimenting with various culinary concepts; Boogie stands for the life philosophy of the other partner, Mladen Vidović, who is an experienced Dalmatian restaurateur and music enthusiast; that's why Boogie Lab boasts a retro-inspired interior in a palette of pastel colours, reflecting the spirit of the disco era. It is also a place to enjoy feel-good music.
Boogie Lab has its own manifesto which explains their philosophy of sustainability and zero-waste approach, the importance of buying local and seasonal produce from small producers, creating and nurturing a community of partners, and improving the restaurant industry's reputation by caring about fair salaries and a 40-hour work week – which explains the fact that the company employs 150 people.
The large space suited for 150 guests is dominated by the kitchen/bakery separated from the eating area by a glass wall and filled with hard working, busy bakers and a long bar with high background bar shelves with dozens of colourful bottles of exquisite and classy alcoholic beverages. The terrace is slightly smaller, but nicely decorated and located in a quiet, beautiful courtyard of the complex.
As a bakery, Boogie Lab opens its doors from 7 a.m.; brunch is served from 9 a.m., and the lunch menu is available after 12 p.m. In the afternoon, when the evening menu is ready, the lighting and mood change, with the help of DJ music and a good cocktail and wine program.
What is served
The bakery offers a range of breads and pastries made from dozens of types of flour, focaccia, ciabatta, sweet and savoury croissants and other puff pastry with various fanciful fillings such as pickled mushrooms and Béchamel sauce or kimchi.
The brunch offer comprises a few simple, tasty dishes like granola, a selection of sandwiches, dips like hummus or egg dishes - scrambled eggs with bacon or Eggs Benedict.
The evening menu is a combination of a tapas bar and a pizza place offer, and includes favourites such as burrata or beef tartar, several vegetarian options and a dozen of pizzas. The selection of drinks is quite extensive and good, with a carefully chosen cocktail list made up of well-known classics. The beer and spirits program is a combination of popular brands of large corporations and somewhat lesser-known good quality labels, while the wine list consists almost exclusively of small Croatian winemakers. Coffee enthusiasts, in addition to the regular offer, can also enjoy 'specialty Boogie Lab' coffee.
What our chefs had
For brunch, we chose a rich, crispy sandwich of succulent homemade focaccia with thinly sliced mortadella and pistachio pesto, and a fairly large portion of Eggs Benedict with fresh salad. From the tapas menu, we went for excellent vegetarian tarts with sesame, flax and sunflower seeds, stuffed with a delicate celery cream with pear compote, followed by a series of eggplant, chickpeas and pepper dips served with excellent, coarsely broken crackers with cucumber seeds and olives. After that we had delicious marinated Adriatic sardines served on onion cream with fermented red onion and a fantastic crispy Margherita pizza in, as the staff say, 'boogie style', which, because of its tenderness and sweet sauce, reminded us of a slice of pizza you would eat in a bakery, but way better! To top it all off, there was a basket of great homemade sourdough bread.
We drank a glass of the wonderful Međimurje sparkling wine poured open, and finished up with an excellent specialty Boogie Lab coffee, a blend of robusta and arabica, which, for some reason, reminded us of the coffee aromas from our childhood.