Innovative takes on traditional Croatian ingredients and dishes make up Mano2 creative cuisine experience
Mano2 is the second incarnation of the popular Mano restaurant, situated in Radnička Ulica and frequented by businesspeople for meetings and lunches during the day, and fine dining in the evenings. The interior is light, airy, modern, and minimalist, yet delightfully warm. It consists of two separate dining halls that can be used for private and business events.
The seating is comfortable and elegant, with a view of the open kitchen. Lunchtime is usually busy with businesspeople, but evenings are reserved for fine dining and tasting menus. Intimate dining rooms accommodate 40 guests, and daytime seating is around 70 people.
Here guests can sample chef Hrvoje Kroflin’s concept of mixing seasonal local ingredients and preparing them using international techniques to expand the horizons of Croatian cooking.
Guests are elegantly and professionally welcomed by the staff as they enter.
Mano2 is mentioned in the Michelin Guide for Croatia, and has 3 chef’s hats from Gault&Millau and 2 forks from Falstaff.
What is served
From the A la carte menu guests are welcome to choose 5 cold and 6 hot starters, followed by 5 mains, with optional specials that are prepared daily. Any main can be paired with any of the 5 side dishes. The dessert selection is refreshed on a daily basis.
Besides creative dishes, guests can choose from a decent selection of steak cuts, and fresh Adriatic fish.
Mano2 also offers a 5 or 8-course tasting menu, with or without wine pairings.
The wine list is extensive and interesting since Mano2 sommelier Marko Rundek strives to research wines from Croatia and the rest of the world.
Upon request, guests can have impressive non-alcoholic pairings with their tasting menu.
At Mano2, you can try traditional sample dishes from various regions of Croatia prepared in an innovative way, with aromas anchored deep into tradition.
The kitchen follows the Zero Waste philosophy. At their level of food preparation, value for money is remarkable.
What our chefs had
As it should be in an establishment of this kind, Mano2 chef sent us a selection of imaginative amuse-bouche:
A sweet mini cracker and a glass of champagne from the tiny house Olivier Horiot Metisse. Chardonnay 50% and Pinot Noir 50% 18 months on yeasts, followed by an inspired pairing of Jerusalem artichoke and cheese. Our last greeting was a fresh combination of algae that gently cleansed the palate.
Prawns and roses was a balanced, delicate dish with a slight freshness, the perfect starter, getting a rounded, fullness of flavor from the caviar. The dish was paired with a green and flinty Pinot Blanc Markus Molitor 2014.
Asparagus and eggs celebrated the cooking techniques, with asparagus cooked in goat milk whey to remove the bitterness. Eggs were cured using traditional Japanese methods and seasoned with hazelnut. We consider it the dish of the day, and the Sauvignon sweetness and perfume complemented it.
In the celery and cuttlefish course, 2-week aged celery is served with Adriatic cuttlefish tempered in a bread oven, then improved with celery veloute and fermented celery juice. The dish was topped with a black winter truffle cooked in the remaining mushroom juice. A fantastic balanced winter dish, even if truffle with its earthy notes overpowers the delicate flavors of other ingredients. Paired with Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne 2018, whose buttery, oaky, and vanilla notes worked well.
We had wine by Stepfan Muster but enjoyed the food so much that we did not take note of the label. Turnips and beans is a dish that best presents the chef’s philosophy of using forgotten local ingredients and traditional Cucina Povera dishes like turnips and beans in upscale dining. This course was strong enough to overpower the celery from the previous plate and highly refreshing. It was white and slightly acidic to counter the pork belly fat.
Our mains was a seasonal dish on the specials list, a lamb back with wild fermented rice and delicate and crunchy chives, with sherry-infused lamb jus. Hibiscus juice in the dish was fermented with the tibi culture that was also served with the main dish. Paired with Valpolicella Quintarelli, whose notes of oak, tobacco, and chocolate accented the ingredients.
A surprise at the very end, a playful dessert that parallels the creaminess of the Brie cheese, the freshness of the verjus raisins, white vermouth, and the crispness of the milk skin in a thing called Brie cheese, raisins, and shell.
The last course combined figs, candied lemons, and Međimurje gibanica – an expression of Mano2 philosophy, paired with fermented apple juice.
The entire 8-course tasting menu was 179 euros.