Like many other cities in Europe, much of Zagreb closes down on a Sunday. Shops are closed, restaurants are closed, and there are only a handful of people who are keen enough to go out and sell their produce at the local green markets. For tourists like ourselves, it means that you definitely have to plan your day ahead of time – don’t expect to be able to just wander into a restaurant as excellent as Mundoaka Street Food for lunch as they won’t be open!
We headed back to Mundoaka on the Monday for lunch, after having our interest piqued on the Sunday. We were early in showing up before midday, but it worked in our favour as we were able to grab the last table inside that hadn’t already been reserved. Keep that in mind – Mundoaka is one of the most popular restaurants in Zagreb so if you don’t make a reservation, be prepared to show up early or sit outside in the cold!
Despite strict instructions from his GP father to cut out soft drinks because of his gout, K couldn’t stop himself from ordering a mango-flavoured Jarritos, a soft drink brand from Mexico. He claimed that it was no match for his favourite Jarritos flavour of mandarin, but it still tasted pretty excellent to me. I had to drink half of it of course to help him manage his health condition…or at least, that’s what I’m telling him.
Given that we were some of the first diners in the restaurant, I didn’t know quite what to expect in terms of meal size. Do we order entrees, mains and desserts? Or mains only? Having gotten into the habit of over-ordering in Croatian restaurants though, we thought we’d keep it simple with just ordering one main meal each without sharing any appetisers or entrees. That was lucky, because the servings that ended up being delivered to our table was absolutely ginormous!
Interestingly they chose not to give us individual plates but served both meals on a sharing platter, so we could pick bits and pieces off it to share. Not all tables got this same treatment – it obviously depends on what you order, and I imagine the restaurant also makes a judgement call on whether you’re dining as a couple who would share their food.
The first main meal we ordered was the Marinated Boneless Half Chicken, served with harissa sauce, sauteed slice potatoes and a creamy salad with roasted seeds (75 Croatian Kuna) – a far cry from the half chicken and chips takeaway meals we’re used to in Australia! This chicken was extremely well marinated in a salty barbecue sauce, and the meat itself had been brined before cooking to ensure that it wouldn’t dry out. The harissa sauce was a real winner, working well with both the chicken and the potatoes (and the house-made sourdough bread as well!).
The second main was the Mundoaka Pulled Pork, made of confit pork shoulder blade, smoked mozzarella, miso mayonnaise, homemade pickled cucumber and coleslaw on a homemade focaccia with fried potatoes with mixed spice on the side (85 Croatian Kuna). We hardly had room to fit this in by the time we finished eating the chicken, so I actually ended up removing the sandwich contents from the foccacia so I wouldn’t fill up on carbs – a shame, because it was pretty delicious!
The pulled pork was too much on the salty side for my liking and was better suited to palates that prefer a real flavour punch, rather than a more subtle slow-burning taste sensation. I think the dish could have been improved by using plain mayonnaise rather than the stronger miso mayonnaise. Overall, it was a bit too strong for me but I can see how it would be the perfect dish to have with a nice cold beer.
The ‘fried potatoes’ that it came with however for another matter – simply some of the best potato wedges I’ve ever tasted. I’m not sure what the ‘mixed spice’ they used was, but I got regular bursts of chilli spice and a citrus spice as I ate the wedges. It’s well worth ordering these fried potatoes as a delicious side dish if you visit Mundoaka!
Despite the fact that we were absolutely stuffed to the gill, we couldn’t stop ourselves from ordering dessert. In particular, K wanted the Dulce de Leche Cheesecake (27 Croatian Kuna), made of crunchy biscuits with almonds and ras el hanut, with a filling of cream cheese with Dulce Leche, and miso caramel with milk chocolate and Dulce Leche. He was a bit doubtful about the miso caramel, but this salty umami caramel sauce actually worked very well with the surprisingly light and airy cheesecake. With the cumquats on top, this cheesecake actually left quite a fresh mouthfeel, and wasn’t too heavy on the palate.
An additional note – Mundoaka actually sells jars of dulce de leche so if you ever feel like a hit of South American caramel while in Zagreb, you know where to go!
I couldn’t go pass the Triple Chocolate Brioche Doughnut, made of sourdough brioche, creme patissiere 60% chocolate, white chocolate ganache with mascarpone, 30% milk chocolate glaze, forest berries marmalade and hazelnuts (20 Croatian Kuna). This was just as light as the cheesecake, offering a sweet intensity tempered by slightly sour berry jam. The soft cushiony brioche was partnered well with crunchy nuts, and the different grades of chocolate gave a good mix of sweetness and richness. This was just the perfect dessert – light but satisfying without sitting too heavily in your stomach.
Meals at Mundoaka Street Food are much too large for a single person to eat by themselves – especially if you plan on ordering one of their delicious desserts to finish off your meal. I would suggest ordering two appetisers to share between two people, or a main and an appetiser if you’re feeling particularly hungry. The menu changes every month (we were there in February 2016), so check their Facebook page before you visit to see what the latest menu looks like. Whatever you order, just make sure to leave room for dessert!
Mundoaka Street Food is located at 2 Petrinjska in Zagreb, Croatia.