At last, Kopun. The restaurant I feel I’ve been waiting for my entire life. What a sensational amalgam of refined dining, beautiful location and exquisite waiting. I’ll admit it has taken me a long time to muster the courage to write this review. But needs must, and one is bound to press on in this life.
Boskovic Square or “Field” as it is popularly known amongst the locals is but a few minutes walk from the main street Stradun. Waiting for you on this, one of the most magical squares in Dubrovnik are 90 seating places, shaded during the warm days of summer, protected from light and medium percipitation, with heating for colder days or evenings, all this with a beatuifull view of Dubrovnik’s classical gymansium building and the Jezuit Church of St. Ignatius. Kopun
Again, this was on a Lenten Friday so I was not able to sample any of the meat, but Anna (the boss) and the staff were very accommodating to me, making some of my dishes specially to cater to my badly timed sacrifice. One such dish was my starter.
My ratatouille was made specially and completely blew me away. Growing up in France, I have an immoveable idea of how ratatouille should taste and this conformed to it precisely. I was taken aback by how accurate it was to my ideal ratatouille. The peppers were finely sliced and soft. The aubergines and onions were fried and stewed to a remarkable standard and don’t get me started on the quality of the tomato jus. A stunning dish.
Louise went for the prawn salad. As those of you close enough to me when I see fish will know, it’s not my thing. However I did brave the shock and tried some prawns. To my surprise they were quite amazing. beautiful consistency and bursting with flavour. Wonderfully balanced salad.
St Nick, as is his wont, opted for the cheese and ham board. all locally sourced produce. Wonderfully fresh and a fine combination. I’m not sure why the focus of this photo isn’t on the cheese. Maybe St Nick’s hands were shaking in anticipation.
We nurture the old school of hearty and healthy meals made with quality, fresh ingredients. We prepare our food like a music composer creates music – each ingredient (instrument) has a role to play, and each is distinguishable in the end melody, and yet ,they all make up one whole. Great portion of the food in the country is still being produced organically and without genetically modified crops which make it possible to get some of the tastiest ingredients and use them in our dishes.
Kopun is famed for the the dish that Louise and Nick ordered. I wish I could have done so as well but alas Lent prevented me. A small sacrifice when contextualised, and one which I made gladly. Capon is a cockerel (rooster) which has been castrated to improve the quality of its flesh for food. The cockerel is usually red on a rich diet of milk or porridge. Interestingly, the process of cockerel castration is called ‘caponization’. Not to be confused with canonisation. Kopun use a 16th century recipe and it shows. This capon was marinated in figs and apricots and accompanied by a barley risotto. From what they tell me, this dish is worthy of being the restaurant’s namesake. I will be coming back to Dubrovnik to try it.
My own dish was the truffle risotto. Perfectly cooked (which is difficult with risotto), and so wonderfully tasty. Waves of flavour washed over me and I was transported to my youth then back again. Beautifully balanced light dish which left me with plenty of room for dessert, which is precisely what I’m about to tell you about.
Now, what you can’t see in this picture is Nick’s fast travelling knife. I caught this photograph just before St Nick revealed the oozing chocolate delights hidden behind the turgid sweet exterior of this dessert. This dish is beautiful, there’s no doubt about that. Possibly the best dessert of the night. Soft and sweet, delightful texture and homemade ice cream. What more can one ask for?
This blurry dessert was the almond semifreddo. a sort of cold almond nougat-esque concoction which blew me away. Seldom has a flavour been so deep. Almost overwhelming almond flavour actually. I was taken aback and so too shall you be. Louise opted for the cheesecake which tasted phenomenal. very fine fondant light flavours meshing together. Local recipe beautifully executed.
Overall I would say Kopun isn’t only a restaurant, it is a restorative experience the likes of which I’ve rarely seen. The kindness and efficiency of the wait staff was not lost on me. the quality of the food is unquestionable. The location is stunning and quite unique in a bustling city. But above all Anna, the owner, was flawless in her hosting. She made me feel as though I was the only diner in Dubrovnik and that takes some doing. I so look forward to seeing her and being able to dine in this fine establishment on my next trip to Croatia. Please try Kopun, you will not regret it.