by Jasminka Sikic
According to mythology, before they turned to Christianity, medieval Croats believed in the existence of three interconnected worlds – Jav, Prav and Nav.
Jav was the world of historical events, Prav was the world of cosmic cycles, and Nav was the world of mythology. A new restaurant which has opened in the capital Zagreb invokes that time in history with its name NAV.
Everything you can order at Nav is natural. The owner, well-known Croatian chef Tvrtko Šakota, is preparing meals exclusively using products of biodynamic gardening. The vegetables are sourced from a garden near the city of Bjelovar.
At NAV, they make their own cream and kefir. With the experience of the fermentation process, they have also decided to produce their own beer in cooperation with Zadar brewery Brlog and they offer Pale Ale and Belgium Blond Nav beers.
Also, they are paying particular attention to their bread, not only is it made with a special age starter, but it is baked in a gas stove so it could be as close to the old, traditional bread as possible.
The fish at the restaurant is prepared in Japanese style but using Croatian fish.
From their menu, Šakota recommends ‘jagle’, which is a traditional Croatian meal made of ground biodynamic eight-row corn with cheese from the island of Pag , which has been left to age for 17 months especially for Nav and has been called ‘Croatian parmesan’, and young olive oil.
Prices range from 45 to 490 kuna for a full-course dinner containing ten dishes. Judging on the restaurant’s opening two weeks, the most popular choice on the menu are the full-courses, and the majority of guests have been expats and tourists.
‘It’s less known that Nav has another meaning and it’s Gate of Hell, so we’ll see how it goes’, Šakota said with a laugh.
NAV – the new world of Croatian modern cuisine is located at Masarykova 11/1, right in downtown Zagreb.