Hisa Franko, Restaurant, Staro Stelo, Kobarid, Slovenia
What should one write when one is utterly speechless from so many impressions and experiences? Sometimes it is said that a good meal or great wine brings one closer to heaven. Seen in this way, Hisa Franko is truly a temple – where one of the greatest goddesses cooks: Ana Ros. Now I do not want to pay limitless homage to her, but I have been to Kobarid again – this time with my partner Stephan Wagner – and it was simply most heavenly, absolutely everything that we ate and drank.
So much so that I fear for a next visit, since it’s hard to imagine that there can be any further improvement on the experience – or even an experience on the same level again. However, this is simply Ana’s fault, because, since my first visit, her cooking has become more and more sublime – and I really speak here about the highest level! (See here: Hisa Franko, Restaurant, Staro Selo (Kobarid) and Hisa Franko, Restaurant, Staro Selo (2nd report). Excuse me, to all of you other beloved and admired chefs, but I think I ate the best meal of my life recently!
The adventurous and varied combinations, the joy, the infinite imagination and conceptual creativity – and simply the ingenuity of the ingredients (which are sourced primarily from the immediate area) all create a taste experience that is so heavenly that one could reconcile oneself with death, if it would even just wait until after the last dessert and the last drop of wine. In this review I would like to refrain from describing every single course, and I have not done so for quite some time in other cases. The beauty of the dishes also speaks volumes about the quality, so a few photos.
Since the sequence of the menu was so well coordinated, you cannot really go out of the order and highlight just a few. Nevertheless, I would dare, but with the warning that any even the dishes I don’t mention here are not any ingenious. Another point is, that Ana and her team changing menu rather quickly – because of season – so the dinner we had in September in this combination would not be possible anymore.
What was different this time, and frankly significantly better, was the wine selection. In the past, if you had to be willing to try some of Valter’s experiments without having found it super perfect, the wines this time were all of a great quality (as always) but also perfectly matched – even or, in particular, because really only exotic (and some of the smallest) wine producers were selected.
In any case, this represented a new overview of the fantastic wines from Slovenia – without repeatedly coming across the same addresses. There was a lot of news here, like an outstanding Pinot Noir, 2015, from the winery Sumenjak – a real discovery even for me who knows something about Slovenian wine.
My readers know that I don’t give so much weight to the rankings, especially not the St. Pellegrino list. But this is where Ana Ros is listed as the best female chef of the world. She has become an international star of the cooking world through her participation in Netflix’s Chef’s Table and, if you follow her on social media, she’s always on the go. How good that you can be fooled, because just as Ana is really a trendsetter and a traveler, so she is also a down to earth mother of two children and ruler of the kitchen, but not over the cheese, which is still the domain of Valter, the regent of a family business: Hisa Franko.
The nearest airport is Venice. From there you need about 1.5 hours to get here. From Ljubljana it is also ca. 1.5, maybe 2 h to drive. I can assure you that this is one of the greatest dining experiences you could ever hope for. Moreover, in the beautiful landscape around Hisa Franko you just become blissful.