It is unfortunate but Bratislava doesn’t have any afternoon tea for me to write about. However, the city has plenty of nice things which are definitely article-worthy. I recently had the pleasure of having Dinner at the Restaurant FACH Bratislava, the first gourmet meal I’ve had in Slovakia. I had such a good time that I couldn’t resist writing about it:
The Setting ★★★★★
Fach is as their website puts it, four unique places under one roof, in the heart of Bratislava’s old town (Staré Mesto).
There is a juice shop, a bistro, a cocktail bar and a restaurant. It’s the latter I’ve photographed and had the pleasure to review. I’ll let you appreciate its beauty in the pictures below.
The Fach restaurant is located in a courtyard with an atrium. I recommend asking for a table at the centre of the restaurant in order to appreciate the natural light and the trees. The venue is even more stunning at night.
Weather permitting, guests may also have dinner in the courtyard (third picture below). It was raining that night but I’m happy that it did: the mirror effect is amazing!
The Wine & Beverage Selection ★★★★★
Each guest is served with a welcome drink upon arrival. It’s to be expected with a fine-dining restaurant but this one was especially pleasing for the tea lover in me: Orange and Green Tea Juice might be my new favourite apéritif 🙂
As a very occasional alcohol drinker, I normally don’t go with wine pairing when having a big dinner because it’s just too much for me and especially so when the tasting menu is a whopping 9-course!
Good news for us teetotalers: the Fach tasting menu offers both a wine pairing (30€) and non-alcoholic cold press pairing (25€).
The pairing options are designed to enhance the tasting menu, so each drink is selected to fit a specific dish. Fach is also a bar and a juice shop, so I did have high expectations on both fronts.
The wines were plenty (Austrian, Slovak, French, Italian, Portuguese) even though they were almost exclusively dry wines. This is not the best selection if you favour sweeter wines so perhaps check this before choosing to go with the pairing. Obviously, the non-alcoholic pairing is made with juices so these will always work if you favour sweeter flavours.
The juices and cold presses were marvels of creativity with ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, teas, spices, cocoa… My favourite was made from pineapple, apple, ginger, lemon and kale (not photographed).
I had the non-alcoholic-pairing so most of this article will be about the cold press/juices rather than about the wine.
The Restaurant FACH Bratislava Tasting Menu
Guests may order à-la-carte or the 9-course tasting menu. The choice will depend mainly on how hungry you are, as 9-courses (plus bread and butter!) will be too much food for many of you.
I have quite the appetite but even I struggled towards the end. It’s a bit strange that there is no 4 or 6-course offer.
The Bread, Amuse Bouche & Starters ★★★★★
The meal starts with a serving of bread from Fach’s very own bakery. There are lots of different varieties but my favourite by far was the bread made with dried tomatoes (in the middle in the picture below).
I recommend not eating too much bread, no matter how tempting. The hors-d’oeuvres will arrive soon enough:
- Trout with garlic emulsion, wild garlic and homemade crème fraîche ♥
- Purple carrot on yoghurt with hazelnut, mint and sea buckthorn ♥♥
- Bakes beetroot with mayonnaise, bacon powder and wild berries vinegar (not photographed)
I just love the purple carrot starter: this sour dish is expertly paired with a sweet drink (carrot, sweet potatoes, apple & lemon juice) for an excellent balance of flavours.
The beetroot dish is a bit odd to eat, with way too much mayonnaise that feels superfluous.
The Mains ★★★★★
- Potatoes and sheep cheese in a mushroom, wild garlic oil and mint oil demi-glaze, topped with wild garlic and dill ♥♥♥
- Crayfish with “bouquet garni” and dill topped with wild berries vinegar
- Baked leek with goat cheese, onions and leek oil topped with bread ♥
The potato dish is my favourite I’ll admit I’m very partial whenever goat cheese is involved but this is masterful, most likely thanks to the addition of mint oil which adds a very special kick. It’s paired with a delicious drink: cauliflower, apple, ginger, lemon & cascara (coffee cherry tea)
Meat-based dishes are served towards the end. Unfortunately, it is also when your appetite will start to falter.
- Wild rabbit with mushroom carpaccio on an onion purée, lovage purée topped with garlic and mustard
- Wild duck glazed with maple syrup. Served with a tarte Tatin (caramelised apple pie) ♥♥
The sweet Duck and tarte Tatin dish is an excellent transition towards dessert. Keeping for last is another demonstration of expertise from chef Martin Novak and his team.
The Palate Cleanser & Dessert ★★★★☆
It’s not technically a course but each guest is served with a sorbet (selection varies) which acts as an intermezzo between the savouries and the sweets.
- Lemon sorbet (palate cleanser)
- Chocolate Cake made with Cocoa Butter and Blackcurrant Sorbet ♥
The dessert is paired with a cashew milk drink made with cocoa powder. The chocolate lover in me was very pleased!
It’s quite likely that you won’t be hungry towards the end but I hope that you are among the lucky few who have a second stomach for desserts 🙂
No offence to my Slovak friends but I usually lower my expectations when I’m in Bratislava, as service is usually average if not downright appaling.
The Fach restaurant team excelled from start to finish: the welcome drink, the vase for our flowers, the sommelier’s detailed explanations, the anniversary gift… Just perfect and definitely Michelin-star worthy service.
Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★★
If you have something special to celebrate or simply fancy an affordable and yet premium gourmet dinner, look no further than the Restaurant FACH Bratislava.
The 9-course tasting menu with either pairing option is especially worth it. It’s really a pity that there are no other options (e.g. 4-6 course menu) as not everyone can eat and drink that much in a single evening. No matter. It’s worthy of a Michelin star and it’s the first gastronomical restaurant I’ve reviewed that offers such an amazing non-alcoholic pairing.
And that Ladies and Gents, earns it a well-deserved perfect score.
+: The Restaurant Fach Bratislava setting
+: The non-alcoholic pairing
+: The homemade bread
+: Delicious and creative food
+: A gourmet on a budget’s heaven
+: Michelin-star worthy
+: Excellent service
-: No tasting menu for smaller appetites (9 courses only)
-: Not open week-long (Thursday to Saturday only)
Phone: +421 918 348 566
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Ventúrska 274/10, 811 01 Bratislava