Chef Bine Volcic And His Masterful Monstera Bistro Ljubljana
Monstera Bistro At A Glance
Monstera Ljubljana, owned by chef Bine Volčič and his wife Katarina, is another of our city’s most innovative restaurants, with an ever-rotating menu, bright and well-lit design, attentive servers, and, best of all, some of the most scrumptious menu items in all of Ljubljana.
Cuisine: International with a touch of traditional Slovenian kitchen
Best for: Quick lunch, romantic dinner, slow food dinner, couples & solo travelers
Price: Mid-range (€€): 2-course lunch €15, 3-course €18, 7-course slow-food delight just €50
More on Monstera Bistro below… or jump to:
Since my family and I embarked upon this nutritious, delicious Ljubljana restaurant mission, we’ve been on the hunt for best restaurants in Ljubljana. Places that would meet our ambitious criteria, all 7 of them:
- fresh, healthy ingredients
- appetising, tasty dishes
- beautiful dish displays
- excellent & friendly service
- fine, inspiring interiors
- cool location
- and affordable prices (hey, we are a family of 5!)
There are many great Ljubljana restaurants in the mid-priced range. A few of the best ones — Luda, for instance — came really, really close. Just not all the way. In a surprising twist, new kid on the block Monstera Bistro, with innovative and world-known chef Bine Volčič, ticks all of our restaurant boxes, becoming one of our favorite places, citywide. Wow!
Location & Setting
It’s friendly and gorgeous, with that Scandinavian style interior design I can never get enough of — fine lines, modernity, plenty of light, touches of wood.
When we arrived to Monstera Bistro, which is just a two minutes’ walk from Congress Square or Cobbles Bridge and Ljubljanica River, both servers, Ludvik and Leon, were busy taking guests’ orders. But we were noticed immediately and greeted with big, friendly smiles. As is our custom, we booked a table near the window, to allow for plenty of light and enough space.
At Monstera, no more than two-dozen guests can dine at a time, making it an intimate occasion, one centered on style, gourmet delights and engaging conversations. And, unlike in some other popular restaurants, you don’t need to raise your voice in Monstera to be heard. Gentle voices are blending with soothing sounds of music creating the most pleasing ambiance for lunch or dinner.
Maybe you are, like I was, curious about the name? “Monstera” comes from Monstera deliciosa, a flowering plant, with delicious edible fruits, native to southern Mexican rainforests. So I can reassure you (or disappoint you) — nope, no monsters in Monstera Bistro. Just friendly and talented chef and his staff. And lots of happy customers.
The Menu & Service
Monstera Bistro is Chef Bine Volčič’s dream restaurant, a vision he accomplished after years of hard work and dedication. On his menu you’ll find wildly innovative dishes with top-quality ingredients, alongside Monstera craft beers, organic wines, homemade juices, and both still and sparkling water. (But no cheap, commercial sodas or other drinks of this kind.)
Amazingly, Monstera is committed to “zero-waste” in both the kitchen and dining room, reminding us of Bine’s sincere love of nature. After all, he named his restaurant after a plant he “played with Legos under” in his childhood and which now inspires him in different ways. He wants to contribute his share in making this world a better place and preserving it for the future generations.
Both our servers were incredibly knowledgeable about the restaurant and the menu, engaging us with confidence and enthusiasm. Monstera’s concept is somewhat similar to Luda’s, with a menu that changes every Wednesday.
The ever-rotating ingredients and menu items, which are largely seasonal, allow you to switch up your order and enjoy different experiences, choosing between two appetizers, two main courses, and two desserts, along with both meat and vegetarian options. The cost? Just €15 for a two-course lunch, €18 for a three-course lunch, and €50 for a seven-course tasting dinner menu.
And here was Leon with our first starter — a carrot soup with orange and coriander seeds, orange foam, pumpkin seed oil, and parsley was smooth and soul-warming, perfect for the chilly Saturday in December.
Despite not being what you might call a “soup fan,” I would eat this soup every day of my life. After just this starter, we knew immediately we were in for a truly delightful and innovative culinary experience.
Instead of the soup, Dad opted for Ceviche. As I said, our family is a collection of different tastes and needs, and Dad just can’t get enough seafood.
The Monstera team complied, offering an extremely delicious seafood salad, with prawns, octopus, John Dory fish, minced black olives, red peppers, parsnip cream, lemon, along with a heaping of thin-cut iceberg lettuce, coated with black olive powder. Dad said he could have had this as his main dish. It was that good.
As with most things in life, Moms know best. And when my Mom suggested the barley risotto, with beetroot, goat cheese, barley chips, spinach salad, along with black truffle vinaigrette, I had to taste it.
It’s a beautiful dish, one that makes you beautiful on the inside and out. It looks good, it tastes good and it is good for your health. Chef Bine Volčič impressed us, yet again!
Roasted Wild Boar
Every dish is a spectacle at Monstera, and the main dish was utter culinary poetry. This was one of the best meat dishes I’ve ever had, and the layered potato cake and pumpkin puree were absolutely out of this world!
I would eat roasted boar at Monstera Bistro all the time, if only the menu didn’t change every week. But then again, I’m so curious in what chef Bine will cook up next!
Absolutely divine. What else is there to say? The mulled wine coulis was cooked through, to rid the dish of alcohol, and the walnut ice cream paired wonderfully with the apple crumble. It was inventive, vibrant, with the right touch of dessert comfort. And we couldn’t resist!
I think I have my new favorite place in Ljubljana. And with an ever-changing menu, and an imaginative, almost “mad genius” chief cook, I’ll be back often to see what else Chef Volčič comes up with! Maybe I’ll see you there…
About Chef Bine Volčič
The artist himself, Chef Bine Volčič, has had an illustrious career and gastronomic education, with a degree in cooking from Le Cordon Bleu Paris. He worked alongside famous Parisian chefs Alain Passard and Jean-Pierre Vigato at A’Arpege and L’Apicius, respectively.
He further studied and cooked at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon with Parisian Chef Joël Rbouchon and Helsinki’s Chef & Sommelier with Chef Sasu Laukkonen.
Map, Hours & Contact
Monstera Bistro address: Gosposka ulica 9, Ljubljana
Hours: Monday to Wednesday 11:30am – 5pm; Thursday to Saturday 11:30am – 11pm; Sunday and Holidays closed
Phone: +386 (0)40 431 123
Website: Monstera Bistro
Parking: Closest parking is in Congress Square garage or at NUK II parking lot (Emonska ulica)