The Vodnikov trg market square of Ljubljana has recently acquired a collection of food vans, with the two or three most fragrant specialising in fried seafood. As tempting as these were, Valentin caught my attention first for a few reasons - their outdoor seating overlooking the market square on a sunny blue-skied day, the wafting smells from other people's plates and the fresh seafood displayed from their fishmonger front.
I wanted variety. The 400g of Deep-Fried Mixed Seafood €10 (squid, sardines, hake, whitebait, whiting, octopus) seemed the right choice, even if they did suggest it would be for two.
The seafood is good quality, fresh and cooked to perfection with great flavour. The best by far was the whiting, the largest fish on the plate with juicy flesh and crispy salty fried coating. Whole octopus tentacles had been lightly pan-fried to a tasty red skin and a great smooth chew. Tiny deep-fried squid presented chewy mouthfuls each. Calamari rings and smaller fish were also to a good standard but paled in comparison to the rest.
Next time I would order the same Deep-Fried Mixed Seafood plate. Even though the whiting and octopus were best on the plate, the variety is welcome and much better value. Follow it up with some nice fruit from the market to wash down the salt. On a colder day, the inside restaurant provides more formal dish options in a protected environment.