Restaurant Male Madlene in Rovinj is the cutest little place I've seen in a while. Vera and I peeked few times through the window prior to booking a table here. Small and intimate restaurants intimidate us.
And this one was exceptionally small, and way too intimate for my taste. How is the owner? Do you need to talk to the owner during your meal (I don't like that)? What about other guests?
The place is so small that you certainly hear the conversation at the neighboring table. Even if you you are not eavesdropping. However, curiosity about the place and about the food pushed us to make a move. I finally booked a table at the restaurant Male Madlene. I went there with Vera and two friends.
Restaurant Male Madlene in Rovinj: Review
Restaurant Male Madlene is a special little place. The restaurant is located in a popular Rovinj's Sv. Kriza street, just after Cocktail and Champagne Bar Valentino. You can have a drink at Valentino Bar, after your meal at the restaurant Male Madlene. If, as you will see, you will have any money left to spare.
Our group was somehow disintegrated. Two of us arrived as planned, but other two were late. And they weren't arriving together. We spent half an hour pleasantly chatting with the owner.
The lady, in her 60s, is very nice, mild, and lovely. She's got stories to share. She is not a trained cook. Cooking is her passion and hobby that she turned into a business. And the restaurant is her living room. Literally!
It is a typical Rovinj house. Three floors, but each one not bigger than 30 m2. Restaurant is located at the street level. It has a small counter space and three tables. it can accommodate 12 people in total.
There is one table for four, one table for six and the small one for two persons. The table for four is the best location wise. It is right next to the window overlooking the sea and St. Catherine island.
Restaurant Male Madlene serves finger food. The plates are beautifully decorated. Food is attentively prepared and very tasty.
A fish course was served first. There were four different bites at the plate. It included: marinated fresh salmon, smoked salmon foam with tzatziki salad, raw scampi with green beans puree and a mussel served with finely chopped fresh tomatoes inside it. I loved the most a green peas puree. It was awesome. I will definitely try to make it at home.
Second plate included vegetable bites. Bites included: grape leaf stuffed with rice, tuna salad wrapped in grilled zucchini, grilled red pepper stuffed with a goat cheese and herbs, and veggies salad served in a basket of a filo dough. Dolma with rice was excellent, very juicy filling and extremely tender grape leaf.
Third course was meat. The plate came also with four different bites. It included: prosciutto with melon, beef tartar steak, and two additional bites. I forgot what they were. You ought to forgive me, I was on my third glass of Malvasia. And the owner was running late for her dinner preparation. She was much faster explaining than at the very beginning of the meal.
There were two different desserts. Chocolate muss with orange and berries and a sponge cake with vanilla cream and berries.
They accompany the meal with white Istrian wine Malvasia Brajko and a sweet dessert wine Muscat.
We had a good time at the restaurant Male Madlene. But to tell the truth, the portions are really small and the prices are too high for what you get. The total amounted to 250 kn (approx. 35€) per person. Ana's plates are a pleasure to look at and the food tastes great. But ingredients used and the quantities served, in my opinion, don't justify the price charged. I don't think I'll go back. As for you, I recommend you go once for the experience. This place is one of its kind.