Restoran Matrix, an Innovative Addition to the Zagreb Dining Scene

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Ever since the first building opened in 2019, I have been mildly obsessed with Matrix Office Park, which I used to pass on my weekly drives into the centre of Zagreb from Varazdin. In a city not renowned for the finest office block architecture, this place looked beyond cool. 


And as I drove over time, I watched Matrix grow, and then a second building opened. But I never seemed to have the time or reason to actually check it out in person until last summer when I was invited to attend a CroAI conference. It seemed somehow fitting that such a forward-looking development would have excellent content for the future as well. 


It was an excellent conference, but I marvelled at just how incompetent Croatian officials could look when sat next to world-class leaders in technology. You can learn how in What Happens When Israel, Sweden & Croatia Compare Notes on AI Strategy?

I was really impressed with the layout and facilities at Matrix, and when I heard a few months ago that a co-working space had opened there, I was tempted to check it out, except for one thing. 

There was no food at Matrix. It was essentially an office block which closed down after office hours. 

That all changed recently. 


And a rather creative team has come up with a dining concept which is perhaps unique in Zagreb. A restaurant which caters to the culinary needs of the office workers by day with some great (and very affordable) daily menus. 

And then a little a la carte fine dining by night. And with no neighbours within shouting distance, a perfect venue to have an event with live music. 


A friend invited me for lunch to check it out. Coming from Manchester, concrete portions over a maximum of three portions is what I was raised on, but I will confess that I found the seemingly endless number of dishes at that lunch to be rather seductive. And certainly not combinations I had had before. 

Betroot pasta with goat cheese mousse, for example. 


And I had never had kimchi in a restaurant in all my time in Croatia – a great combination with breaded tuna tartare with lemon thyme mayonnaise.  

The culinary artist behind lunch was Marko Jantolek, a promising 26-year-old chef from Zagreb. After the kitchen of Michelin-starred Noel restaurant and famous Zagreb bistro Pod zidom, he decided to prepare new ideas and dishes right here at Matrix.


The restaurant is run by the famous and experienced Croatian caterer and sommelier Manuela Maras, whose specialty is wines and everything related to them. That is why she made sure that the new Zagreb restaurant boasts a rich wine list of over a hundred labels of the best Croatian, but also a dozen top world winemakers.


An excellent lunch, and it was not long before I was back,  for the official opening night, when some of the better-known names from the Croatian gourmet scene made up a large part of the guest list.


There was plenty of creativity in the welcome cocktails. 


And the delightful trays of canapes were a taster of what is to come. 


Live music throughout the evening was provided by the excellent Marija Mirkovic, ex-Frajle.

A little sample of her live act below.

And the kimchi was back, this time accompanied by Adriatic blue-fin tuna and wrapped in dark noodles.


It was a combination which delighted renowned Croatian food blogger Ribafish, who penned his own appreciation of the evening recently


Beautiful colour combinations, superbly presented. Matrix prides itself on working with small local businesses, providing excellent quality. 

What we offer in The Matrix is ​​first and foremost an experience. In the kitchen you will find only daily fresh ingredients from selected Croatian family farms and a top team of chefs who prepare them in a modern, unusual way, “said the young chef Marko, adding that he is greatly encouraged by the guests who personally thank him for the dish and return regularly.


The creativity of chef Mario and the experience of Manuela Maras front of house seems to be an exciting combination.


But the whole story was started by an IT man, also an excellent communicator and the owner of several restaurants, including the famous Savica Eatery, Mario Stipanovic, and an excellent communicator, and also an IT man, who tried his hand at restaurant business for the first time, Kresimir Macan. 

Macan took a few minutes from the evening festivities to introduce the restaurant to TCN readers in this video overview of the opening night. 

Matrix restaurant is located within the Matrix Office Park of the same name near the intersection of Slavonska Avenue with Heinzelova and Radnicka streets. More information on the official website, and you can also follow Restoran Matrix on Facebook



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