Since I can’t really sleep right now [02:30], I decided to do something fun!
Last summer my family and I went to Croatia for six days (3 aug – 8 aug). We stayed in Split, which is the second biggest city in Croatia. We also explored other cities around this coast area, visited their most popular island and we went to one of their National Parks! And I must tell you, I was not disappointed. To make it official: Croatia is my all time favorite holiday destination in Europe.
“Oh, are you some kind of expert in European travel…”
Well, uhm.. Yes (joke). Let me explain it a bit. We usually stay in Europe when we go on vacation together, because my parents only have two weeks off, and two weeks is waaay too short when you want to travel to Asia. So we’ve visited quite a few European countries/cities like: Malta, Lisbon, Barcelona, Paris, Liverpool, Rome, Venice, Prague, Antwerp, Dusseldorf, Oberhausen and Tenerife. For a long time Barcelona was my favorite city, followed by Rome and Lisbon. But Croatia stole my heart ♡
Since I want to share everything about Croatia with you guys, I will divide it into 3 or 4 blogposts.
We stayed at an appartment near the Old Town of Split. It was only a 5 minute walk from the supermarket, the city center and the harbour! Myra, who rented the appartment, told us about the places where locals go. And she recommended her favorite local restaurant: Fife. I will never forget our first dinner in Split. It was almost a disaster!
It doesn’t seem busy on this photo, but damn within minutes (!) there was a big queue. We were so lucky that we arrived a bit early. We talked to the owner of this restaurant and he told us that they work from 7 in the morning till 1 at night. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner! This restaurant is really popular with locals and everytime we walked by, there was a queue. I understand why, the food is alright, the portions are huge and it’s cheap.
Before I review the dishes, I want to tell you about our almost-disaster-first-dinner. First I have to make a short list of facts:
1) My parents love to try new food & always order different kinds of dishes
2) The food was super cheap
3) The portions in Croatia are 3x bigger than in Holland
When you add everything up, it is the perfect formula for a distaster. When we looked at their menu card we noticed that the food was really really cheap. Most of the main dishes were around 7 euros. In my country cheap food is equal to small portions. For example, in the Netherlands you pay around 4 euros for a small bowl of tomato soup. So when we saw that the fish soup was only 1,50 we assumed that we would get a small portion. And boy, we’ve never been SO wrong…
If I should give a rough estimate, one portion of soup was at least 300ml. We ordered two. And this was just the beginning. My parents ordered 6 dishes in total: Fried calamaris, Black Squid Ink Risotto, Stuffed peppers, Mixed grill, Goulash and Soup. The portions were so big and to make it even worse, every dish came with a side dish. I wouldn’t even call it a “side” dish. It was as big as the main dish!
Calamaris & fries; Stuffed peppers & big ass plate of mashed potato; Goulash & big ass plate of gnocci… Thinking about it gives me chills haha. Our table had 10 plates of food, I can’t imagine what our neighbours must have thought (fatsies). We don’t like to waste food, so we had no choice but to eat as much as we could. I must say, it was one heck of a challenge. In the end we only ate the main dishes and some fries, but the gnocci and the mashed potato were too much.
It’s funny when I think about it, but I felt really desperate back then! So if I could give you guys some advice.. ONLY ORDER ONE DISH PER PERSON! Don’t make the same mistake haha. Now onto the fun part: Review timeeee~
It was my first time eating Squid Ink Risotto! It doesn’t look appealing at all, but the smell was divine. The risotto was so creamy and it had bits of fish and shrimp. The squid ink gave the risotto a deep, savory and slightly sweet taste. It is hard to describe, but trust me on this: it was really nice! Btw. eating this makes your teeth black. So I’m not sure if you should eat this on your first date.
The mixed grill plate was meh, nothing special. The chicken was a bit dry, but the fries were good! The third dish was the stuffed pepper. My mom and brother liked it a lot, but I wasn’t a huge fan. The peppers are stuffed with a rice/minced meat mixture. The rice was seasoned very well, but I don’t like the fact that it’s braised. It made the pepper so mushy and it lost a lot of flavor and texture.
I saved the best for last! The fried calamaris is the most ordered dish at Fife. And I’m so happy that we tried it, because everyone was sort of addicted to it. The fried calamaris is really different from the one I know. In most countries they use the big white squid, which has almost no flavor compared to the smaller calamaris. You could actually taste the squid! And what I also like is the super thin crispy coating. Most squid rings are covered in thick layers of batter and this makes it oily and doughy. The calamaris in Croatia are tossed in cornflour, fried till golden brown and served with a slice of lemon. Simple, but super tasty!
Look at that battlefield! If I remember it correctly, we paid around 50 euros for our dinner. It was an exciting first day and we all learned some valuable life lessons. Stay tuned for my next post~
Calamaris you later!