Location: Ivana pl. Zajca 4, Split. tel./fax. +385.21.389.400 firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: July 19 & 23, 2012
Rating: Best kitchen we ate at in Split
Food in Dalmatia is of a generally fairly high standard but sometimes a bit repetitive. Most restaurants have a very similar menu and the influences of modernism are infrequent. The ingredients are quite good, particularly the Adriatic Seafood, but sometimes flavors are a bit more muted than I prefer. Things have less zing than in Spain and even considerably less garlic than in Italy.
Kadena was probably the best place we found in Split and is quite good. The view and outside patio was absolutely delightful too.
“Fish pate” is the traditional Dalmatian amuse. It’s basically tunafish but this particular example was very good. Besides various seasonings it’s dusted with almonds and olive oil, both excellent and local.
Croatians tend to be very protective about products that they do make, and hence we rarely saw any international wine. Given the seafood heavy cuisine I tended to stick to whites, trying to find interesting local wines as opposed to generic new world variants. “GRK” (Greek in Croatian) is a Hellenistic Greek that came to the Island of Korčula in recent centuries. It was my favorite and this is a great example. This is a full bodied white grape with a fairly high alcohol (hot weather = 14+ %!). It has a lot of flavor and is an excellent food wine made only by three producers.
Have a little menu!
As usual at better restaurants we were offered the fish plate to chose our victim. The Adriatic lobster was still squirming.
We chose a large sea bass (Branzino) and this John Dory. Ugly but tasty.
Local Croatian cheeses. Croats make fine cheeses along the Italian model. They tend to be mild to middle powered and flavorful.
“Rucola, Cherry Tomatoes and Grana Padano Cheese.” This Italian cheese is in the Parmesan family (hence the Grana bit).
“Vegetarian Salad. Rucola, lamb’s lettuce, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, grana padano.”
“Salad with Shrimps. Shrimps, arugula, cherry tomatoes, green salad, grana padano.”
“Ravioli stuffed with Spnach and Curd.” Curd is ricotta-like cheese. For my three year-old’s palette the mushroom sauce was subbed out for tomato sauce.
“Surlice Pasta with smoked ham and truffles.” I had this pasta dish at least half a dozen times in Croatia and this particular version was one of the richest and tastiest. It had a lot of local smoked ham. This cousin of Prosciutto is stronger flavored, closer to a Virginia ham.
“Risotto with Scampi, Mangold, and Brie.” A seemingly odd combination, with was one of the two best rissotos I had in the country, and I had a lot of them – many good!
A different producer of Grk, this one more common.
“Fillet of Sea Bass stuffed with Scampies. Broccoli veloute with flavored potatoes.”
The grilled sea bass. Simple but good.
Some excellent grilled vegetables.
“Lamb chops marinated with Mediterranean herbs.” I’ve been spoiled by New Zealand lamb. Here in Croatia it’s a little more old school, tougher, and cooked more.
Overall, Kadena is a very good place. A lovely patio, a large menu, fresh ingredients, and good execution. Definitely the best we had in Split and one of the top couple we had during our entire month in Croatia. If you are staying in Split you shouldn’t miss it.
For more Croatian dining reviews click here.