Restaurant Review – Gradska Kavana, Split

November 23, 2009

OK – something a little different this time – instead of a recommendation, I’m adding this as a warning. Gradska Kavana, in the very centre of Split, is probably one of the worst places to eat in the whole city. I’ve been there a few times, unfortunately, but always as a result of having to meet someone who had already decided to eat there. The last visit, which I will stress is the very LAST visit I will make to the place, was bad enough that I feel compelled to write this. Having been called up by a friend, who asked me to join him there, I went along and ordered a lasagne for myself. My friend ordered a steak and fried potatoes.

My lasagne arrived in a clay dish, which I actually had to tip to the side to empty all the excess water out of. After trying a few mouthfuls (and crunching through the tasteless, only partly cooked pasta sheets) I decided to leave the rest. My friend had a few bites of his hardly cooked, very ill looking piece of meat, and ate just a few of the nasty frozen french fries and frozen veg that accompanied it. When the waiter came to collect the plates, he asked was everything ok. Now normally, even if I don’t like something, I’ll just make some excuse and say it was all fine so as not to insult the chef. But this time I felt I really needed to say something. I said “No, not really” – to which he just shrugged his shoulders and walked off! As an extra show of my displeasure, I actually waited for the 4kn change and took it with me. So, anyone thinking of stopping by there for a bite to eat, please do yourselves a favour and go elsewhere!

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Club Review – The Garden & Barbarella’s, Zadar

July 16, 2007

Garden

The Garden is a lovely outdoor bar in the old town of Zadar. Run by two very nice geezers, Nick Colgan & Eddie O’Callaghan, it’s a fantastic place to laze away a sunny day, listening to the very finest music to be found on Croatia’s shores. It is exactly what it says it is – an open-air garden, with comfy laid back chairs for lounging and soaking up the relaxed atmosphere.

Garden & Barbarella’s Location

However, not content with only having one cool bar, the guys decided to commandeer another place in the grounds of the Pinija Hotel in Petrčane, just 15 minutes north of Zadar. Christened Barbarella’s, after a 70’s club in Brum that the guys used to go to (which was named after the film, incidentally), the club has been given a complete make-over in an uber-cool 70’s style.

Barbarella’s

So, restless as they seem to be, and not being content with having two super trendy places, the guys decided to embark on their most recent project, The Garden Festival. This yearly festival, which has just finished it’s second run, is held in the grounds of the Pinija Hotel and features some of the finest DJ’s and live acts from all over Europe, including Mr. Scruff, Rainer Truby, Jazzanova, Michael Rutten, and the Soil & Pimp Sessions, to name just a few. To find out more about what they do, visit them at any of the following websites:

www.thegardenzadar.com

www.thegardenfestival2007.com

www.myspace.com/thegardenzadar

Adventure tours on the island of Hvar

July 12, 2007

Hvar Adventure

As they put it themselves, Hvar Adventure are “a team of young, professional, hard working enthusiasts dedicated to creating the best and most complete array of adventure tours on the island of Hvar. Offering tailor-made programs, according to your needs and wishes, which can include adventure programs ranging from one day to one week, with the itinerary left flexible to suit individual interests and the curiosities of the group.”

With their office situated just off of the main square in Hvar town, this group of friendly, energetic people will definitely help you make the most out of your stay on Hvar. With activities such as sea kayaking, free-climbing, and their daily sailing tours, you’re guaranteed to enjoy every minute you spend with them. I’ve seen a lot of people return from a day out with the Hvar Adventure team beaming from ear to ear, so in my opinion that says it all.

Visit www.hvar-adventure.com for more details.

Club Review – Kocka, Split

July 12, 2007

Kocka

OK. This one’s definitely not for the faint hearted. Located just up from one of the more well known clubs – Metropolis –  Club Kocka (said ‘Kotska’) defines the word ‘Underground’. For starters, you’re going to have a hard time finding it! Your best bet is to keep an eye out for the large groups of teenagers drinking ‘Al Fresco’ – try not to let fear overcome you and kindly ask for directions to the entrance of the club. You’ll be pointed towards a concrete stairwell, full of graffiti, which leads you down to what seems like an underground car park. There you’ll find two steel doors which lead down to the club.

Kocka Location

Entrance is usually only 10 or 20 kunas, and beers are about 12kn a bottle – very reasonable! Inside you’ll more than likely be greeted by some strange stares from the locals, as this isn’t really the kind of place your average tourist will stop by for a bevvy. But for those of you that would like to experience some real Croatian underground clubbing, you’ll not find a better spot. Music policy seems to be anything outside of the mainstream, from punk, reggae and metal, to electro, drum n’ bass, and everything in between. If you want to check what’s on before you go, check their website at www.kocka.hr – it’s not in English but you should be able to figure out the key words!

Restaurant Review – The Black Cat, Split

July 12, 2007

Black Cat

The Black Cat is located just a short walk from the main market at the corner of the old town. Start to follow ‘Kralja Zvonimira’ as if you were leaving Split, and after the first set of traffic lights take a right and follow the road around. About half way up you’ll see the outdoor seating area of The Black Cat.

Black Cat Location

After repeated visits to this restaurant, it certainly seems that the outdoor area is where it’s at. And probably the first thing you’ll notice is the foreign accents – this place really does seem to be a favourite with tourists. And it’s no wonder – it’s the only place in Split where you can get ‘international food’. As in, not pasta, pizza or fish. Which is pretty much all you’ll get in the majority of restaurants in Split.

A quick look at the menu lets  you know that you’re in for a treat. There’s some wonderful salads to be had – and not just your traditional mixed Croatian salad. Lots of Spanish and Mexican influences. There’s also some Fajitas, Quesadillas, Curry, BLT’s – a real mish-mash of cultures and cuisines – but the biggest plus is the price. You can easily have a dinner for 2, with a big beer each for under 100kn. 

The waiting staff are always friendly, and speak good English, and the food never takes too long to arrive. Not that you really mind, as there’s something very special about the atmosphere sitting there amongst the flowers – very relaxing.

So all in all, a very nice place to dine – I actually now a lot of people who have visited Split and eaten in the Black Cat every night, so that’s got to be saying something!

Call them on 021 490 284 for more info/directions. Open til 12 pm.