Following our unsuccessful first night where we failed to find a non-tourist trap place to eat I carried out a little research before next heading out in to Porec for dinner. Personal blogs were not getting me very far and so I turned to Trip Adviser.
*Warning trip adviser rant follows*
Trip Adviser isn't a medium I normally use to find referrals on places to dine, as I tend to think most people that leave a review on this site are doing so out of spite having had a bad experience. Thus making its reviews slightly biased, I also tend to find that the number 1 restaurants aren't always the best in town, but instead a place that is new and only has a few reviews and most of them positive, which isn't a bad thing when you're looking for somewhere new to eat in your home city but not so great when you're just visiting and looking for those hidden gems and long-standing local favourites. There are a lot of positive reviews on Trip Adviser, I don't deny this, but one bad review can (and has) put me off places. It's the Trip Adviser curse.
Enough of the Trip Adviser rant, I didn't opt for the number 1 restaurant as rated by users but instead number 4 or 5. A vegetarian and vegan restaurant in a country that apparently loves it's meat and seafood seemed like an interesting option and there were some inviting visitor pictures uploaded to boot.
So off we went.
Situated away from the harbour and down a side street lies Artha. With outdoor and indoor seating on a Tuesday evening at 8pm there was a spare (maybe two) table for us to dine Alfresco. Lighting wasn't great as the sun had already set, so once again apologies for poor pictures... if someone wants to buy me an expensive lens I'm willing to pay you back in cake or roast dinners.
We were greeted almost immediately by a petite smiley woman who instantly made me feel relaxed and welcome. She gave us menus and actually gave us a couple of minutes to decide what to drink, a rarity in Croatia.
D and I ordered a glass of wine each, his red and mine white. Single measures in Croatia are incredible small (by my standards) at 100ml, so I asked for a double. A double 'shot' of wine in Artha will set you back £1.40 or 14 kuna. We ordered 4 doubles and was rather sloshed by the end of it (I know light weights).
In addition to this we also ordered a bottle of water, 15 kuna about £1.50, yes I know, I can't believe it either water is more expensive than wine in this country.
For starters we decided to share a plate of hummus, pita bread and pickles.
The pita was a little different to what I was expecting and I described it at the time as a sort of cross between pita (as I know it) and a naan bread. The hummus appeared to be homemade and the pickles were a pleasant addition.
For mains D ordered a mixed vegetable pasta.
As you can see above it was served with spiral pasta, courgette, white asparagus, olives (pitted) and peppers. Although not as saucy as we have come to expect pasta to be served D exclaimed that it was amazing and wolfed it down, he repeated between mouthfuls just how good it was and that you don't always need meat to have a good meal.
For myself I ordered a vegetable patty and basmati rice to accompany.
The patties were really good, they were packed full of veggies and baked not fried. The rice was flavoured slightly perhaps cooked in a vegetable stock. I would like to improve this by suggesting that they offer it accompanied with a sauce, a tomato sauce would have helped spice it up a bit and make it a much more memorable dish. There was a German couple behind me who seemed to be echoing my sentiments, although they told this to the waitress's face whereas I am too introvert to do this and instead write a blog...
We skipped dessert, although I can't now remember if there was one, in favour of cocktails in town in the 'Torre Rotonda', basically a round tower that used to be used to defend the city but now you can dine inside or on the roof sipping cocktails (At about £6 to 7 a pop - expensive by Croatia's standards) served with crisps.
The meal in total came to 177 Kuna - about £17.70 or 23.18 Euro.
D tried to get us to go back to Artha's (not because he's a tight wad) but I was keen to explore more of what Porec had to offer us.