Monday, 12 October 2015

Divino - Porec, Croatia

The second restaurant that was recommended to me via my Facebook page was Barilla, I searched Google only to find that it had sadly closed. Whilst looking through the list Frank About Croatia had compiled of the top places to eat in Croatia I noticed that Divino was the new joint for the owners of Barilla, bingo. Diving is Described as more upmarket than the owners previous place and it is situated on the harbour front, therefore it was always going to be of a higher standard (and price) of the restaurants down the side streets of downtown Porec.

Divino is situated to San Nikola another restaurant which has already made its name on the harbour. The night we visited San Nikola was busier than Divino not that this mattered much as we planned to take a trip next door the following night. It did make us wonder why it was busier and we pondered whether tourists are drawn to restaurants that are more busy in the hope that they are better, or perhaps it was simply filled with those who had been and loved it before.

Porec is a city (town) that loves its fish, and why shouldn't it with its bustling harbour and beautiful seas to collect said fish. I know foodies scream out in horror when I say I don't like fish, and I guess a few question my validity to write a blog being a non-fish lover. I guess it's one of the reasons I'm trying so damn hard to like the stuff, that and a bit more variety in what I eat would perhaps inspire me on the cooking front a little more. To get to the point, we knew we had to have fish at some point on our holiday, so we opted for the meatiest fish we could find. Tuna steak. The only restaurant we could find that served this was Divino.

When we arrived there were plenty of staff available to seat us and we sat out on the terrace, admiring the expensive yachts in the bay. A lovely romantic setting with plenty of people watching opportunities, or dog crooning as we tended to do.

For drinks D ordered a local ale, the waiter was very happy to oblige and I think pleased that someone wanted something other than peroni or a local lager.It was certainly an interesting choice of beer.

I ordered a white Istrian wine, my staple Croatian drink. I think I ordered about three across the course of the meal... they need to get with the carafe culture for when only person is drinking wine. I'm a lightweight I can't handle a whole bottle to myself.

As with most restaurants in Croatia there was bread. In Divino the bread is served with a little more dignity. Plus some fresh homemade cream cheese. It was small, flavoursome and perfect for an entrée. No more bread induced indigestion for me! Huzzah.

As mentioned already, we were hunkering down for tuna steaks, and tuna steaks are what we ordered.

The tuna steaks came with salad and having been to many restaurants in Croatia by this point I was slightly taken aback by how small the accompaniment was, I was becoming accustomed to piles of veg or potatoes with my meals... not just a few leaves of salad. They definitely weren't scrimping on the steaks, as you can see, there were two steaks served to each of us.

It was no 'Man Behind The Curtain' tuna steak but it was okay, it was seared in parts but some parts were less meaty and more tinned tuna-y. Admittedly there were parts I struggled with and I had to dumb down the fishy taste with salad. D seemed to have no issues with his and he's usually the fish prude!

Feeling flush we ordered dessert, D eyed up the fruity option, one of his favourite desserts is Eton Mess. On the menu there was something described as meringue and fruit with cream, sounded pretty close to Eton Mess to us.

Eton Mess it was not, the meringue which was more soggy biscuit than crunchy sugary egg whites. There was a ton of cream and no ice cream, it was all a little over powering for D and he didn't finish it.

I ordered the chefs dessert, a mix of three desserts specially chosen by the chef, surely I couldn't go wrong with the chef's top desserts.

I wasn't wrong, from left to right is a white chocolate mouse, lemon tart and panna cotta. The mousse was smooth, creamy and light. The lemon tart was ... erm tart but with an essence of vanilla and a hard rather than a soggy crust. The panna cotta, I exclaimed on the night, was the best I ever had. It had the perfect wobble and was a delight to eat. Panna cotta isn't a dessert I would usually choose but if I had to dine her again I'd definitely order the panna cotta on it's own... or perhaps all three again!

The bill came to 541 Kuna, around £55, it was expensive for Croatia but with a few glasses of wine thrown in there I don't think you could get something like this at home for the same price. It was nice to be waited on hand and foot by the waiting staff, with them constantly appearing from no where to take your plates, replace your napkins refill your water etc. 

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