Entree: Split, Croatia
10 Kraj Svete Marije
The area in and around Split's Narodni Trg (People's Square) is the best bet for dining in the city and Nostromo - just five minutes away - must count as one of the best fish restaurants. The spaghetti seafood at 85 kuna (HK$130) comes with a rich gravy but could have done with a few more prawns. If your need for fruits de la mer goes beyond some extra prawns, you can select your fish from a plate the waiter brings to your table. Nostromo's wooden minimalist furniture, sloping roof and skylight give diners the feeling they are on a yacht in the Adriatic.
In a tiny street just off Narodni Trg lies one of Split's finest fish restaurants. Although Posejdon (above right) is a bit dark inside you can always sit at the tables outside for people-watching amid the chimes from the medieval cathedral. Taking most of its ingredients from the Adriatic, the fish plate for two (300 kuna) is a heap of tender scampi, prawns and squid that could just about satisfy three. After that platter you may not have space for the mussels, but the locally produced olive oil drizzled onto a bowl of these is likely to change your mind.
Restaurant Kavana Central
1 Narodni Trg
Its central location in Narodni Trg makes this a top spot for a business meeting. If you're eating out for fun you could do worse than sit at the marble tables overlooking the busy square. The house speciality of dumplings with prawns, courgettes and creamy tomato sauce (80 kuna) is a nod to Croatia's Mittel Europa influences. For something lighter try the rosemary-crusted sea bass that falls gently away with one poke. Served with shredded sour cabbage and chips, it's a good introduction to local food, although, at 95 kuna, it's on the pricey side.
5 Papaliceva Ulica
This gem is located away from the Narodni Trg in a street filled with boutiques and galleries. Chestnut tables and black and white photographs give Floramye a stylish look and the music selection also makes a refreshing change. The attention to detail extends to the menu with dishes that venture beyond European staples, including noodles with truffles (90 kuna) and pork fillet with vegetables (80 kuna), both filling without being heavy. In fine weather you can dine alfresco on the cobblestone courtyard.
7 Ban Mladenova
Wooden beams and banquettes ensure this konoba (tavern) remains much loved by locals, and visitors are discovering the riches of its menu too. The house speciality is veal (90 kuna) that has been roasted on a slow peka (grill), although the octopus (sold by weight) is just as succulent. Not far from Narodni Trg, this konoba is worth the walk for the easy atmosphere and is the best spot if there's a group of you or if you just want to make a bit of noise. Voros' social reputation is enhanced by a lengthy wine list, and its drinks are priced as reasonably as its food.