Family farm Kovačići (Stancija Kovačići)

Vinko Frlan
Price range:

A small settlement is located on the slopes of Učka in the municipality of Matulji. The address Rukavac 51 is where you’ll find Stancija Kovačići, a true gem. Just ten minutes from Opatija you’ll be mesmerised by flavours, scents and aromas. It doesn’t matter if you’re into swimming or hiking because this is a place where you’re bound to come back!

Vinko Frlan is the proprietor of Stancija Kovačići. Although he’s just 30, he has worked in kitchens of famous Kvarner restaurants for twelve years. He set about restoring his family heritage in Rukavac with the aim of giving it a new purpose by turning it into a family restaurant with rooms for rent. You’ll have a hard time noticing Stancija from the outside. But once you set foot in it, you won’t need anything else.

“Simplicity of the guiding principle in our kitchen. We want our plates to be sincere and reflect the season and our climate. Our day kicks off with picking out fresh ingredients, making homemade pasta, baking wonderful homemade bread, goes on by preparing superb dishes and finishes with smiles on our guests’ faces”.

The fact that the restaurant’s owner is also the head chef who goes out to get the ingredients himself through his network of trusted suppliers, market vendors and butchers is what sets Stancija apart from the competition... Vinko chooses the ingredients himself and that’s where he draws his inspiration from. He brings them to his kitchen and creates winning dishes together with his team. They go to great lengths to offer local food and give all dishes their creative signature.

“We’re away from all the hustle and bustle in the stunning natural ambiance with a view of the green slopes of Učka. Rijeka and Opatija are just 5 and 12 kilometres away respectively and we’re engulfed by the scents of lavender and rosemary drifting from our soothing garden...”
But let’s get back to the important thing - what to eat at Stancija? We highly recommend homemade liver pâté with onion marmalade, creative warm starters with homemade pasta and seasonal ingredients, boškarin dishes... Sweet shrimp risotto with elderberry juice and flowers and Rizman olive oil is also worth trying.

Then you also have grašnjaki (traditional dessert with chestnuts), leavened dough gnocchi stuffed with veal stew on courgettes sauce with fresh truffles. Veal medallion is wrapped in excellent pancetta. Paski, garlic sprouts on prawn terrine, is a season favorite. There were lots of cakes containing seasonal ingredients. We almost forgot about liqueurs, but they were exceptional! The wine list is small yet posh. It contains the biggest labels from around Croatia, but we mostly stuck to wine stemming from coastal regions.

The stunning scenery of Primorje and its delicacies give you plenty to choose from. It doesn’t matter whether you’re having a business lunch or a family trip because we guarantee that everybody’s going to love it. Discover Primorje as soon as possible!

-- Your Gourmet 365

Contact number: 051/272-106; 099/2165-009



Working hours: Wednesday - Monday: from 12:00 PM till 11:00 PM
Tuesdays is closed

Region: Istria

Address: Rukavac 51; 51211 Matulji

Capacity: 80

Price range: 100-200kn

Restaurant description:

This restaurant tells its story with the aim of getting you familiarised with authentic local values. The restaurant’s traditional and rustic architecture reflects the climate conditions as do lots of unobtrusive details that add to the homey and pleasant feel. The restaurant’s interior was inspired by its natural surroundings where natural materials such as stone and wood mix with warm colors of the walls.“Stancija Kovačići” is located in Rukavac near Matulji where the mountain air coming down from Učka merges with the smell of sea drifting in from the Opatija Riviera. Vinko Frlan, who is both the owner and head chef, plucked up enough courage so his long-time carefully planned out idea came to fruition. He completely renovated and converted his old family house dating back to the late 19th century into a hospitality object named after the Frlan family nickname stemming from the fact that the house had a blacksmith’s shop (kovačija).

Awards and recognitions:

Seasonal menu