Zlatko Marinović and his work have a cult following in both Split and Croatia. He’s one of Croatia’s most awarded chefs, a food writer and often sits in juries of prestigious culinary competitions. He has dedicated his life to exploring forgotten scents and flavours of Dalmatian cuisine. The best way to get to know this expert chef is to visit Noštromo, a cult restaurant located at the city’s fish market. The restaurant’s location reflects the fact that the sea has always been his true love. It has taught him while he was a young man doing underwater fishing. To this very day the sea exerts its influence on his meals, which are inspired by the food of poor fishermen.
In addition to the regular offer (with prior notice) you can enjoy simpler ingredients such as sea eggs that may look unsightly on the outside, but will dazzle you with an explosion of colours once you open them. You can also try fried anemones that are served with potatoes and small leaves of wild bora-rattled samphire. You can also have sea urchins at Noštromo, but not necessarily the classic way by pouring lemon over them. You can also have them with pasta. Limpet risotto and boiled lobster are also appetising dishes. Gnocchi stuffed with shrimp a la buzara are worth trying out because this is a somewhat ingenious way of preparation. If you’re not interested in exploring bold combinations of the Croatian sea, the waiter will be more than happy to guide you through the diverse fish selection. Shrimps as long as a forearm, premium quality fish that are almost alive, squid or tuna prepared as a beefsteak are just some of local delights you’ll have a hard time forgetting. You need good olive oil with your fish and at Noštromo there’s no lack of superb olive oil.
Bogdanuša, which is made from the eponymous variety native to the island of Hvar, is the house wine. This light and fresh white wine is perfect for hot summer days. It goes great with octopus salad: tender meat, chunks of tomatoes and caper buds just go to prove what a great job Željko Marinović does when preparing classic Mediterranean dishes. Željko Marinović pays tribute to culinary gifts of the deep sea with masterpieces adorning the interior because, aside from the sea, art is his biggest passion. Paintings of the best Croatian artists are to be found among numerous recognitions, certificates and trophies.
There are 750 algae species living in the Adriatic Sea and Željko Marinović chooses and prepares his treasure - rakia that smells of the sea. Perhaps this mythical aperitif makes the best introduction to the ingenious menu. When it comes to desserts, you can choose from semifroddo and rozada, Dalmatia’s most famous dessert that smells of vanilla, caramel and home-grown lemon zest. They’re quite traditional at Noštromo so they don’t accept cards. It would therefore be wise to have plenty of cash before you opt for going to Noštromo.
Author of photography: Ivo Čagalj/PIXSELL
Contact number: 091/405-6666
Working hours: Monday - Sunday: 10:00 -24:00h
Address: Ul. Kraj Svete Marije 10, 21000, Split
Price range: 100-200kn