Restaurant Veli Žal

Nemanja Simić
Price range:

Restaurant Veli Žal is one of 11 restaurants owned by the Lošinj Hotels & Villas brand. This particular restaurant is situated within arm’s reach of a stunning beach in a lush pine wood, right next to Aurora Hotel boasting a breath-taking view of the Adriatic Sea. Housed in an old edifice defying winds gusts and waves, chef Nemanja Savić heads a team that knows perfectly well what to do with readily available fresh fish and seafood, but meat lovers won’t be disappointed either.

Lošinj is a remote island indeed and travelling there either from Istria or Krk can be rather time-consuming. But once you do get there, get a glimpse of the turquoise sea and get a whiff of pure Mediterranean, you’ll have a hard time going back to the mainland and forgetting about their wonderful delicacies.

In addition to homemade bread and extra virgin olive oil from the island of Cres (Lošinj and Cres are separated only by a tiny bridge just a couple of metres long), for starters you’ll get to choose from prosciutto and boškarin (traditional Istrian cattle) carpaccio or enjoy some nice seafood combinations. We turned our undivided attention to the octopus and prawn roll, shrimp steak tartare and, in particular, to the cuttlefish and prawn salad with olives and potatoes. Kozlović Malvasia 2017, a wine stemming from a winery that seldom errs, was the perfect companion to this phenomenal seafood combination. The wine’s freshness and characteristic aroma perfectly conveys what this part of the globe is all about.

Veli Žal is open all year round and their menu keeps track of the changing seasons of the year. Having said that, every month is dedicated to a certain ingredient or cuisine. Oily fish month has just been wrapped up, while their (boat-shaped) window is always brimming with fresh fish supplied by the local fishermen on a daily basis. In summer everything revolves around foreign visitors, whereas daily menus containing less refined dishes aimed at locals are on offer in winter. The smiling and more than pleasant staff guarantee that all fruits and vegetables originate from local and Croatian family farms, which is something you really do feel once you give them a try.

While we were busy choosing which fish to have for lunch, the window containing meat that had aged for over 30 days caught our attention. A sight for sore eyes... Still, we opted for the fish. Given that the young chef recommended we had John Dory, sea bass, mullet, flatfish and scorpionfish, somehow we opted for the latter, a brown-red beauty that is slightly underestimated yet always delicious. Whichever fish you fancy, they can prepare it in several ways at Veli Žar: boiled, grilled or oven-roasted. Given that our arrival was preceded by a storm, opting for oven-roasted fish was only natural. This Adriatic fish was accompanied by vegetables whose colours and flavours were a perfect match. This wonderful sauce, thick juices oozed by potatoes, peppers, tomatoes and onion with just the perfect amount of salt and oil are what gives this phenomenal dish that special twist. Korak Pinot Noir 2015 was the perfect companion to the fish and made this exquisite experience complete.

Finally, the third and final window contains desserts such as the classic tiramisu and cheesecake. Aside from the aforementioned delicacies, they also have two local specialties; namely, olito, a Cres dessert, pastry with sheep lard and dried fruit grilled with dried fig jam they make themselves in their kitchen. Something akin to a solid knedla! Still, grašnjaki (traditional dessert with chestnuts) with apricot marmalade were the dessert of the day, wafer-thin heavenly light puffed pastry, unforgettable!

Veli Žal in Mali Lošinj, a destination known as being the go-to place for people suffering from asthma, is a place to have a great holiday. It’s even better if you’re into enjoying exceptional ingredients, traditional recipes and a few surprises. Something you definitely might want to share with your friends. Be sure to try the grašnjaci, we totally loved them!

-- Your Gourmet 365

Contact number: +385 (0)51 667 260



Working hours: MON - SUN
10 AM - 12 PM

Region: Kvarner

Address: Sunčana uvala, Mali Lošinj

Capacity: 190

Price range: 100-200kn

Restaurant description:

Located in the beautiful Sunčana Cove, right above the beach. Traditional fish dishes and a variety of meat offer will satisfy everyone's taste. In co-operation with domestic OPGs and local foods, it completes the story of the island on each plate.
Seasonal menu