Those of you who follow me on Instagram probably remember that I spent a weekend in Dubrovnik back in September.
There were many things that took me by surprise about this ancient city, but the first part of my little travel diary would definitely be about the most memorable aspect of my time in Dubrovnik – and that was definitely FOOD!
Being a city by the sea, Dubrovnik was of course famous for their fresh oysters and seafood. I did not know much about Dalmatian cuisine, but certainly was eager to try. After a walk around Old Town, I came across an elegant little restaurant called Proto on Široka ul. 1, a couple of streets from my apartment.
The restaurant was housed within a traditional stone building, with seating along the cobbled pedestrian street on the ground floor, which felt quite hectic. The main restaurant level on the first floor terrace was a complete contrast, full of calm and charming ambience. It was secluded from the hustle bustle of the busy pedestrian alley below, with white canopy to provide shading under the sun. The colour scheme of pastel blues and greens of their upholstery combined with aged timber structure with a hint of nautical heritage just felt really soothing.
I fell in love with its casual yet romantic charm and decided to give it a try, without realising that this pretty little restaurant was actually one of the best fish restaurants in Dubrovnik dating back since 1886. (I actually found out about its long standing reputation only while I was writing up this blog post!)
Seated on the first floor terrace, I ordered fresh oysters from Ston to start. These were very special because they could only be found locally in Croatia. The shape of these oysters was much rounder and much bigger than other rock oysters such as those from Ireland. I was very impressed because they tasted sweeter as well.
The next dish I tried was the Dalmatian style octopus salad which came highly recommended. Again the ingredients were very fresh, especially the octopus. This was served with layers of tomatoes slices , lettuce and shavings of celery, capers and artichokes. This dish did not disappoint at all.
For my main course, I ordered their famous grilled sea bass with steamed spinach and creamy truffle mash potato. Although this dish might seem simple, I thought that the sea bass was prepared very well with crispy skin, which was my favourite.
Although Proto offered some meat dishes for those who did not eat seafood, their speciality was really the fish.
The food here was so good that I came back to this restaurant again for my last meal in the city after trying it the first time. So, if you want to experience Dalmatian cuisine prepared in the traditional way, there is no better place in Dubrovnik than Proto.
PHOTOGRAPHER: May Naruemannalinee
PHOTO EDITOR: Julia Jevzikova