L'avis de Gault&Millau

As part of the hotel of the same name, the restaurant Kukuriku, was one of the first slow food restaurants in the region. His owner and chef, Nenad Kukurin, has made it a real gastronomic icon of the region. Located on one of the squares of the old town of Kastav, it reflects perfectly the coastal way of living. The dining hall is spacious and open, elegantly furnished, with some nice details like ceramic roosters that remind you of the name of the restaurant. Mr. Kukurin is a passionate wine connoisseur. The menu as such does not exist and everything goes according to the agreement, with prior checking for allergies and consumption of raw fish. We decided to try a little bit of everything, so we started with a selection of seafood and meat cold entrées. Everything was delicious. We would single out our favorites. The excellent, raw scampi (langoustines) served with a creamy, mild curd and a juicy oyster, full of sea flavour. From the meat platter we will remember a very tasty bresaola (dried beef meat) stuffed with cream cheese and a very good beef tartare. The warm appetizers were conceptually very similar. In the seafood version the tender Gnocchi alla Romana, were served in a sauce with monkfish and wild asparagus, while in the meat version they were served with a beef goulash still with asparagus. The sauce was very tasty in both cases, and the only complaint concerns the gnocchi that were too hot. The next thing we tried was a classic: a ribeye steak with grilled vegetables and baked potatoes. The other main course we tasted was a seabass fillet which was perfectly prepared, together with a salmon fillet, a monkfish and a few scampi, all served in an excellent, reduced bouillabaisse (a fish stew from South France). It was really tasty, but we got the impression that conceptually it could have been better. As desserts, we chose a very rich chocolate cake served with strawberries and another classic, figs in Prošek (a Croatian sweet, dessert wine) that were served with crispy biscuits, walnuts and curd. When you want to slowdown in these hectic times, head to Kukuriku, forget about the clock and indulge in the pleasure that the kitchen staff has prepared for you.

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