Post image for Konoba “Fra-Kat” Premantura: Excellent fish and seafood, but beware of the owner

Konoba “Fra-Kat” Premantura: Excellent fish and seafood, but beware of the owner

by Gogo on July 9, 2010

in Restaurants

In Premantura, the southernmost Istrian village, there is a nice fish & seafood restaurant with an unusual name – Fra-Kat. The food is pretty good here but don’t try to argue with the owner if you didn’t like something.

Fra Kat's terraceFra Kat's loggia

The restaurant is situated in a quiet street, just 100 m from the main square in Premantura. A large terrace and a roofless loggia with many stone arches make the atmosphere just perfect for a romantic dinner on a hot summer evening. We took a table on the terrace from where we could enjoy a beautiful view on the Adriatic sea and the island of Lošinj on the horizon.
Ambient 9/10

Here are the dishes we took during two visits last summer, one in June and one in August.

The white bread was from local supermarket, but it tasted OK. We ordered a jar of chardonnay (Fra-Kat’s house wine) that was of very good quality, white flowers in the nose, nice fruitiness, crisp acids and tasty minerals, but unfortunately it was served too warm. Nevertheless, it is nice to see that the owner takes care in choosing his house wine. The olive oil that we found on the table was mediocre, surely not adequate to pour over delicate fish they serve here.
Details 8/10

Marinated anchovies on young rocket

Marinated anchovies on young rocket


The anchovies were marinated a bit too long so that the flesh has become too soft and has lost a lot of original flavor.
Price 40 kn (5.50 euro) Score 7/10

Grilled clams

Grilled clams


The shells were big, full of flesh of fantastic taste, you could feel the fresh sea in your nose and under your tongue. I presume they were not cultivated but from the open sea. An elegant sweetish flavor that reminded me of white asparagus put me into ecstasy. Next time I come here, I’ll take this delicacy again.
Price 70 kn (9.70 euro) Score 10/10

Squid salad

Squid salad


Squids cooked al dente, a bit of garlic and parsley, great taste, the portion is abundant. A bit better olive oil would make this dish perfect.
Price 40 kn (5.50 euro) Score 8.5/10

Pasta (bavette) with scampi

Pasta (bavette) with scampi


Here is one juicy pasta with scampi freshly fished in the Kvarner bay. A classic. Such taste is impossible to achieve with frozen ones. To thicken the sauce the cook had a brilliant idea to replace breadcrumbs with smashed broccoli. Delicious! Too bad they don’t make their own fresh pasta.
Price 80 kn (11.10 euro) Score 8.5/10

Frutti di mare (seafood) risotto

Frutti di mare (seafood) risotto


For me risotto is the ultimate test of a fish restaurant. It is a difficult dish whose main secret is to use a good fish stock during the cooking of the rice. Here they passed the test with excellent grades.
Price 50 kn (6.95 euro) Score 10/10

Seafood pasta (bavette)

Seafood pasta (bavette)


The best pasta at Fra-Kat, but only for two persons. On our table came a big pan full of steaming pasta with plenty of mussels, clams, some other shells, scampi and prawns. A lot of thin sauce with parsley, white wine and garlic. Simple dish with superb ingredients and minimal intervention in the kitchen. Beware of the pasta that will likely stain your clean T-shirt if you’re not careful enough.
Price 180 kn (25 euro) Score 9/10

Grilled wild dorade with steamed chard and potatoes

Grilled wild dorade with steamed chard and potatoes


The flesh of the fish was tasty and had a firm consistency. It was clear it was wild dorade and not the cultivated one that is usually served in many fish restaurant along the Adriatic. A real delicacy. One was enough for two persons. Chard and steamed potatoes were excellent.
Price 117 kn (16.25 euro) Score 10/10

Everything up to now seems perfect. Then, the second time we went to Fra-Kat something not very pleasant happened at the end. Let me tell you the whole story.

For the main course instead of grilled fish we wanted to eat grilled squids, not the tiny ones “Made in Indonesia” that you usually find in the supermarket, but the big ones from the Adriatic sea whose taste is much, much better. Below is the picture of these Adriatic squids so you can see how they are usually longer than palm. They are at least two times more expensive than the imported ones and this is reflected on price in the menu.

Real Adriatic squids are longer than my palm

Real Adriatic squids are longer than my palm

We kindly ask the waiter if they still have these delicious squids. November is the peak season for squids in Croatia so it’s possible in August there’s nothing left. The waiter tells us there’s no problem, we’ll get the Adriatic squids. Just to be sure, we stressed that we want to see two or three big squids on our plate, not tens of tiny ones. The waiter again said – No worries, you’ll get them!

Ten minutes later we were disappointed – on our table arrives a plate full of tiny little squids. We complain it’s not what we ordered but OK, it’s late, we’ll eat the stuff if we don’t have to pay the price of the Adriatic ones.

Few minutes later comes the owner and sits (!!!) at our table and starts his speech. He has come to explain us where we have come, that Fra-Kat is a place where they don’t take guests on a ride. He does not want to preach anything, but we don’t know what the Adriatic squids look like. In fact, what we got are the squids that were fished with a large net (koča) and that is the reason why they are so small. Nevertheless, they are from Adriatic and of course, you have to pay the full price.

Imagine that scene, he sat with us like he is our friend or a father, and done all that patronizing lecture to us! I should have asked him why then in all other fish restaurants I visited the Adriatic squids were always at least three times bigger? Just, after all the good stuff we have eaten that evening I didn’t want to argue with him and completely ruin the evening.

Conclusion? The food is pretty good here and you’ll be in heaven when you try the ingredients of exquisite freshness mostly provided from local fishermen, but there’s one drawback. Don’t try to argue with the owner if you didn’t like something or your evening might be of bitter taste.

Tell me, how would you behave in a similar situation?

Overall 8.9/10

Restaurant Fra & Kat
Premantura 42
52203 Medulin
phone +385 52 575 373
web http://fra-kat.co.cc


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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

wineandfood4u July 13, 2010 at 08:04

čini mi se da su kod nas uobičajene ove kalifornijske lignje, a jadranske je gotovo nemoguće naći… 🙂
bez obzira, zapamtiti ću ovaj restoran, ako ništa onda po tvojoj avanturi 🙂 , a ambijent mi se čini ok, i nastojat ću ga posjetit sljedećom tour de istria, taman da pastu probam

Reply

Gogo July 13, 2010 at 11:58

za jadranske lignje odi u Stari Grad 2 (ovdje je post o njemu) negdje najesen ili zimu. sad čisto sumnjam da imaju, ipak smo van sezone. ali tamo du dovoljno korektni da ti iskreno kažu da imaju samo uvozne.
ali unatoč svemu Fra-Kat je odličan restoran, nemoj se zaustaviti samo na paštama i rižotu već uzmi i koju divlju ribu na žaru

Reply

Clin July 15, 2010 at 23:37

We ate in Fra Kat twice and decided that we would not go back – we found that staff/owner had a very bad attitude. For seafood/ fish have you ever tried ‘Ancora’ also in Premantura? We have found it to be of good quality, particularly in the quieter times of the year.

Reply

Gogo July 16, 2010 at 11:16

No, I haven’t been in Ancora yet but thanks for the suggestion. To cheer up a bit the atmosphere soon I will post about a really fantastic fish restaurant in Banjole, just 5 km south of Premantura. Keep tuned!

Reply

Linda July 20, 2010 at 17:46

I ate in Fra Kat and I think that the food is not so good. Pasta was “overcooked”, and risotto as well. I tryed “Stare uzance”, also in Premantura: both meal and fish was very very good!

Reply

Jerry September 27, 2010 at 16:11

I have been living on the Croatian coast for the last ten years, and I am well aware of the tourist traps that most of the restaurants are. The idea that squid from the adriatic are exclusively large is absurd. They like most other organic life start out small and grow through their life span. The smaller squid tend to be more tender when grilled then larger (mature or older squid). Imagine the owner having to deal with an ignorant tourist late in the evening who wants to negotiate the price of a dish because he is certain the squid in the adriatic are exempt from the growth process but are all lego sized. Hint – the other seafood comes in different sizes too.

Reply

Gogo September 28, 2010 at 15:13

I agree with your comment, there’s no doubt the adriatic squids are also small when they are young. But we explicitly asked the waiter if we will have on our plate three large ones or a dozen of them and he assured us we will get the large ones. Instead, we got the small ones whose taste has nothing to do with the ones (size of a palm approximately) I usually buy on the Pula fish market. I am just objecting that mislead us, if you don’t have something that your guest is asking, say so, it’s not a sin. On the contrary, it’s a sign of professionality of a restaurant.

Reply

Nico July 16, 2012 at 14:23

So the majority of squid being served in Istria are asian imported ones?

Reply

Gogo July 16, 2012 at 15:20

In fact, lately they are mostly imported from Patagonia.

Reply

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