Dalmatian Tapas: The Perfect Intro to Local Cuisine at Marendin
August 19, 2018 – Dalmatian tapas, the perfect introduction to the wonderful world of local cuisine on Korcula. And nowhere does it better than Marendin.
One of the things that strikes one after even the shortest time in the old town of Korcula is how small and intimate it is. The same faces appear and reappear, and even the restaurants appear more intimate to the passerby, divided as they are by the public walkway along the outer walls. Everyone knows everyone, and it is a place where the locals are very accessible, and it is easy to make friends.
And sometimes, all roads lead to the same place.
I have lost count (ok, seven) of the number of people who have told me that I simply HAVE to visit this brilliant new place which opened last summer. Marendin.
Dalmatian tapas, such a simple and obvious concept, but one which is rarely done correctly. Until now. And quite brilliantly. The concept is simple enough, as the invited board says – 3 wines and 3 tapas for 110 kuna, 5 wines and 5 tapas for 150. Not a bad investment if you are curious to try some of the local specialities and learn a little about Korcula’s excellent wines. What most tourists miss on the board are words below the pricing – Fun and Wine.
And each time I turn up with my new friend who wants to show me this amazing place, owners Matko and Ante greet me with warmth and a smile – is it possible that good friendships can be made so instantly as you approach your 50th year?
Until recently, when the Dalmatian menu was relatively uniform, ‘Dalmatian tapas’ consisted of little more than the standard plate of cheese and prsut, perhaps with an olive or three and a slice of lettuce if you were lucky. Dalmatian restaurant food has progressed enormously in the last decade, and there are now many exciting options for those looking to explore beyond the Dalmatian gourmet cliches. Marendin is very much part of that trend.
There is a menu of sorts, but always ask what they recommend, for one of the secrets of the success of Marendin is the source of its food supply.
Co-owner Ante has been delivering the island’s home-grown vegetables for some 17 years now, and I am convinced he knows each vegetable by name. There is always something fresh that day which gives inspiration for a little diversion from the printed tapas dishes. My advice? Give yourself over to these guys and tell them to impress you with whatever they think would be best to try. It will lead you into a mouthwatering journey into the unknown. But some things are guaranteed – excellent service, excellent food, and an absolute fulfillment of what they promised on the advertising board – Fun and Wine.
The space, both inside and out, is cosy and intimate, and new friendships are made daily.
And as for the fun, I challenge you to spend 15 minutes with these two and not come away laughing.