Krk Food Fest: Meet a Gorgeous Gourmet Island with a Bridge

By 20 April 2019

The Krk Food Fest opened on April 19, 2019, and TCN joined 50 other journalists on a 3-day Gastronaut tour of the island with a bridge to learn more.

Having spent so many years living on one of the most beautiful islands in the world, I am always curious to compare and contrast my little slice of paradise with other islands. And while an island would have to be very special to come even close to me shifting my allegiances (as Korcula has managed to do), it is rare that I find something that compares. 

But if you are looking for someone to show you the very best of a destination in the shortest possible timeframe, then I heartily recommend the gourmet tours of Karin Mimica and the fabulous Gastronaut. I posted on social media before our three-day tour of the island and participants of Krk Food Fest that I would even follow Karin to the gates of hell if she were organising the tour, for she is simply the best in the business. 

And through her eyes and programme with the Krk Tourists Board, the island of Krk shone. 

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Such is the popularity of the Gastronaut tours, which this time included 50 journalists from all over the region, as well as the UK, that restaurants are keen to showcase their wares in front of such an audience, and the Gastronaut Krk programme was among the fullest - and most delicious - I have been fortunate enough to participate in. 

And the theme of 'Tastes of Spring' got off to an incredible start in Malinksa at Restaurant Primoska Koliba, where prawns and wild asparagus were just one of the outstanding dishes. 

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But first prize for innovation, and a true delight, was the asparagus panna cotta. Very original and in keep with the theme of the festival.  

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Nothing quite beats Spring on a Croatian island when the weather is favourable. A time to enjoy before the peak season crowds and higher temperatures. Having enjoyed the Korculanske Pjatance food festival about the same time last year, I heartily recommend you look into the Croatian food festivals taking place this time of year - here is an introduction to some of the quirkier ones - Natural Food Festivals: 25 Things to Know about Croatian Gourmet Goodness.

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A short walk to Hotel Malin's Mulino restaurant brought the second round of breakfast, of which the highlight was this egg fritata with bacon, prawns and asparagus. 

One of the keys to the success of Gastronaut tours is the precise organisation and Karin's ability to keep her guests under control and on schedule, no mean feat when then there are 50 foodie writers tucking into fine wine and food. The next stage was a joy, and a rather unusual experience - a short catamaran ride to Porat with Aquavision - complete with huge glass windows below deck, where one could observe life below and above water simultaneously - check out the video above. 

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More unusual transportation awaited in Porat in the shape of a road train, which was on hand to take the group for olive oil tasting at OPG Utla and a visit to the Franciscan Monastery in Porat, which involved a little off-roading - a first in my train riding experience. 

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The monastery, with its cool cloister, had some outstanding artifacts (we will be writing a separate article soon), and a first introduction to the ancient Glagolithic language, indigenous to the Krk region, about which we were to learn much more the following day. 

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I particularly likes this cute timelime of Franciscan monk fashion over the centuries. 

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Next stop OPG Utla, a true oasis of calm in this already peaceful island. Sitting among the trees, tasting the excellent family olive oil and admiring another great sea view, this short stop was in many ways a highlight of a very busy day. 

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And it seemed that I was not the only one in the mood to relax - I declare the 2019 bench tourism season officially open with this local giving a superb display of the 'fjaka' state of mind. 

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Krk is an island. And it is not. A bridge connecting Krk to the mainland in the 1980s removed one of the biggest characteristics of an island - the need to arrive by boat. Rather than be tied to a ferry schedule, locals and tourists can access the island 24 hours a day, via the 1.4 km bridge, at a cost of just 35 kuna (free for locals), which not only compares favourably with a car ferry cost, but makes Krk immediately more appealing as a destination. No wonder it is one of the most popular places to own weekend houses for people in Zagreb, just over two hours away. 

I was expecting that Krk would have lost some of its island identity as a result, but it very much had the feeling of an island full of its own traditions and quirks. And Malinska Bay, above, is typical of an island village harbour. The roads on Krk are excellent, with good access to all its coastal destinations. What did surprise me the most was the sheer diversity of its vegetation. Having been raised on Hvar pine trees, the Mediterranean flora and fauna on the one hand, and forests of oak on the other, were a striking and very welcome contrast. 


Incredibly, only three hours had passed since the start of the tour with those prawns and asparagus at Primorska Koliba, and time for more food, as Karin rounded up the troops for a return boat ride to Malinska. I decided to stay above deck for this one, as journalistic underwater selfies took place below me. 

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Next up, Konona Intrada, and a first taste of the famous Krk lamb chops, whose taste is partially defined by the salt brought to the island by the biting Bura wind. It was well worth the wait. 

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Our train driver was on hand to deliver us to our next destination, Konoba Bracera, where I felt more than a hint of Dalmatia. 

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Octopus peka, slow cooked with potatoes and vegetables under an iron bell. One of the true classics of Croatian coastal cuisine. 

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The next stop was a mere 100 metre walk to Nostromo, whose dishes were showcased together with Bistro Toni. I did not manage to learn more about their culinary offers, as I had a much anticipated meeting with Vlasta Brozicevic, owner and medical tourism dynamo behind Terme Selce, the nearby health resort which has treated, among others, over 120 Olympic medal winners in her 30-year career. A remarkable woman, whom we will be introducing in greater detail soon. 

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Did I say it was a gorgeous time of year to visit Krk? Young Ana quickly tempted to the lure of the Adriatic. 

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A return to the town of Krk to Kuca Krckog Prsuta (the Home of Krk Prsut), after I had missed the stinging nettle soup and dried octopus brudet at Pod Prevolt. The view through the floor at Kuca Krckog Prsuta - now I want a basement like that! The prsut was excellent, as were the associated products, and the prsut pate was to die for.  


There was time to check into the very comfortable Hotel Drzica in Krk, with 40 minutes to enjoy hotel terrace views like this before a gentle walk into two for an impressive double to finish off the first night. 

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First up was Galija in the heart of the old town, which served up some of Krk's famous surlice pasta dishes, but I had eyes for only one - this delicious home-made ravioli stuffed with prawns and adorned with truffles - one of the highlights in a truly impressive Krk gourmet day. 


And just when I really couldn't any more, a little nightcap with nibbles at historic Volsonis in the old town of Krk. A gem of a find and a great bar with cocktails. 

But what do to when you are a bar and decide to expand and find a Roman wall in the basement? Change your plans for sure, and the wall has become a major tourist attraction, while Volsonis has adapted to the new realities rather well. There is a very cool vibe, and there aren't many places in the world where you can play pool next to such antiquity. 

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A truly breathtaking first day of gourmet and cultural discovery, and I was exhausted. My biggest fear was that Day 1 started at 11:30 and that tomorrow's programme would be even fuller with a 09:30 start. A day which would take in the fascinating Baska, Kosljun, Punat and Vrbnik. Of which much more soon... 


To learn more about the Krk Food Fest, Tastes of Spring, visit the official website, or follow the event on Facebook. 

Tagged under: krk gastronaut