Marinada, a healthy fish street food in the center of Zagreb where the fryer is – forbidden

Street Take Out Fish Food Restaurant is the shortest description of the small Marinada restaurant in Tesla street 15 in Zagreb, with a great offer of freshly prepared dishes out of unduly neglected bluefish.

Although the owner and the chef Krešimir Kolman loves eating a good piece of meat, he prefers to prepare dishes which are combinations of bluefish and fresh vegetables from the nearby Dolac market. Based on the rich experience as a chef in a number of restaurants – Lido, Karaka, Korkyra, the Dubrovnik restaurant Obala on Lopud, he has decided to enter his own entrepreneurial adventure… Over the past few years, many people have visited the Ponistra tavern near Remetinec rotor because of his grilled hake. Dalmatians are especially frequent guests,  wanting to ensure that the hake is not just a fish for steaming… Unfortunately, grilled hake is not on the menu, but through laughter, the chef reveals the secret of baking and not breaking down the hake: “The grill, not the ordinary one made of inox, must be hot. Fish must be grilled from three sides, first the belly, then on each side. After that, you can reduce the fire.”

 Krešimir has realized his basically simple gourmet philosophy in Marinada: dishes must be healthy, fresh and quickly prepared… And, of course, the offer must be unique in the city. That is why the cooking concept in Marinada is not a simple copy/paste of traditional dishes which flirt with foreign gastronomies. “I opted for bluefish which I get from the famous fishing village Kali on the island of Ugljan. Guests especially like the smoked mackerel and tuna prepared for me in the smokehouse in Kaštel Novi where the fish is dried for 36 to 48 hours, vacuumed and sent to us to Zagreb.”

Working hours are shortened and Marinada is opened until 8.00 p.m. instead of 10.00 p.m. “We have decided to close earlier because guests often cleaned the refrigerator in the evening and left us without any ingredients for the next day! Since I prefer fresh ingredients over the instant ready-made ones, we have hired one more staff member. We insist that everything must be prepared manually, in a so-called domestic way” – a forty-one-year-old guy from Zagreb with over 20 years of cooking experience tells us.

Currently, mostly marinated fish with fresh vegetables that are now abundant is on the menu. Special recipes do not really exist. Kresimir’s inspiration depends on momentarily available fish and vegetables. “We sped up the preparation by using fish fillets, marinated the day before in olive oil with a little salt and pepper and, we use lemon juice instead of vinegar. In addition to marinated sardines and anchovies in various combinations with  bases made of seasonal vegetables such as asparagus, leafy salads, tomatoes…, we recommend smoked mackerel with fresh vegetables“- nice chef describes the offer while filling the boxes with new dishes. A salad with smoked mussels, shrimps, and tuna in combination with rice or vegetables is often on the menu.

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Marinada, salata on inćuna (photo by SZ)

One of the specialties is a fish burger prepared from sardines or mixed fish (tuna, sole fish, shark) with salad, and it is the only dish that warms up the small kitchen this summer.

Marinada, riblja pljeskavica s krumpir salatom (photo by @Facebook Marinada)

Space is small, for no more than 5-6 guests. Kresimir’s plan is to set up a terrace and offer a glass of wine (Malvazija winery Cuj and Filipec Cuvée from the vineyard near Sveta Nedjelja near Zagreb). At autumn, when fresh tomatoes and homegrown green salads disappear from the market, the menu will change to fish stew (brudet) of sardines with homemade corn mush (zganci), and goulash with cuttlefish ink and grilled sliced ​​cuttlefish. The “spoon dish” lovers will be happy with this change.

It is a pity that space is not bigger because it is decorated with a lot of charm and with passion, so you feel comfortable while waiting for your order. “My wife Gordana is responsible for interior design. With the help of our friends, we managed to arrange the space in a relatively short time: we started in February and were opened in March. The fisherman’s net on the ceiling was a gift from my ex-boss, owner of Ponistra with whom I stayed in a good relation.” This was no surprise for us because when you meet Krešimir, you are sure that you have a hearty, sincere man in front of you who made his dream come true …

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Marinada, interijer (photo by SZ)

Like the whole offer, neither the bread is ordinary:  it is actually a scone which is baked under the baking dish and Krešimir gets it from Strmec, a place near Zagreb. Since Marinada is planning to serve a different kind of spreads, we have no doubts that the scone will be often covered with fish pâtés of sardines, anchovies and other bluefish.

Marinada, pogača (photo by @Facebook Marinada)

 The guests are mostly locals, and the prices are more than fair, range from 30 to 45 kunas. Rich portion of bread is 5 kunas.

Last but not least, payment can be made with debit and credit cards. Once the terrace is in place, Marinada will have all predispositions to become and remain a unique Zagreb healthy street food with a choice of dishes that do not make a heavy feeling in your stomach.


About Spori Zecov

1st Level Sommelier @HSK Travel 2 Run, Drink and Eat 4 Fun


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