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After having read all those amazing reviews it was obvious that we visit the “Kastel” when we were in Istria. Unfortunately the experience has not met our expectations...far not.
An important factor to clarify: the beautiful terrace and lounge with the view (what you can...see everywhere on the web) is open in high season only (June-August?) otherwise you can choose from a dark and very dark room to sit inside. We were the only guests in the whole building on an April Sunday evening.
It was already suspicious, that at the entrance wall the Tripadvisor and Gault Millau awards were dated back to 2015 or 2016. Surely a lot has changed since then.
We were a group of 4, from us 2 ordered a 4 course Istrian degustation menu with wine paring and the 2 of us fish (they don’t have everything on the menu just what they caught on that day).
1. They bought bread with olive oil and salt but no plate for it.
2. The so called “home-made” pasta with truffle had no truffle or rather no flavour at all and the noodles were ready bought ones: I could differentiate it in my dreams from a home-made pasta.
3. The ravioli was home-made but too “al dente”, basically raw.
4. The wine pairing was good however the waiter could not say any word about the wines due to his lack of English.
5. Beef was well prepared although the sauce had a funny flavour with too much flour in it.
6. We ordered a fresh grilled fish plate (we understood that they have only sea bass and scampi fresh) with grilled vegetables: we had got it but it was swimming in a tasteless, liquid tomato pure...the potato has been lying in the sauce before being served for at least 10-15 min because the grilled potato was already a pure. Neither less to say, that those fish plates cost as much as the 4 course menu for 2 pax!
7. Chocolate soufflé was OK but you could taste the flour too much in it.
Value for money is really not matching here: either they changed chef or management since 2015 or having other troubles but I think they should start to rethink the concept or the prices in order to be able to continue long-term.
We had very high expectations towards this restaurant and after having paid, we were very sorry that we did not spend this money in a small local, fine pizzeria or fish restaurant in the haven which certainly less famous or attractive but for half a price and better food.
Very unlikely we would return anytime soon.More
We were at Stari Kastel couple of times. Terrace view is amazing. Restaurant is located on the border between Croatia and Slovenia. Local fine dinning food is prepared amazingly delicious and with local wines is perfect combination. Highly recommend this restaurant.
I heard about the location a while ago. Finally he managed to get to her. Dinner outside of the tourist season is invaluable. No crowds and loud guests. We simply said what we normally wanted and left to the waiter. Nothing to think about. Let...the waitress take care of you. He rewarded us with 5 fantastic dishes to which he chose the wine. And he did not make a mistake even once. It is true that the restaurant is not cheap, but the quality is top quality. This time we chose a trip between seafood. Next time, this will definitely be truffles. We definitely will be back.More
Stari Kastel: the enthusiastic reviews you are getting are WELL DESERVED !
Thank you, StariKastel chef and whole team for making this an unforgettable birthday evening. Gourmet food and wine presented and explained professionally by most competent waiter Alex; smooth and never-too-loud jazz vibes in...the background, spectactular panorama sunset. You guys are the best.
Somewhat pricey, if you choose the ingenious 5- or 7-dish menus with wine accompaignment, but it's well worth it.
Most importantly: If you run into a traffic jam at the nearby Slov-Cro border and have to wait an hour: DO NOT TURN BACK ! You don't want to miss the StariKastel experience !!!
They have excellebt view, nice design combining history and modernism, great attention to presentation, great service. Food is good quality, but lacks imagination and taste which you would expect. We had a 7-course tasting menu; they use local products, despite good presentation taste was rather...simple. Last course (meat) was actually overcooked and tasted bad. Overall it was good experience, but not up to the expectations; cuisine drawbacks are well compensated by ambiance and great service.More