After our island hopping adventure in Hvar, we went back in to the city for a last Split dining experience before heading to Dubrovnik in the morning. We of course started the evening with a good wander through the city to work up an appetite, continuing to discover new secrets at every twist and turn. A common stop on our wanderings was always the cat park near our guest house. We enjoyed how they stood watch like sentinels regardless of the time you happened to walk by:
We had a hankering for something a bit different than Croatian cuisine, fish, pizza, or Italian, so we opted to relocate a place we have stumbled onto the day before called Kinoteka for our last night of Split dining. We found it intriguing with an Asian/Sushi but also cinema theme, and the manager the previous night gave us a tour and did a great job “selling it”. It also seemed fairly new and they were clearly still building the business, so we thought we would give it a try as a new entrant on the Split dining scene. It’s located closer to the Golden Gate, in an alley running east west along the wall. Next door, across the alley was the Pizzeria Portas, where we enjoyed the night before.
We loved the decor of Kineteka and the outdoor courtyard, which had availability when we arrived at 2100. Unfortunately, we were seated next to cigarette smokers, which are everywhere in this part of the world – they had plagued us since Ljubljana and would continue to throughout our trip. Later in the evening we were plagued by a cigar smoker as well, putting a damper on our Split dining experience.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to open the bottle wine of wine I carried in from the previous night, and was asked to keep it out of sight. Even though you can walk around with open alcohol throughout Split, you couldn’t bring it from place to place.
The courtyard and decor was lovely, but we felt that they could have done more to interweave the movie theme in the outdoor area (it was much more prevalent inside).
We ordered a California roll (4 pieces) and edamame, which came extra salty. The sushi won the taste bake-off this round – the extra salty edamame was even too salty for me, and that’s saying something. Mostly, it was nice to not be eating Mediterranean or Italian inspired food.
For the second round, I ordered the green curry (off menu, but they would be adding it to the menu soon), and Brendan ordered the Pad Thai. We both agreed the green curry won the day for the Split dining entree round. We decided not to drink tonight since we had quite a bit to drink in Hvar.
I forgot to take a picture of our desserts. I got the ginger sticky toffee pudding with mango ice cream, and it was unique although not amazing. Brendan got the mango sticky rice, and that was just m’eh.
All in all we gave this restaurant a 7/10, and wished we had stuck to sushi which was the clear favorite. That was a wrap for our split dining adventure, as the next morning we decided to get going by 0930 without breakfast to make our way to Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, andthen on to Dubrovnik.
But first, I wanted to end by saying that we loved Split, and it was our favorite city throughout the entire trip. Besides the food scene and memorable Split dining experiences we had throughout our time, we enjoyed the rhythm of the town and the daily life, and felt we could actually live there. It didn’t seem to exist just for tourism, although tourism was the main component. It was not over-run either, which I acknowledge may have just been an artifact of our shoulder season timing.
One final note about Split – I mentioned that it had a unique paid parking experience. Let me give you the low down. Basically, you just park. Each morning, a ticket will show up on your car that tells you how much money you need to pay, and you have 8 days to pay it. On the morning of our third day in our parking spot, we only have two parking tickets show up, so that’s all we ended up paying.
To pay, you can use SMS that has mobile payment attached (which we didn’t have), or go any bank (and they will charge you a 10 kuna processing fee per ticket – that’s a like $1.25 each). We tried using the mobile app Split Parking but it wouldn’t scan the tickets and there was no alternate way to enter in the ticket numbers. So I waited in the car while Brendan went to a bank. At the first bank he tried, there was a long queue. He tried to locate a second bank that was on Google Maps, but he was unable to find it in the end. Finally the third bank he tried worked out – and he was even able to pay with credit card.
We found this system incredibly odd (albeit charming!?), with a lot of unnecessary steps, and not friendly for tourists. At the end of the day, after some debate, we decided it existed as a jobs program for the thriving parking attendant and banking industries in Split.