Thursday, 6 October 2016


If you read the first part to my review of Mandrac, located on the island of Lopud just off the Croatian coast you will remember how I said  it was so good we would have too go back for a second time before we left! On the last day of our wonderful holiday this is exactly what we decided to do. Was the first magnificent visit to Mandrac just a spectacular fluke or would this small family run restaurant be able to deliver the goods again and really show itself off to be a glorious jewel of the Adriatic sea?

Returning to the exact same al fresco table we enjoyed earlier in the week we were served by a friendly chap who was equally as attentive as our female server from earlier in the week. What I will say about Mandrac (and Lopud in general) is do not sit down for food if you are in a rush . The approach to service is super laid back but when you're on holiday then that shouldn't really be an issue at all. I've read people moaning online about the speed of service and you know what I say to them? Stop rushing through life and take the time to sit, enjoy good food and take in your surroundings. Life is far too short!

During our visit we also found out that another thing the people of Lopud (and Croatia in general) like to do is make sure you are fully fed. On our first visit when I said I wanted to try one oysters I was looked at very oddly before being convinced to order three! This means wherever you go for food there is always oodles of freshly baked bread brought to the table. This happened at a majority of the meals we had during our trip. Often the bread is served with olive oil and balsamic for a tasty little pre meal nibble. Save some of the bread for your main meals though; you will see why shortly!

Was the amazing bruschetta we got complimentary during our first visit just a one off? Most certainly not! After ordering our food and drinks (some more local beer of course!) we were treated to another plate of that deliciously fresh appetizer on the house. The tomatoes were just as fresh and vibrant as they were last time and the dish still packed that hefty garlic punch that when you combined it with the basil, it just totally blew our minds. Goes to show that fresh, home grown ingredients are all you need to make a dish sing. If I wasn't excited for the rest of our lunch I would of ordered some more!

The consistency of the quality of Mandrac's food continued to be highlighted when we decided to select another Greek salad to nibble on. Again, this glorious bowl of stunning local produce was bright and vibrant with the simple combination of the tomatoes, peppera and onion working in total harmony with that soft, creamy feta. This is a showcase of this island's outstanding produce. Might I also add that the salad costs roughly just under £5 as well. Puts the kind of dodgy salads you would be served up in the UK for way much more than that to shame really. Heaven in a glass bowl!

Across Croatia I'd seen Dalmatian ham being mentioned on several restaurant menus and I knew it was something that I was going to have to try. I love cured meats so when this plate of meaty goodness was placed in front of me I couldn't wait to dive straight in. Imagine if you will, a slightly softer version of beef jerky and that's the kind of texture you have but with this truly intense smoky yet slightly salted ham flavor. It doesn't need anything else to go with it except a big beer to wash it all down with. I wish I could of took a load of it home with me to tuck into on Christmas day.  

So what about today's seafood? Well this time I went for the grilled prawns. Now there are prawns and then there are these prawns. They were like big pink juicy monsters, their massive feelers wrapping around each other on the plate. The lemon and garlic dressing ( make sure to mop all of it up with that bread!) they were served with really brought out that scrummy prawn flavor once you peeled off the shells to get too that plump flesh inside. Simple and effective, you could taste the quality without the need for bells and whistles. Sunshine on a plate and a showcase of the Adriatic's finest produce.

The fig and almond tart from our last visit was missing from the menu today and was replaced with a lemon cheesecake clearly showing how the menu does change on a regular basis. This cheesecake was phenomenal. For a start there was a buttery base and a buttery top to the cheesecake. Double the butteriness, double the pleasure. Sandwiched between these delicious slabs was a ricotta like, smooth, creamy lemon flavored filling that was totally divine and as a little finisher on the side sat two candied orange peels that were tart, sour and the perfect accompaniment to the dessert. I would love to know the recipe. Divine!

It was time to leave Mandrac for the second time (buying some of the delicious wine on sale to take home with us as a memento). This truly is a special little restaurant and is one of the main reasons we are already planning a return visit to Lopud next year. The food at our second visit was just as wonderful as the first showing that there really is some special talent working behind the scenes. If you happen to be anywhere near Lopud then you would be mad not to hop onto the island and visit this most magical of  restaurants. So good, I wrote about it twice!

For more information on Mandrac you can check out my fist blog post here for some more insights into their marvelous menu or why not head over to their Facebook page and use it as a tool to help you plan your next holiday to Lopud. You won't be disappointed I promise you!

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