It was in 1967 that Nenad Kukurin’s father made a family name pun and named his restaurant Kukuriku – little had he known back then that there will come the time of parliamentary democracy in Croatia, with a left wing coalition named Kukuriku winning the 2011 elections. The restaurant moved from the original location where the coalition agreed on their strategy, just a few hundred meters away, to Trg Lokvina, and has grown to today’s hotel/restaurant.
The old location was turned into a tavern Put Kukurina, serving lunches and grill. After Kličković, Kukurin has never formally appointed the new chef, so both Damijan Pilepić and Željko Jovanović share the role. Kukuriku offers creative Mediterranean cuisine with dictations of the harvest of the season and local ingredients. “We cherish a simple and clean approach, with basic flavours and smells kept in the dish. This means a lot of raw ingredients or short thermic processing”, says Nenad Kukurin. It is a well-known fact that Kukurin has no menus.
The guest is asked if they prefer fish or meat, or surf and turf, and whether they have any allergies or dislikes in terms of food. And then, the adventure may begin. “A perfect guest is in a good mood, comes here to enjoy food and wine”, says Kukurin. The restaurant offers around one hundred meals, with seven to ten new meals created every year by the team. “Ingredients dictate the offer. We harvest the market every day, and show no prejudices to any ingredient. There’s no such thing as a bad ingredient, there’s only bad procession.
You can still get high quality ingredients in Croatia, within a 100 kilometres, or less, which comes as a rarity in today’s world.” says Kukurin. Kukuriku has been marked by dishes such as the sea bass tartare in orange juice, honey and olive oil sauce, pastry cushion with lamb ragout and wild asparagus sauce, with tomatoes and emery, lamb cutlet with cabbage tart and thiamine sauce.