When an imaginative restaurant is opened in former factory, it is only worthy of praises, but our own arrival to the Tifan restaurant in eastern outskirts of Rijeka was also full of impressions. Namely, there aren’t many places in Croatia that give so much attention to the healthy gastronomy, active holiday, yoga, meditation, and care for the environment – everything in one place!
Our first intention was to visit yet another vegetarian restaurant in Kvarner region, but we found so much more in Tifan. The combination of health, past experience, and travels of owners result in a particular offer, possibly unique in whole Croatia. If you are looking for meat-free, alcohol-free, and smoking-free environment, with only fresh ingridients on the plate, Tifan is the right place for you.
Tifan is closely connected to the Dharma hostel, another interesting facility, providing accommodation in the healthy environment. A beautiful terrace and garden provide a blissful view on the sea, giving a feeling we are sitting somewhere far from the city. In this tranquil setting we are introduced to the international vegetarian dishes served in tifans.
The name of this food bar is based on an inox pot, a kind of lunch box used widely in Indian for tiffin meals. Normally they come in two or three tiers, and as the bar has take-out options, members of Tifan club have their own tifans at home and use it for multiple purpose. Zypically it contains a soup, main course, and piece of cake. Tiffin, on the other hand, is an Indian-English word for a light midday meal, luncheon. In Indian Subcontinent, tiffin is generally a snack between meals, consisting mainly of rice, dal, curry, vegetables, chapatis, and spicy meats.
In Croatian Mediterranean environment it fits the “gamelice”, also lunch boxes full of food prepared early in the morning for people at work or for children in school. Thus, it makes a solid basis for slow food, home-cooked meals, with preserved tradition of healthy nutrition. Same can be ordered up until 10 am at Tifan bar, and lunch is served between 11 and 1.30 pm. In the restaurant itself, you can enjoy three-course lunch until 4 pm (exept Sundays) for only 30-35 kuna!
We enjoyed tifan lunch as well, in genious style of local and Balkan cuisine. The use of international and national healthy and no-meat ingridients gives an opportunity always to reinvent lunch choices, and tells a lot about the imagination of cooks. We had originally Macedonian lunch of spicy baked beans (gravče na tavče), served with polenta and aubergines, along with cucumber and lettuce salad. With a touch of chilly and turmeric, this main meal had a distinctive Macedonian-Indian twist, with addition of tomato sauce made from the tomatoes in nearby home garden. Delicious and plentiful, it is always a winning combination for luncheons!
More than 40 spices, both Mediterranean herbs and Asian spices, are present in Tifan, some bought directly from India, some grown in the garden itself. Other ingridients originate mostly from the local homesteads or bought from the town market. The owners prepare homemade marmelade, hummus and other spreads. Cooks are dilligent in making various sweets and we had a Turkish-style baclava with deeply felt walnuts and excellent honey, brought from a northern Croatian honeymaker.
Everything in Tifan is based on dharma, a particular relation between man and nature, rightful behaviour, and sort of synonym for sustainable growth and development. Indeed, with additional Dharma Hostel, and Yoga Training Centre, we predict a bright future for dharma-based getaway.
Spinčićeva 2, 51000 Rijeka
mob: +385 98 850 019
faks: +385 51 583 574