Updated: Oct 21, 2021
A beautiful terrace with crystal clear sea, a view of the island of Ošljak and the city of Zadar, magically attracts every passer-by through the Kali waterfront. It is an equal pleasure to be in the tavern itself, deftly decorated to exude its Dalmatian comfort and antiquities, so we can already imagine old fishermen and sailors while they are waiting with fish and wine for the bora and the south wind to calm down.
All this is skillfully run by Nikolino Bašić, a descendant of a catering family from the neighbouring island of Pašman. Since 1969, Bašić family has been running the fish restaurant Zrinski in Dobropoljana, which is recognizable for its original food and gastronomic customs of the Dalmatian islands. Equally in Konoba Intrada, he wants to point out with its name that it is not only the sea that characterizes Kali but also the hard work in the field. The tavern offers plenty of fresh fish, shellfish, various seafood, with a rich wine offer. We were immediately convinced of that with a rich appetizer of various marinated and salted fish, and tuna pate, which fascinated us right at the beginning of our visit.
And the continuation of our visit was dedicated to tuna, which has its special position in Kali. It is a fish that loves the deeper sea, and when prepared on the grill, as they prepared for us, it is especially juicy and tasty. In addition to catching it on the high seas, Kaljani are champions in tuna farms, cages in which tuna are farmed to the desired weight, from 80 to 90 kilos. Most of that tuna ends up on tables in Japan. No wonder because the local company Kali Tuna is now run by Japanese manager Jiro. Greasy Atlantic bluefin tuna is especially popular and loves the Adriatic Sea for its purity and clarity.
In the Intrada tavern, tuna is fresh and juicy, especially with green pepper sauce. All the ingredients, except for some peppers, come from Bašić's home-made products. The family grows their vegetables for both restaurants, and a bottle of olive oil is proudly placed on each table, which the Bašićs also make from olives planted around Dobropoljana on the island of Pašman. This is a display of conscious catering that we would like to see elsewhere on our coast!
Tavern Intrada also offers the peka or meat and seafood baked under the lid, and Nikolino tells us how it is best to prepare peka using olive wood: “Baking on beech and fir or olives is a completely different story. Meat and potatoes almost smell like olive oil! ”Namely, Kaljani are not only fishermen but also butchers. The locals were known for butchering, although they did not keep cattle. Now two butchers are working in Kali, and Lukin and Gobin, two butchers from Kali, are well known at the Zadar market.
Although we enjoyed the wooden terrace from which the island of Ošljak can be reached almost by hand, drawing energy from every ray of the spring sun, we were also fascinated by the interior of the tavern. In the realm of stone, Intrada offers a romantic space with lanterns and a few agricultural tools, unmistakably aiming for a blend of local tradition and taste. These flavours also follow the hosts of perfectly normal dishes such as marinated shrimp, octopus salad, salted anchovies or mussels buzara. There are also risottos and pasta here, but few would resist the classic grilled sea bass with chard, Adriatic tuna or gilthead sea bream fillet. Meat lovers will enjoy steaks and rump steak, and especially the Intrada burger or beef burger stuffed with cheese, onions, mushrooms, with pastries and French fries.
And while toasting with a glass of selected wines from the Zadar region, everyone can be recommended to continue the road by the sea to the temple of Kali flavours upon arrival in Kali Mul:
Obala kaljskih ribara i pomoraca 18, Kali
00385 23 281 495