Food, Lifestyle, My Work, Travel

Visit Croatia: Pasta&svasta

June 15, 2016


Croatian gastronomic scene grew tremendously in the past 2-3 years and many already “established” restaurants such as previously written about Pelegrini, took their service, food philosophy and presentation to a whole new level that meet the worldwide standards of fine dining.

Unfortunately, there’re still way too many tourist traps, restaurants with endless menus which are always very convincing about freshness and quality of their food… That is until you’ll possibly fall for it, order your food and that’s where the romance will stop because you’ll realise that food is not freshly made, fish wasn’t caught “this morning” and most of the owners and restaurant managers couldn’t care less about what people are going to eat, as long as the portions are huge, prices are low and endless pasta, pizza and meat prepped in million ways with the grande finale of pancakes for the dessert are on the menu, tourists and locals will keep on returning.

On the other hand, there are people who are world travelers, people who are true foodies, people who don’t see food just as a fuel and who are taking a visit to restaurant equal to a mini trip to another “world” which will give you an amazing experience that you’ll gladly share with your certain special someone, family or business partners. Food is more than just a gas for your body, food is the best and most hedonistic way to enjoy your life, socialise… Food is a cultural thing and just like with fashion, I take a very sophisticated approach to it and see the whole picture, from how much love, time and effort it’s needed to just start a restaurant, all the way to how much nerves, smarts and once again appreciation for food and believing in what you’re doing is needed to present you with only ONE plate of perfectly homemade pasta with the best truffles and a glass of white wine specific only for the a certain part of the country or region…


This was the case with a charming restaurant in the middle of Zadar’s old town known as Poluotok among the locals. Pasta & svasta is the name you should mark down if you’ll be visiting Croatian coast this Summer since it’s worth taking a small d-tour even if you’re not planning to stay in Zadar.

Pasta & svasta opened it’s doors about two years ago, back in Spring of 2014 by it’s masterminds and true foodies Mr.Ivan and his lovely wife Ivana. Ever since the opening, Mr. Ivan, together in collaboration and agreement with his kitchen staff have been creating a wonderful crossover kitchen of traditional Croatian food/ cuisine presented with a modern twist. Whilst the authenticity of taste is “spot on”, the presentation is far from traditionally known in Italian/ Mediterranean restaurants. No big portions of everything and anything on the plate, but carefully presented, simple but bursting with the taste dishes are about to blow you off if you haven’t or have tried this cuisine before.


Just when I thought that I can’t be impressed by “yet another” bruschetta, pasta, etc. I was completely proven wrong. Mr. Ivan, who has a phd in costumer service and hospitality is very strong driven restaurant owner, meaning that he has a clear vision of what he wants to offer to his costumers who come from all over the world. One of the most surprising facts is that his restaurant has a Kosher food certification which is to me “unheard” of in this part of the country. He is the only one who has such certificate on Croatian side of Adriatic coast and that def. sets Pasta & svasta highly apart from any other restaurant nearby.

As a starter, we were presented by a home wine, bubbly Krauthaker sauvignon which comes from a certain vineyard in Istria of which Mr. Ivan is being part owner. Warm, crunchy and perfectly salty bruschetta with marinated sardines on the bed of arugula were divine “appetite opener” for everything that was about to follow up.



For the, so called 1st plate we were served home made, wonderfully al dente tagliatelle with hand de-shelled prawns in tomato sauce with big slices of truffles. I must say that I was having a very high expectations for this dish because I’ve been told by the owners that if I ever try this same dish somewhere else, it must taste the way it did at Pasta & svasta or better if possible but def. nothing less than what I was about to taste. Only one bite was already enough to understand what they meant, it was a perfect marriage between al dente pasta, sourness of tomato sauce and taste of the sea via the most delicious prawns I have ever tried anywhere. To top it all off, the truffles were like eating pure gold, absolutely prime ones, straight from Istria which is famous all over the world as the region for some of the best truffles.

We drank perfectly matched white wine, Galic chardonnay with our 1st plate.


2nd plate was slow roasted lamb with baked potatoes and pancetta. The meat is slowly roasted for many hours on a low temperature. This is one very traditional dish known to be prepped in Dalmatian households for generations, but the sophisticated and the most delicious version ever has been right this dish at Pasta & svasta. This is very manly dish which is perfect for all of the meat lovers. The meat was so soft that it’s been falling off the bone as you start to “dig into it” and it was beautifully matched with the crispy pancetta and aromatic potatoes. To maximise the ultimate experience of this dish, we drank red wine Skaramuca Plavac mali premium .


By this point of our dinner, we have already become great buddies with our hosts, Mr. Ivan was happy to see that his food philosophy was understood and appreciated, so we have already made agreements to come and visit him again sometime soon to try couple of more dish-gems that he has hiding up his sleeve. 🙂

No ending of any dinner is good without something sweet, so we couldn’t resist the calling of deconstructed cheesecake with berry sauce and warm, melty goodness of chocolate suffle! Yum!



It was one of the best traditional, Mediterranean food experiences I’ve had in a long time. Without any doubt, I’ll be back again to Pasta & svasta. 🙂

*This collaboration has been made in agreement with Pasta&svasta. All of the opinions are my own.

*Thank you to Mr. Ivan and Mrs. Ivana for the warm welcome and for making this collaboration possible.

*Photography by: Natali K. photography

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Trang Do June 15, 2016 at 8:09 AM

    Food looks so delicious!! Love this place!
    Love from {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

    • Reply natali karppinen June 16, 2016 at 7:27 AM

      Thank you for commenting, Pasta&svasta was a great foodie experience. 🙂

  • Reply Martabarcelonastyle June 15, 2016 at 9:49 AM

    The cheesecake and the coulant look so delicious )

    • Reply natali karppinen June 16, 2016 at 7:27 AM

      Everything was spot on!!!

  • Reply EyeSeeEuphoria June 15, 2016 at 10:53 AM

    Yummy! Thanks for sharing and check out our latest blog post!

    EyeSeeEuphoria |

    • Reply natali karppinen June 16, 2016 at 7:26 AM

      Thank you very much for stopping by. 🙂

  • Reply olia June 15, 2016 at 11:05 AM

    looks so yummy!! Hope you’ll stop by my blog for the latest post!

    Love, Olia

    • Reply natali karppinen June 16, 2016 at 7:26 AM

      Thanks for commenting Olia!

  • Reply Federica Spinelli June 15, 2016 at 2:43 PM

    Uauuuu really nice place and food! kiss
    Federica – Cosa Mi Metto???

    • Reply natali karppinen June 16, 2016 at 7:26 AM

      Thank you Federica!

  • Reply Amy Arnold June 15, 2016 at 3:16 PM

    You are so right about food being one of the best ways to experience life. I love visiting new places and trying new things with people I love, especially while traveling as a way to experience the place.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • Reply natali karppinen June 16, 2016 at 7:25 AM

      Thank you Amy for commenting and yes, travelling and dining at the new destination is the best way to get into touch with the local traditions, people and “tastes” of that area. 🙂

  • Reply Matea June 15, 2016 at 3:32 PM

    Mmm baš fino izgleda hrana, Zadar je pun šarmantnih malih restorana! 🙂

  • Reply Jo June 15, 2016 at 4:24 PM

    What I do not understand, Natali, is why you are not twice the size you are, because of all these wonderful little places where you find to eat the most scrumptious of dishes. You do eat them, not just take photos?

    • Reply natali karppinen June 16, 2016 at 7:24 AM

      Because all of these places are truly amazing and yes, I do need and want to taste the food so that I can write about it, but I always bring along somebody with me so that we get to taste more different options and present it on the blog, but I don’t eat everything you see all by myself. 😀

  • Reply Nada June 15, 2016 at 6:19 PM

    Oh I love Croatia ! At 17. july I go to the croatia and I am very happy !

    • Reply natali karppinen June 16, 2016 at 7:23 AM

      Yay! That is so great!!! If you need any recommendations, just let me know. 🙂

  • Reply Malin June 15, 2016 at 7:26 PM

    Oh my god, this post makes me so hungry 😀

    Malin | Spark&Bark


    • Reply natali karppinen June 16, 2016 at 7:23 AM

      Heheh, glad to read that Malin!

  • Reply Flora June 15, 2016 at 8:09 PM

    This pasta looks amazing.

    • Reply natali karppinen June 16, 2016 at 7:22 AM

      It was amazing, homemade and simply delicious!

  • Reply sahara June 15, 2016 at 8:57 PM

    great photos! thanks for sharing these!

    • Reply natali karppinen June 16, 2016 at 7:22 AM

      Thank you very much for commenting!

  • Reply Tiffany June 15, 2016 at 9:28 PM

    Yum! Looks like you had an amazing time.

    Tiffany Tales – A British Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

    • Reply natali karppinen June 16, 2016 at 7:22 AM

      Yes, we had great time! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  • Reply diana June 16, 2016 at 12:24 AM

    delicious food

    • Reply natali karppinen June 16, 2016 at 7:21 AM

      It was. 🙂

  • Reply Toks June 16, 2016 at 1:13 AM

    You really do find the most amazing restaurants. xoxoxo

    • Reply natali karppinen June 16, 2016 at 7:21 AM

      Thank you, that’s a great compliment to me. 🙂

  • Reply Adi June 16, 2016 at 4:24 AM

    The food looks Amazing!

    Adi xx

    • Reply natali karppinen June 16, 2016 at 7:21 AM

      It sure does taste as amazing too! 🙂

  • Reply Sophie June 16, 2016 at 9:42 AM

    Loking yummy!

    • Reply natali karppinen June 17, 2016 at 6:57 AM

      Thank you for commenting Sophie!

  • Reply Joy June 16, 2016 at 2:26 PM

    Beautiful editorial.

    • Reply natali karppinen June 17, 2016 at 6:57 AM

      Thank you Joy!

  • Reply The Fashion Folks June 16, 2016 at 3:53 PM

    The food looks so delicious, especially the dessert haha! Xx

    • Reply natali karppinen June 17, 2016 at 6:57 AM

      Heh, yes, that choco souffle was amazing!

  • Reply Shannon June 16, 2016 at 5:33 PM

    You’re really making me want to visit Croatia! The food just looks amazing!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

    • Reply natali karppinen June 17, 2016 at 6:58 AM

      Thanks Shannon!! Believe me, not just the food, but also nature, heritage and people are great reasons to visit Croatia too. 🙂

  • Reply molly June 16, 2016 at 5:59 PM

    I’ve always wanted to visit Croatia! Looks amazing.


    • Reply natali karppinen June 17, 2016 at 6:59 AM

      It’s a perfect summertime destination! I hope that you will get to visit it soon. 🙂

  • Reply Colleen Welsch June 16, 2016 at 6:09 PM

    That food looks INCREDIBLE! I think a good rule of thumb when trying to find a good restaurant is the length of their menu. If it’s pages and pages, you shouldn’t eat there! There’s no way that the kitchen staff can make all those dishes flawlessly!


    • Reply natali karppinen June 17, 2016 at 6:59 AM

      Exactly, I absolutely agree and it also means that lots of stuff has already been premade/ frozen.

  • Reply Jenessa Sheffield June 16, 2016 at 6:51 PM

    oh my goodness, it all looks so amazing!! Have a great day babe!

    • Reply natali karppinen June 17, 2016 at 7:00 AM

      Thank you Jenessa, wishing you a fabulous day too!

  • Reply Vale June 16, 2016 at 8:51 PM

    This food looks amazing, princess ! I do agree with you about food being a cultural thing and the outcome of a very complex creative process. I hate tourist traps whenever I go somewhere, finding real gems is part of living the best life ! Kisses

    Fashion and Cookies – fashion & beauty blog

    • Reply natali karppinen June 17, 2016 at 7:01 AM

      You’re speaking my words Vale!! I’m sure that there are tons of traps in your part of Italy and they’re exactly the same type in Croatian coast. Finding gems like Pasta&Svasta and others is not impossible, so it’s always good to research a little bit in advance and have the best foodie experience vs. being disappointed in “yet another tourist trap”. 🙂

  • Reply Cuca Olveira June 16, 2016 at 10:16 PM

    Unas fotos increibles y esos platos, qué pintaza tienen.

    • Reply natali karppinen June 17, 2016 at 7:01 AM

      Thank you dear!

  • Reply milex June 17, 2016 at 3:33 AM

  • Reply little fairy fashion June 17, 2016 at 6:56 AM

    Che piatti invitanti! Kiss
    “#aspettandoilsole” nuovo post ora sul mio blog

  • Reply The Sunday Mode June 18, 2016 at 7:19 AM

    These photos have really stirred up my appetite, my stomach is rumbling now! That looks like a great place to eat. I love it when I discover more local eateries when I travel, it’s always so much more memorable than the “tourist trap”foods.

  • Reply Ana June 21, 2016 at 11:21 PM

    The food looks too good to eat!

    I recently found your blog and I think it’s so lovely. Looking forward to read your future content.
    You have a very captivating writing style and your ideas are unique and very well put together.

    Would love some feedback on my humble blog as well if you can find a few minutes to check it out.
    Much love xx

  • Reply Sophie July 11, 2016 at 2:55 PM

    Your food photos are always stunning <3

    xoxo, Lastestbag – Best Bags 2016

  • Leave a Reply