Konoba Kod Marko
An hour’s ferry away from the cruise-boat/fridge-magnet/tourist nightmare that Dubrovnik is rapidly becoming, is the quiet and tranquil island of Sipan.
Happily, it’s also a 10 minute drive and a 15 minute speedboat ride for those who don’t have the patience for the ferry. Either way, it’s a world away. The reason to go? Marko’s Place, outside of the hubbub of the village (one car, two snoring old men on a bench, three tired sea-gulls) is quite conceivably the best fish restaurant in the country, possibly the Mediterranean, quite likely the world, and reason enough in itself to fly to Croatia. That’s high praise for a restaurant with no menu, inside seating for four, and a wait-staff of one, but we’ve eaten there enough times to dare the description.
Marko is not a fisherman, but he gets the finest local catch daily, and is quite simply brilliantly good at what he does. A tiny watercolour on the wall of the kitchen (all three square metres of it) from Princess Grace of Monaco suggest that we’re not the only ones who’ve discovered the place, and indeed I was told that the Foreign Minister used to fly here from Zagreb with visiting dignitaries when he wanted to show them what Croatia was really all about. Gino, son of Marco, waits the tables; both of them with a wry sense of humour and a poise that suits the frank nature of the place. You sit on the sea-front, looking out across the bay, eat what’s put in front of you, and drink the local wine out of jugs. See if you can get out in less than four hours.