Monday, November 13, 2017

Lunch at the Arsenal in Dubrovnik: Grilled Squid and Mussels

I would be lying through my teeth if I say that that we didn’t have great memories of our meals in Croatia. In fact, the best food we’ve had in this Balkan Road Trip was in Croatia, particularly in Dubrovnik!


Lunch at the Arsenal in the old harbour of Dubrovnik old town.

After having Cevapis 3 days in a row, arriving in Dubrovnik was somewhat a breath of fresh air for Bubbles and me, and there is a good reason for this. I know this is a bit of too much information (aka TMI) for some people but I suffered constipation in Bosnia & Hercegovina due to the new eating on-the-road pattern. My regular daily diet consists mostly of vegetables with some meat and not the other way around. Suffice to say, I had to go to the pharmacy in Sarajevo and seek some urgent help =)

But yeah, arriving in Dubrovnik was a game changer on our agenda and on my diet. Not just because it is a new city and a new country with new food and restaurants on offer, but we are soooo looking forward to pigging out on seafood!

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Our table at the Arsenal =)


Rightly so, after checking in to our room at the Art House Dubrovnik which is located centrally on Luza Square, we hit the streets in search of the restaurant called Gradska Kavana Arsenal. It is supposed to be situated in the old harbour of the old town and the restaurant used to be the arsenal of the fortified city, hence the name.

I have read about Gradska Kavana Arsenal online which specializes in Croatian seafood dishes. It has a very good location and view of the harbour and is not too far away from the main Luza Square. Bubbles and I were starving already as it was way past our lunchtime. We can’t wait to dig in our forks and knives on something tasty from the sea.

The restaurant was easy to find as it is right in front of the harbour where many boats are moored. The Arsenal Restaurant has a huge open terrace with patio arches that frame the view of the harbour and part of Dubrovnik’s city walls. It’s lovely and quite dramatic. We proceeded to choose a table on the edge for a maximized vantage point, plus it has a heater positioned behind our backs which is very snug. It’s mid-April in Dubrovnik and although it is officially spring, it is still fresh for sitting outdoors. We appreciate very much the mobile heater as this gave us a comfortable experience for the lunch.


Cheers - Proost - Cin Cin - Salut - Zivjeli!

We ordered our drinks. Mine was a Chardonnay and Bubbles chose a locally brewed lemon beer. We clinked our glasses and drank to a nice Dubrovnik stay.

It didn’t take us long to make a decision which to have on the menu. We zeroed in on the restaurant’s speciality, some mussels cooked with herbs and aioli and grilled squid on a bed of potatoes and local cabbage greens. Sounds very delicious, huh.

Well, I cannot argue because this meal did not disappoint!

In fact, it opened our appetites for more seafood meals like this in Dubrovnik. The juicy, tender and plump mussels and the grilled to almost a perfection squid made us whole again. There is nothing wrong with Cevapi, but Bubbles and I are truly seafood lovers. I will always prefer fish and crustaceans over anything meat. But I also enjoyed the combination of potato and cabbage greens mashed together. I love cabbage, and it doesn't matter if they are raw, cooked or fermented. I buy them here at home from time to time.

So this lunch was one of the best meals in this Balkan Road Trip. But I tell you, the best is yet to come =)


Believe it or not, the location and view whilst dining can enhance our appetites.

As we were lunching, enjoying the moment, each other’s company and the view, we noticed the weather slowly turning grey. It looked like it is going to rain and obviously, we are not happy about it. We fervently hope it won’t as we still have an important chore to do. We needed to pick up the rental car at the expensive Hilton Garage and transfer it to the nearest and cheapest public parking garage.

But because we were on holiday, we decided to take our precious time. We deserved it. We were just hoping the weather will cooperate a little bit. So we stayed in our comfy seats, with the heater on our backs, the lovely ambience and view whilst relishing the moment.

You know, life can be nice. Life can be enjoyed. But it is also something one has to continuously seek for. We seek to take the moments. The moments for ourselves. Because no one else will.


A chilled Chardonnay and Lemon Beer are great to pair up for a seafood lunch.


Almost grilled to perfection grilled squid on a bed of potatoes and cabbage.


Fresh mussels with herbs and aioli.


The old harbour in Dubrovnik old town.


Travel Period: April 2017
Destination: Dubrovnik (Dubrovnik-Neretva), Croatia

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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