When a new eatery opens up In Croatia it is a rule that at the beginning food is great and prices are affordable but already after one year everything turns upside down, of course for worse. Not in Farabuto. As I live in Pula, I am visiting Farabuto every few months and I can tell you that each time we ate there was a detectable improvement in the cooking precision and, more important, creativity.
The owner Goran readily admits that when they opened up Farabuto four years ago on the outskirts of Pula, he didn't know much about restaurant business. Like most of Croatian restaurant, Goran at first had oversized menu that was hard to handle in the kitchen and was possible to execute only if frozen produce were used. His best move was when a year ago he decided to skim it down to about 10 daily dishes that depend on the offer on Pula fish and farmers' market. OK, for sure on the menu there will be cold fish antipasto for two but the composition of that Farabuto's signature dish depends on Pula fishermen last night's catch, you never know what you will get. The surprise is the best ingredient in Farabuto's dishes.
The food here respects traditions of the South Istrian cusine, that is very much seafood oriented and is based on long cooking methods, but Goran complements it with modern, crispy, fresh, vegetable based sidedishes that are delight both for eye and palate. It is also one of rare places where I was able to eat rare fish gof (greater amberjack), a powerful hunter which feeds on other fish, whose meat flavor reminds me of combination of tuna and salmon.
The only drawback is popularity of the place (Farabuto rates very high on Tripadvisor) so in summer months the service can be very, very slow because all dishes are made à la minute and only various stews and sauces are precooked. Nevertheless, Farabuto's food is worth waiting and time goes faster with a wine bottle chosen from well curated wine list showcasing boutique Croatian wineries.