Every week The Dubrovnik Times goes to new levels for your pleasure. This time it’s all about culinary pleasure. We have scoured the menus of Dubrovnik to bring you our favourites. And not only did we just research the menus we have gone that extra step and tasted the food in advance for you... its hard work but someone has to do it. This week I visited the Taj Mahal restaurant in Hotel Lero for some authentic Bosnian cuisine.
No, it isn’t Indian its Bosnian! The Taj Mahal Restaurant is located in the Hotel Lero, easy to find and plenty of parking, or if you are in the historic Old City there is the first Taj Mahal. I have to admit that I am not an expert on Bosnian cuisine, I thought it started and ended with cevapi! How wrong I was. In fact I would go so far as to say don’t order cevapi, instead ask the waiters for assistance, try something new, you can’t go wrong.
The three things that stood out for me were a – the full flavours of the meals b – every meal had a story and a history and c – the passion that the owners and staff have for their food. “I would like to offer you a tasting menu today so that you can taste all the different flavours,” smiled the friendly co-owner. She wasn’t wrong! Every dish had a distinct character.
I would certainly recommend the Begova Soup – a thick base broth style soup that was apparently only served in the most wealthy homes centuries ago – truly delicious. And then the peppers filled with cottage cheese. This is a summer favourite as it is light and refreshing. The green peppers are filled with cottage cheese and then left for 40 days. This process gives the peppers that cheesy flavour. Bosnian cuisine takes its roots from the East and the West and a Turkish style rolled cabbage leaves filled with rice, mint, lemon peel and dried white raisins is a real Eastern dish.
One true star of the menu is a sweet cevapi. It is hard to describe this dish (my mouth is still watering) it is small pieces of veal prepared with dried figs, dried raisins and granny smith apples, told you it was hard to describe. The flavour is so strong and distinct, the meat melts in your mouth and the sauce has you reaching for the bread (yes, that’s also homemade and Bosnian) to mop it up.
And the traditions and flavours don’t stop with desserts. An almond jelly (called Bademli Almasia) is a dessert that was made for a specific occasion (a very specific occasion) when mother’s had just given birth! Yes, we told you that every dish has a story. It isn’t too sweet and is made of milk, gelatine and almonds, again extremely refreshing. Or there is the more classic Baklava, but this time is isn’t overly sweet, in fact I would say just right. They actually use buckwheat flour which probably takes away some of the normal sweetness. All in all the Taj Mahal is more than just a meal it is a gastronomic adventure.
Old City – Nikole Gučetića 2
Hotel Lero – Iva Vojnovića 14
Tel - +385 (0)20 323 221
Open from – 10am –12am