It is almost a public secret in Sarajevo, that restaurant “Dunja” is a place where you go with your friends to listen to some live music and hang out with a round of drinks. Before you go there, one eats at home or in the restaurant across the street, because we have all burnt our tongues on the tasteless food in “Dunja”.
Sarajevo is a small city, where guests of restaurants are more or less frequent visitors, so they exchange views on where did they eat well and where not so well. Thus, the very restaurant owner will often hear on the local market, in a coffee place, or at the post office what guests are saying about their restaurant. Certainly, if guests in your restaurant order several rounds of drinks but no food, that is a danger alert.
Recently, a friend called me and said that they changed the menu and chef in “Dunja” and that she was pleasantly surprised. I spent several hours persuading my friends to go there for dinner. Apparently it is difficult to get a badly rated restaurant back on the right track. But I made it!
I remind you that the aim of gastro nomad stories is that they are undercover, so the photographs are taken with a mobile phone camera. The cover and interior photos are from the Restaurant’s Facebook page.
Having in mind that it was in the mid of the week, we didn’t previously book a table. On the very entrance we felt very home like, especially with the working fireplace. Almost as we were visiting at grandma’s house. We were the only guests in the restaurant. Upon arrival we were served with bruschetta with Parmesan and pesto. A general first impression was very nice and no matter the empty restaurant, the atmosphere during the entire evening was very pleasant. Bruschetta delicious, warm, crunchy, a good appetizer.
If you visit the Facebook page of the restaurant or TripAdvisor, you can find many comments stating the same: wonderful atmosphere, but overprices. By opening the menu, we could see that immediately. I don’t have a problem with fine dining menus and prices somewhat higher than the average, if the food is also above average. We decided to have beefsteak salad, salmon with fennel puree and tuna fillet with grilled vegetables.
Tuna fillet was medium cooked, you could taste the seasoning just fine. I have to say that in the menu tuna fillet was offered with legume, which I am not a fan of, so I asked for some other side dish. Grilled vegetables was OK, but nothing spectacular or imaginative. Even the choice of the vegetables could have been more creative. It was all served without a sauce, so at times very dry to taste.
We were the least happy with the beefsteak salad, that evening. When it comes to the salad, you get lettuce, pickles, olives and onion. Big chunks of onion. The beefsteak pieces were obviously previously cut and then cooked (and not cooked in one piece) which made the meat dry and difficult to chew.
I believe that such as myself, you have never seen such a big slice of salmon served in a restaurant. I appreciate that they didn’t skimp on the salmon, but sometimes less is truly more. Salmon was served on the fennel puree. My friend says that the spices noted in the menu couldn’t really taste in the puree. The piece of salmon I tried was pretty salty, so the seasoning of the dish was uneven.
Now, what is the biggest flaw when you serve rather large portions of the meal? The fact that there was no chance that we could have dessert (and for the sake of this text I wanted to). We were simply full, I couldn’t even eat my meal entirely.
The waiter was very kind, the atmosphere was pleasant and the food was average. It is true that food in “Dunja” has improved, but all in all, everything is not more than for 3 golden spoons. I will mention that our three dishes (without drinks) cost 70 KM. Significantly more than the average in similar (even better restaurants in Sarajevo), but it will take much more work on improvement of tastes and preparation of food in order for the prices to be justified.