Thursday, September 5, 2013

Inat Kuca and Slasticarna Sara - Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina

I did a previous post on the restaurant Sadrvan located in Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina, which features traditional Bosnian food. We visited another couple of restaurants in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina that also focus on traditional Bosnian food: Inat Kuca and Slasticarna Sara. 

One of the well-known landmarks in Sarajevo is the Latin Bridge, over the River Miljacka, see below, where Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated in 1914, which sparked the beginning of World War I. If you look in the background, toward the right side of the picture, but also along the river, you see a distinctive yellow building with red stripes. It is the City Hall with a Moorish look that honors the Muslim background of Sarajevo. For my purposes, it is important because in 1895 a building sat in that spot that was owned by a man named Benderija. The city wanted his land and he refused to give it up. He finally relented under the conditions that the city give him a bag of gold coins and move his house, brick by brick, to the other side of the river and then re-build it. Inat Kuca, which means "spite house," is that house, built brick by brick. In 1997 it was turned into a restaurant serving traditional Bosnian food. 
Latin Bridge over the River Miljacka. Archduke Ferdinand was shot on the left side in front of the building marked "Museum"
City Hall with the river just visible to the front left. Picture taken from Inat Kuca.
Inat Kuca, on the other side of the river (which is just visible to the left). The mosque minaret that looks like it is coming out the roof is behind it.  
Judy sits outside with a view of the river and City Hall.
I did a previous post on the shopska salad, a salad we first discovered at Inat Kuca and had all over the Balkans. This one had red pepper, tomato, cucumber, onion and Bosnia feta cheese. The first picture shows mostly cheese, as the shredded cheese covers the top of the salad, typical with all shopska salads, then the second picture gives a better picture of the other ingredients after some of it has been eaten. 
Shopska salad covered with Bosnian feta cheese.
Underneath the cheese is red pepper, tomato, cucumber and onion. 
Judy got the Sarajevski Sahan which was a mix of Bosnian specialties (Sarajevski means Sarajevo and I can't find a translation for Sahan). Much of it was very similar to what we had at Sadrvan. The sogan-dolma, which means stuffed onions (with rice and minced meat) in Turkish, are apparently a specialty in Mostar, but those we had at Inat Kuca were better than those we had at Sadrvan and were probably my favorite food item here. They were moister, soaked in a broth, and had more minced beef in them. Another duplicate was the filovana paprika, pepper stuffed with minced meat, rice, tomato, eggs and spices. It was similarly a white pepper. Japrak, grape leaves stuffed with rice and meat and Bosanski ionac, Bosnian meat stew (with potatoes, meat chunks, cabbage and other vegetables in a tomato sauce), which provided the broth for the other items, were also duplicates. It is clear these items are traditional foods and it is obvious that Bosnian's like rice and minced meat fillers in various types of vegetables. 
The sogan-solma (stuffed onions) are in front and to the right is the filovana paprika (stuffed pepper).
This picture provides a better view of the japrak (stuffed grape leaves) and Bosanski ionac (Bosnian stew).
I got mjesano meso za jednu osobu, or mixed meat for one person. It had some grilled vegetables included, something we had quite a few places in the Balkans, including squash, red pepper, and mushrooms. Also some baked potato. The meat included some pretty dry pounded chicken breast, some moister and more flavorful skewered chicken, a couple of sausages and some other kind of grilled meat. 
It was mostly pretty good, but nothing was extraordinary, except the story about how the house and restaurant came about, and that made it worth it. It was recommended to us by an Australian couple on the walking tour of Sarajevo. 

Then we picked a place on our own, Slasticarna Sara, which means Sara's Patisserie (or pastry), I believe.  We visited this place twice and would have continued to come back daily as long as we were in Sarajevo. The desserts were truly a reflection of the Muslim culture as much of it was similar to desserts we had in Istanbul. One of my favorites was tulumba, made from an unleavened lump of dough with ridges along it created by an icing bag with a special nozzle. It is deep fried to a golden color and then has syrup poured over it while it is hot. It is then eaten cold. It is moist, very sugary sweet and I LOVED it. It is of Turkish origin. The other amazing items, with Turkish roots, were various types of baklava, a flaky pastry made of phyllo dough filled with chopped nuts and drenched in sugar syrup or honey (we had pistachios and other types of nuts). I don't recall the different variations they had but they were all very drenched in syrup and lip smacking good. I can't find names for the other items, but they were also very good. A layered chocolate and cream stack was excellent, rich and moist. A layered cake with cream and frosting. A rolled pastry, with syrup and I believe an apple filling. Anyway, if this was anywhere near by I would be on my way now. 
Slasticarna Sara - just a few blocks from Inat Kuca.
Two pieces of baklava at the front.
Tulumba is at the front.
This was our "to go" plate for our drive to Belgrade.
The traditional Bosnian main dishes are okay. The traditional Bosnia desserts are incredible. 


  1. It's a rare day when you'll choose desserts over meat dishes, and I can't agree with you more on this one!

  2. I like the story of Benderija's house. I suspect he wouldn't get away with that in today's world.

    That last dessert plate looks especially good.