There’s one thing that Serbians and Croatians can agree on if politics and history are put to one side; Bosnians make the best ćevapi (pronounced che-vap-ee). Just incase you have no idea what ćevapi are, they are a minced meat, skinless type of sausage. Forget about ćevapi if you’re vegetarian or vegan, there are no alternatives at present. Cevapi are also an influence left behind by the Ottomans and are readily available across the Balkans the way kebabs are along the highways in Sydney.
Balkan conversations generally revolve around where you can find the best ćevapi, the more Bosnian, the better. As you know or may have noticed, I tend to stay away from all dairy products (except cheese, I can’t give up cheese) and have dramatically cut down on my intake of meat and animal products. So, selling me the concept of ‘the best ćevapi in Zagreb‘ is not my idea of a culinary night out however, my cousin is very convincing and sold Sofra to me.
Sofra is located in Zagreb’s business district, Green Gold business centre where high rise buildings and international companies call home, towering over the restaurant and visible to the eye in the outdoor area. Sofra’s decor pays homage to Sarajevo’s traditional values, where history meets a more contemporary vibe. With or without it’s local reputation, Sofra remains as the best restaurant to visit if you’re looking for the best cevapi outside of Bosnia.
For dinner we ordered three separate traditional Bosnian meals. I ordered the cevapi which arrived with freshly cut onions and on warm flatbread (also known as lepinje in Croatia or somun in Bosnia). Having previously tried authentic cevapi in Sarajevo, I can easily compare the portion I ate at Sofra by the taste. My cousins had đulbastije (Flat meat loafs baked in onion and sour cream) and pljeskavica sa sirom (hamburger steak stuffed with cheese).
I’m not really a big desert person anymore but I was encouraged to try tufahije, a Bosnian desert made of walnut-stuffed apples stewed in water with sugar, which I did. My cousin had hurmasice which is a syrup-drenched pastry, a little too dry for me but still a nice to drink with a Bosnian coffee.
There’s no way you can visit a Bosnian restaurant without having a ‘bosanska kafa,‘ or commonly referred to as black or Turkish coffee. Bosnian coffee is fairly strong not bitter in any way. Bosanska kafa is to be enjoyed slowly and to prolong a conversation so don’t treat it like a cappuccino from Star Bucks. Your Bosanska kafa is always served with sugar cubes and rahat lokum, also known as turkish delight. You’ll also notice that your bosanska kafa will arrive a dzezva (a pot designed specifically to make black coffee) for you to pour in a tiny cup without a handle, a little unusual but all part of the experience.
A special thank you to the boys at Sofra Green Gold for looking after my cousins and I in what will always be a memorable evening between us.
Address: Radnička cesta 50, 10000
Phone: 01 4111 621