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Ex-Croatia star opens Međimurje cuisine restaurant in Zagreb

Tajer (Photo credit: Marija Laća)

Former Croatia goalkeeper Dražen Ladić, who was part of the bronze medal-winning team at the 1998 World Cup in France, has recently opened up his own restaurant in the capital Zagreb. 

Born and raised in Međimurje in the northernmost part of Croatia, Ladić has opened Tajer, a place where guests can enjoy cuisine from his home county. Decorated in a semi-industrial style, Tajer is located on King Zvonimir street near downtown Zagreb.  

“Considering that Zagreb does have a wide gastronomic offer, with almost none which represent Međimurje, which is an area which offers a rich gastronomic offer, we wanted to offer something different from what is available at most Zagreb restaurants. All our dishes are prepared in the traditional domestic way. We will do our best to present guests with dishes that are autochthonous, which they do not have the opportunity to eat every day, and that will take most of them back to their childhood or remind them of their grandmothers’ kitchen,” Ladić told Journal.hr.

The name of the restaurant, Ladić explains, came spontaneously, as well as the decision to start a restaurant business. “Although most Zagreb residents are likely to say it with the wrong accent, when spoken in the dialect of Međimurje it is clear it is ‘plate’. Tajer is Međimurje dialect for the word Tanjur (plate in standard Croatian). “ 

Menu is served with dishes from Međimurje

The menu at Tajer consists of 11 cold and warm entrees such as cooked štrukli, dumplings with cream, meso s tiblice, and homemade wide noodles with fresh cheese and melted lard. Among the main dishes you can find traditional local dishes prepared in the Međimurje way, including duck on skewers, ham hock with sauerkraut and stewed potatoes, black pudding, pork loin wrapped in mushroom sauce, veal shank and beefsteak. There are also soups and desserts that Ladić says are really special and rare to find in most Zagreb restaurants.

“When we mentioned the specialty of dishes that take guests back to their childhood, we refer to soups – soups with smoked meat and sour cream, Zagorje style soup and soup of the house which is the chef’s clear homemade soup. Also, there are our sweets like Međimurje gibanica, homemade baked štrukli, pumpkin and poppy strudel, zlevak, walnuts. In short, the soups and desserts we offer are really special and rare to find at a restaurant in Zagreb,” he explains.

Entree prices start from 35 kuna, which is what you will pay for the cooked štrukli and risotto with mushrooms or chicken. Mains start from 45 kuna and 115 kuna with the most expensive dish, the beefsteak in a green pepper sauce with valjuške (like njoki), costing 140 kuna. Desserts range from 20 to 38 kuna and soups from 24 to 27 kuna. 

“The menu will change seasonally, so in the spring and summer guests will be offered slightly lighter meals, while the autumn and winter menus are a little heavier. Considering that we offer a daily offer of 5-6 dishes and we have 12-15 a la carte dishes, we do not have a wide menu, but that we have, we are convinced that when such food is desired, guests will come to eat at Tajer,” Ladić concluded. 

Tajer is open on Sundays and Mondays from 10 am – 5 pm, and until 11 pm the rest of the week. 

All photos by Marija Laća

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