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Move to Croatia and Open a Restaurant? Kako Da Ne!

Zagreb’s international cuisine offering over the last year or two has increased dramatically.

A number of new places have opened up around the city which is going through a bit of a tourism boom at the moment.

One of those places is the catchily named Kako Da Ne.

Located on Zagreb’s busy Tklačićeva street (number 59), Kako Da Ne serves authentic Israeli cuisine like hummus, shakshuka, sambusak and couscous.

Kako Da Ne was opened two and a half months ago by Iffat Shtibel Doron and Ayelet Shtibel Doron, who moved to live in the Croatian capital earlier this year from Israel.

Israeli cuisine (photo credit: Kako Da Ne)

We caught up with them to see how life is in Zagreb, but first we had to ask why ‘Kako Da Ne’, which in Croatian means ‘How could I not!’

“We have a Croatian friend in Israel and when we consulted her about a name for the place she said that whenever she offers her father something to drink he always answers ‘kako da ne’ which literally translates as ‘how yes no’ but is used for ‘of course’ and we really liked it and it was important for us to give the place Croatian name because we love the country and the language” Iffat and Ayelet say.

They had been in Zagreb for about five months before opening up the restaurant. But how did they end up in Zagreb of all places from Israel.

Shakshuka (photo credit: Kako Da Ne)

“We had traveled here many times and fell in love with this country and just knew we want to live here.”

Whilst they say they are happy in Zagreb and they say moving away from family back in Israel was the most difficult thing to do. Although it will not stop them making a new life in Croatia.

“Of course we see ourselves living here for many years and developing ourselves.”

Iffat and Ayelet say that one of the main differences between Croatia and Israel is the weather.

They say they struggle with the cold when it bites in winter in Zagreb. They are used to warmer climates all year round.

The cold has been hard to adjust to (photo credit: Sandra Tralic)

Another challenge has been Croatia’s famous bureaucracy, which they have had a chance to experience close up by operating a business.

“Handling a lot of rules, paper work and bureaucracy has been a challenge. We must say though that everyone has been really nice and helpful to us.”

It has not take long for the pair to immerse themselves into Croatian culture and for them to start enjoying some of the local offerings.

“Our favourite Croatian food is sarma and we love rakija!”

Sarma (photo credit: Visit Sinj)

So how do they spend their time when they are not at the restaurant?

“We chill out at home. We hardly have time to enjoy Zagreb and our house because we opened 2 and a half months ago so its difficult to have time to go exploring the city.

Being foodies, the pair have already sniffed out a few places around the city they like.

“We do like like Boban and Mundoaka as the more fancy places, but we are simple people and enjoy eating streetfood like pizza too.”

Outside of Zagreb Iffat and Ayelet say that Split on the Dalmatian coast is their favourite place to visit and try to go at least twice a year.

Split (photo: Split Tourist Board)

A lot of foreigners struggle with learning Croatian, so much have they picked up so far?

“Samo malo (just a little bit) haha. It is a difficult language but we like it and the workers in our restaurant help us learn.”

As foreigners who have moved to Croatia and opened a business, what advice would you have for anyone possibly thinking of doing the same.

“Be patient to the procedures of bureaucracy, take it easy and come with double the money you thought you will need.”

Kako Da Ne

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