In Ravna Gora — a place in central Croatia where the hikers, walkers and nature lovers are abound — you will always feel good if you love the forest and the mountain. Wherever you go from the main road of this sweet little town, you’ll always be greeted by a beautiful dense forest with all the gifts that nature in this untouched part of the world definitely abounds in. After a walk through the fresh air, you will most assuredly get hungry and wish for some of the forest fruits, and Bijela Ruža (White Rose) is a venue that has been fulfilling this need for 52 years - to invigorate people who want dishes based on mushrooms and game.
Of course, there is everything for everyone here: from beef and veal dishes, as well as a rich offer of soups and pizzas. The very view of the menu reveals a wealth of fantastic salami, prosciutto and sausage made of deer, boar and bears, as well as local cheeses. However, since we are at a high altitude surrounded by mountains, our first choice was a warm homemade soup, and on this occasion we got the game one. More of a sauce than a soup and packed with a huge amount of meat, this one is a real find. Namely, as all the venison is hand-processed here, the soup is made of bones left over after grinding and using better-quality portions of meat for other dishes, and it really is a story for itself - almost a complete meal.
They make their own bread here at Bijela Ruža, as they do with their gnocchi, croquettes and hunting dumplings, too, and for hot starters we’re getting the mushroom goulash with mashed potatoes. When you are already in Gorski Kotar, you should definitely not miss out on these wonderful mushrooms, which arrive in big cubes and a very tasty sauce in which absolutely nothing is emphasised too much and their taste comes before all. A very gently, lovingly, and carefully prepared dish that serves as a warmup for something stronger. The choice of wine is not great as this is definitely not a winegrowing area because of the strong cold, but they try to have products both from the sea and the continent, so we paired the mushrooms with the Istrian Malvasia, which - by the way - is by no means a bad combo..
Although we could choose between some of the more famous bear, roe deer, deer and other seasonal stews, or the deer steak in blueberry, cranberry, raspberry or mushroom sauce for the main course, we took this opportunity to try the bear steak in hunting sauce. This dish, which you rarely have the opportunity to try anywhere else in Croatia, is based on the rather strong and aromatic flesh of this predator, which has retained its strength even on the plate, despite the long ageing process. And that is exactly what we sought and expected: a great choice for any hunter, as well as people bored of classic chicken and turkey fillets that you can find anywhere. With this strong dish, we drank a homemade Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced specifically from Slavonia and gently accompanied by strong and aromatic meat and great hunting dumplings in a rich and thick sauce.
Lastly - the huge, utterly delicious raspberry strudel, which is made with a lot more hand-made dough unlike the rest of Gorski Kotar,, the fruit is still abundant, and it is absolutely an excellent wrap to a meal for the end of the meal as well as the overall impression.
White Rose does not have an interior to remember, it is a local inn that puts all its skills in top game from local hunters and suppliers, but it is the taste and preparation of their meat specialties and sauces that you will recommend from generation to generation, and we simply do not have enough kind words for the dessert. A meat empire surrounded by beautiful forests - welcome to the heart of Croatia and the heart of untouched, beautiful nature and all that it has to offer you on a plate of valuable and pleasant people of this convenient place.
Contact number: +385 (0)51 818 444 / +385 (0)98 442 358
Working hours: 09 - 22
Address: I.G. Kovačića 16, 51314 Ravna Gora
Price range: 100-200kn