In the easternmost region of Croatia, on the pretty sandstone hills that alternate with the plains, on the very bank of the grandiose mighty Danube, is the Dunav hotel and restaurant. A pretty little town, proud of its walls and rich history, it is the right place to use as an escape from everyday situations, and recently tourists have also discovered Ilok, so the atmosphere as you sit under the roof on the big terrace with a view of the river is – quite idyllic.
The restaurant’s terrace is surrounded with greenery, and within the terrace there is a pool with live freshwater fish. This also points to the significance of the offer of the Dunav’s large restaurant – fish in all possible ways. The order in which to begin the Dunav’s story is with grilled rolls of perch in prosciutto or with a Syrmian carpaccio. In both cases you can expect fresh fish in ways which you haven’t yet tried, and probably never imagined. Of course, if you like kulen salami, ham and prosciutto – you won’t go hungry…
The Dunav’s greatest hit is fish, i.e. fiš paprikaš (spicy fish stew), which comes to your table in a traditional metal cauldron, served with homemade thick pasta noodles. The spiciness can be adjusted to order, best not to overdo it, but to ask the waiter to bring you the spicy sauce separately on the side along with some of the basic strength so then you can determine your own level of spiciness.
Although forums are full of praise for the stew being made without bones, upon the persuasion of the local people that it should be given a chance and with this one with the bones we did come across the best bits of the carp and catfish in the cauldron. Delightful, even more so when you combine the fantastic Buhać Merlot with a stronger or Graševina with a milder dish, you will experience Syrmia in all its most beautiful glory.
The Dunav as the flagship of Ilok hospitality also has a serious meat selection in the form of stuffed turkey, Slavonian steak or Bećarski dinner – classic steaks stuffed with delicacies from the plains. One of them is the Ilok ćevap which has nothing to do with kebabs, but is quite an interesting dish made from pork neck and a spicy sauce. From the desserts there are classic strudels and pancakes, with a sip of perfectly suited Traminac, which perhaps rounds off all the beauty of this place the best.
The Danube flows silently and quickly, carrying branches and boats, times stands still as you enjoy the greenery and think about another helping of the fish stew from the pot. The multiple enjoyment of the food and wines at very reasonable prices in the shade of the century old plane trees, what more to say than that you will definitively come back!
Author of photography: Davor Javorović/Pixsell
Contact number: 032/596 500
Working hours: Monday - Sunday: 07:00 AM- 11:00 PM
Address: Julija Benešića 62; 32236 Ilok
Price range: 100-200kn