Stari Podrum

Ivana Dasović
Price range:

A fillet of grilled perch, perch-orly (fried without breadcrumbs), a fillet of catfish fried in seeds and fried carp with boiled potatoes and sautéed vegetables are parts of the fish platter in the Ilok restaurant Stari Podrum, part of the same named tourist resort above the actual cellars built in the 15th and 18th centuries, in which wine is still matured today.
And these are the wines which are drunk with this platter and other dishes from the rich menu based, of course, on first-class river fish, and Danube and Slavonian meat dishes.

The biggest problem with this platter is where to begin. The grilled perch has a strong aroma, the perch-orly is juicy, the carp is savoury and the catfish in breadcrumbs is crispy.
The second problem is whether to decide on Graševina or Chardonnay. Both wines are excellent, and more acidic Graševina probably goes better with the fatty catfish, whilst the Chardonnay beautifully suits the white meat of the perch. And so, the wine can actually solve the dilemma.

The excellent Graševina from the Ilok cellars suits the fiš paprikaš (spicy fish stew), which lovers of Danube food will start this little fish festival with, as though a fish swam in it. With the Graševina one can continue with the catfish and carp, and later move onto the perch and to the wines of beautiful sorts which have also become acclimatised to the extreme east of Croatia.

Catfish, perch and carp provide the stock for fiš paprikaš stew, whilst the meat in it is that only of the catfish. And it is mild, so that guests from other parts do not burn their tongue or palate. The spicier one, however, is served in a special dish.

In Stari Podrum they have two fiš paprikaš. One is without bones, “for the people of Zagreb”, the local people often used to comment. However, they too often eat it because the stock is the same, and is it easier to eat. For the purists the stew is still made in the traditional way, with whole pieces of fish.

They have a good selection of meat dishes, they also offer food for vegetarians, and the desserts are a mix of international favourites and local fine rural dishes such as tačkrli, little pillows of potato dough filled with jam and sprinkled with poppy seeds.

The wine list is, of course, a copy of the wine cellar. The selection is great, it is easy to find which wine suits any page of the menu, and the prices are very decent, just slightly more than in the shops. Even the most expensive wines, such as the sweet predicate of the famous Ilok Traminac, can be ordered by the glass, and after your meal you can also buy them affordably in the gift shop which is part of the restaurant.

For those who are too wary to travel after the Ilok bacchanalia, they can rest overnight in very nice rooms along the Danube.

Author of photography: Davor Javorović/PIXSELL

-- Your Gourmet 365

Contact number: 032/590 088



Working hours: Monday - Sunday: 7.00 - 23.00 h

Region: Slavonia

Address: Šetalište O.M.Barbarića 4; 32236 Ilok

Capacity: 160

Price range: 100-200kn

Restaurant description:

The Stari Podrum tourist resort is located in Ilok, in far eastern Croatia, over the mighty Danube. This unique wine facility is heritage and an indicator of a very long tradition of grape growing and wine production. Besides the unforgettable gastronomic pleasure, one of the values of this tourist resort are the two wine cellars from the 15th and 18th centuries. For more than five centuries they have created and nurtured wines and they preserve a precious archive and many secrets…

The Stari Podrum Restaurant is located in the special ambiance of the former winery, which gives it a characteristic Syrmia feeling. Pleasant and warm, with local delicacies paired with top selection wines from Ilok cellars, the restaurant doesn’t leave the greatest wine and food connoisseurs indifferent.
The restaurant has capacity for 100-seated guests plus an additional 60 under the covered garden terrace.

Besides the restaurant, it also offers a complete range of winery products along with expertly guided tastings by an oenologist or sommelier. In order to clean your palate of the taste of the previous wine, you will receive a portion of bread and cheese, and this will allow you a new experience with every new glass…
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