Friday, 14 January 2022

Đurina Hiža Produces First Croatian Free-Range Wagyu Beef

January 14, 2022 - Nikola Božić of restaurants Đurina Hiža and Reshetka is the first to produce Croatian wagyu beef, which will be served at two dinners in February. 

Plava Kamenica first spoke to the owner of Đurina Hiža and Reshetka, Nikola Božić, at the Zagreb Burger Festival in the autumn of 2020 about his pioneering project - breeding of the first herd of Croatian wagyu cattle. 

A year later, the Đurina Hiža restaurant in Varaždinske Toplice, one of Croatia's most respected meat addresses, will present its first dishes with the first Croatian wagyu at two dinners in February.

With Davorin Štetner and in cooperation with the Jastrebarsko veterinary station, Božić started breeding wagyu-holstein cattle in Žumberak Nature Park at 750 meters above sea level in Tihočaj. Until now, this crossbreed could only be heard about as a curiosity from Japan.

"This farm is the result of two of my desires, which I have been working on for years," Nikola Božić said to Plava Kamenica then. "I have been dissatisfied with the general quality of meat available in Croatia for a long time, and it became clear to me that sooner or later, I will have to start breeding to get the quality I want to work with," Božić said, adding that his other motive was smarter cattle breeding.

“I have been dealing with meat for years; I have visited many places in Croatia and, with some exceptions, but I think that the general level of breeding is very poor. When I saw the conditions in which cows live on some farms, I began to understand vegans," says Božić. He found out that there were wagyu and holstein hybrids in Croatia at the fair in Gudovac, and he found them in Međimurje.

Crossbreeding holstein cows and bulls that produce wagyu beef has been widespread in Japan and Australia for years. Wagyu beef is known for its almost perfect marbling, an intramuscular fat that is impossible to imitate, but cattle have a mild and timid nature. By crossbreeding with Holstein, they get characteristics to adapt more easily to breeding in European and American climates. Although it does not achieve the highest Japanese quality levels, wagyu from Western breeding is becoming increasingly popular due to its availability and delicious meat. Spaniards came the furthest with a marbling of 6/12 and the Americans with 9/12, which is phenomenal. 

Nikola Božić is one of the fiercest examples of the endurance of the Croatian restaurant industry. The pandemic seriously threatened the business of Đurina Hiža and street food brand Reshetka. Still, Božić was one of the first to launch nationwide delivery during the lockdown, which resulted in the new brand Deda ide po veti and new meat product lines such as Low & Slow. With the restaurant reopening, everything they risked and did during the pandemic began to return to Đurina Hiža, says Božić. 

The first dinner dedicated to Croatian wagyu beef, announced for February 18, is sold out; the second will be held on February 25 for a maximum of 25 guests. There will be wagyu burgers and steaks on the menu, and if you don’t get a place at this wagyu dinner, you can buy it and try to prepare it yourself!

Đurina Hiža
Varaždinska 70, Varaždinske Toplice

Friday, February 18 and Friday, February 25, 2022


The number of places is limited to 20 to 25

Reservations: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 098/9562435

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Deda Ide Po Svetu: National Delivery for Isolated Meat Lovers

April 12, 2020 - Keeping stay-at-home meat lovers sane in an insane world, the Deda Ide Po Svetu delivery service from Nikola Bozic from top meatery Durina Hiza is proving an absolute hit. 

We are finding out a lot about ourselves and others in this crazy corona era, and one conclusion I am reaching is that the craziest Croats I know are becoming just a little crazier as they find innovative ways to respond to the crisis. 

My absolute favourite person to follow - and we are in contact daily - is one the craziest of them all, the charismatic but not entirely sane owner of one Croatia's top meat restaurants, Durina Hiza in Varazdinske Toplice - the one and only Nikola Bozic.  

As the global economy fell apart, all Croatia's restaurants closed and hospitality staff were laid off in their thousands, young Nikola not only retained his staff, but hired more. And then he refocused his business to a national home delivery programme, bring the very best steaks and many other great local products directly to desperate meat lovers in self-isolation all over the country. You can read more about the steak delivery service here

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 This week Istria was part of the delivery network. 

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And slowly the lonely open roads of Croatia are being covered by the Deda Ide Po Svetu service.  

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 The service has proved a hit with expats, even more so since an English menu is available. Please note that this is subject to rapid change due to availability. Staying in touch with the Durina Hiza Facebook page will keep you informed of the latest availability and delivery schedule

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Meet Schtig and Gorilla, the Deda Ide Po Svetu delivery team. 

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From Istria to Slavonia, Zagreb and slowly down the Adriatic, going further south than Makarska next week.  

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 Picking up premium supplies along the way for an ever-expanding menu for home delivery. 

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My favourite fridge in the world used to serve the diners of the Durina Hiza, one of the few restaurants outside Zagreb that had a steady stream of customers willing to drive 45 minutes outside the city for dinner.  

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Now that fridge and other prime Durina Hiza ingredients are adjusting to the new reality and being delivered all over the country. The view from Velika Gorica this week.  

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And Easter on Krk will be a little more enjoyable. 

I have a friend in Zagreb who is choosing the moment to devour his freshly-delivered T-bone and deer steaks. Meanwhile in Split, my Romanian friends are counting down the minutes until their delivery on Friday - just in time for Romanian Easter next week, which will be celebrated with a self-isolation barbecue with traditional Romanian dishes and a Deda Ide Po Svetu meat fest. 

Meanwhile in Zaostrog, a small village south of Makarska, I was catching up with a friend self-isolating with his punac and punica, and he wanted suggestions how to show his appreciation to his hosts. Within minutes, an order was placed, and Schtig and Gorilla will be making meat dreams come true in a small Dalmatian village on the Adriatic.  

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This boy IS making a huge difference to people's lives with this outstanding service.  


And while I can't wait to relive unforgettable nights in Varazdinske Toplice like this with Nikola and Ribafish, for now I sit back and follow this crazy Croat as he goes above and beyond the call of duty to deliver an outstanding - and much appreciated - service.  

And he is clearly having fun...

This week's schedule:

Wednesday in Slavonija (Osijek)

Thursday in Zagreb

Friday in Dalmatia (Split, Zadar, Makarska)

Saturday in Varaždin (Ludbreg, Čakovec, Varaždinske Toplice as well).

To order, by email only - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Need a Steak Delivery? Top Croatian Restaurant Starts National Delivery Service

April 7, 2020 - Salivating over those wonderful restaurant meals from the pre-corona era? A new steak delivery service from one of Croatia's top meat restaurants has launched a national delivery service to meat your needs. 

Now that we have all got to know the four walls of our current location intimately, close your eyes for a moment and try and decide where and with whom you would be spending your self-isolation in a perfect world (let me rephrase that - in a best-case-corona-scenario world). 

A lot of people have expressed longing for the gorgeous Adriatic when I post photos and videos from my 30 minutes a day away from the laptop. And I have to confess that that half an hour by the sea is helping me keep it together, when the rest of my day is 100% consumed with digesting and reporting on the current horrors. 

But while there is a longing for location, location, location, there is also another desire which is becoming ever more prevalent as this lockdown continues - food. 


I am fortunate to be holed up with the best punica in the world, the best wife in the world, and the best sister-in-law in the world. Not only that but the fresh produce from the field of the best punac in the world means that we are eating healthily, and the creations coming out of Konoba Zorica are absolutely outstanding. Ladies, I salute thee!

But I also keep thinking back with longing to one quite extraordinarily unbelievably amazing culinary experience we had just as few weeks ago, when the living legend that is Ribafish invited us to dinner at the Temple of Meat in Varazdinske Toplice, Durina Hiza. 

Ribafish, left, and a fat Irishman, right, are sandwiched between two of my favourite things in life - the highly entertaining Durina Hiza owner, Nikola Bozic, and THAT fridge. Now THIS is a place and company I could certainly consider for self-isolation. Who needs the Adriatic?

 Nikola is also a total nutter, full of the craziest ideas, and it was hardly a surprise to me that while the whole global economy was crashing to pieces all around him, not only was he retaining his staff, but hiring MORE.

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Cometh the hour, cometh the Schtig! If you can't come to Croatia's finest meat restaurant at the moment, let Croatia's finest meat restaurant come to you with your favourite steak delivery! 


Here is a sample of what is available. PLEASE NOTE that the availability of items is subject to changing availability, and I recommend you follow the Durina Hiza Facebook page for the latest info

I asked Nikola why he had decided to go down this route when others were closing down and laying off staff.


"Because I love what I am doing and because gastronomy is my life choice and passion. I have a group of dedicated people who support me, and we have been all working together for quite a while now. I just couldn't let them down so it came to me that I can still continue to offer the best meat and keep my family in business. This is how this delivery idea was born. Now what I am trying is to reach out to all the premium OPG's in Croatia to broaden my offer and help them survive."

Can you imagine how the quality of life in Croatia when (not if) this fabulous initiative takes off? Adding all the quality locally produced food to the network, delivered to your door? Direct support for Croatia's farmers. Celebrate the little guy and help him win. 

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The Schtig has already begun deliveries, and Nikola tells me that he has the current delivery schedule. 

To order, by email only - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Today - Tuesday, April 7 - Koprivnica/Virovitica/Osijek/Vukovar

Tomorrow - Wednesday, April 8 - Varazdin and Zagreb

Thursday, April 9 - Rijeka and Istria

Friday, April 10 - Zagreb

And confirmed for after Easter:

Friday, April 17 - Split. 

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Young Nikola, I salute you, and I am proud to call you a close friend. 

I really hope this initiative succeeds and grows, and the small quality producers all over Croatia come on board and turn this into the new way to get our food. 

For the latest in your steak delivery needs, follow the latest via Durina Hiza FB

For the corona latest, follow the dedicated TCN section