There have been many changes during the four generations that the Rajh family has run Gostilna Rajh, but one thing has remained constant - a warm welcome awaits diners who come seeking this restaurant’s authentic cuisine served in a welcoming, relaxed and homely atmosphere.
Four generations ago the warm welcome was from Ignac and Karolina, who served cider to their guests at the Rajh Village Inn, which also served as the village shop. Today it is Tanja Pintarič, Officier Maître Restaurateur and her husband, Damir, providing the welcome at Gostilna Rajh, (the renovated Rajh Restaurant) with the help of Tanja’s grandmother, Marija (who is still the first person in the kitchen every morning), father, Ignac, (who is described as the "soul" of the restaurant) and the next generation, Valentina and Leon.
Local guests who want to play cards in a homely atmosphere or gourmets in search of a delicious dining experience; all are equally welcome at Gostilna Rajh.
The style of cuisine served has developed and evolved through the generations. Second generation, Marija and Geza introduced fried chicken, freshwater fish from the nearby Slavonia region of Croatia, hearty minestrone soup, Prekmurje flat breads, and homemade bread. In those days, a sandwich made with homemade salami was a speciality of the Rajh Village Inn.
In 1969, when the inn was moved to the location of the present restaurant, third generation, Ignac and Marta, expanded the menu to continue to appeal to the local clientele whilst attracting guests from further afield, including Austria and all of the countries of the former Yugoslavia.
International cuisine was becoming popular, so the Rajh Village Inn introduced steaks of all kinds - but particularly beefsteak - and fish from the sea. These featured alongside typical dishes from the Prekmurje region, such as bograč (a hearty stew made with three kinds of meat, potatoes and vegetables), cooked beef, thick and hearty stews, the famous prekmurska gibanica (a layer cake with apples, walnuts, poppy seeds and cottage cheese) and retaši (sweet or savoury strudels).
When the fourth generation, Tanja and Damir, took over in 2005, they opted to preserve tradition by giving it a modern twist. Regional Prekmurje recipes, passed down through the generations, were slightly reformulated, to give them a lighter, deliciously fresh taste. Marija, Ignac, Valentina and Leon hve all been involved in the transformation, which has seen modern culinary trends introduced and adapted to the homely and traditional cuisine of Gostilna Rajh.
Local food producers still form the backbone of each Prekmurje dish; each ingredient on the plate has a name, origin, heritage and a story behind it. This provenance and its welcoming and relaxing atmopshere, are the hallmarks of Gostilna Rajh.
Publishing Editor, Revue internationale de la Chaîne