Darko Poljak

In Sarajevo I live off sushi and jazz!

At the beginning of our conversation, Darko Poljak tells us with a smile that it is a real paradox that here in Sarajevo he lives off sushi and jazz. However, in being a master of one’s craft, which Darko surely is, such a paradox is certainly very likely!


This fine saxophonist – who is a member of the popular band, Sarajevo Jazz Guerilla, and owner of the small but reputable restaurant, Sushi San – shares some of his opinions of Sarajevo with us.

He says that Sarajevo is an interesting city, especially for those who like clubbing and electronic music. He adds that the night life here is exciting, especially when the Sarajevo Film Festival is going on. Darko is most eager to visit Monument Jazz Club, where he has regular performances, and he also loves to go to Zlatna Ribica, Opera, Balkan Express and then Delikatesna Radnja, which is his favorite place to have a daily coffee.

The reason he loves Sarajevo is that this is the city where he grew up, where he has plenty of friends and where, he stresses, it is easy to enjoy yourself once you have resolved to do so.

As for cultural activities, he enjoys classical music concerts the most and loves to take in a good play at the Obala Academy of Performing Arts or at Sarajevo War Theater.

As the owner of a restaurant, he is rather strict when it comes to food and he recommends the restaurants, Noovi, Mala Kuhinja and The Four Rooms of Mrs. Safija. He’s always keen to go to Hadžibajrić Aščinica and, when considering Bosnian specialties, not only does he recommend the must-try pita, but also sarma, stuffed peppers, zucchini and other types of dolma.

His favorite Sarajevo buildings are Svrzo’s House and the Museum of Literature and Performing Arts of BiH, which he says are excellent examples of traditional BiH architecture. According to Darko, the best views of the city are from Sedam Šuma and Vidikovac on Trebević.

Darko feels that the best souvenirs one can take from the city are the items hand-made by Sarajevo’s kazandžijas (coppersmiths), such as copper plates which feature images of the places of worship for the four religions that have been mingling here for centuries.

He would take a first-time visitor for a walk through the old parts of town to show them the harmonious way in which the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian styles of architecture meet.

In closing our conversation, we ask Darko to describe our city in one sentence. After thinking for moment, he cites a line from a song by the late Kemal Monteno:

- Sarajevo, my love!