April 5, 2004
Once inside the restaurant, the mood lightens and brightens a little - big chandeliers, crisp white linen and just the right number of candles. I’m never a fan of the synchronised flourish of silver-topped dishes, but the service was otherwise impeccable, and the smartly dressed waiters did look proud of themselves, so maybe I shouldn’t be churlish.
Moreover, the food revealed by the flourish is excellent - after an amuse-bouche of mushroom soufflé with mini-toasts, try the beetroot soup (smooth as velvet with spicy little dumplings at the bottom) or a plate of local sausage, followed by beautifully cooked knuckle of veal with noodles or medallions of pork. Nothing was fussy or over-garnished - all the dishes were all understated and perfectly presented. The dessert menu is perhaps a little skimpy on choice, but the rich, sweet coconut pudding with tart raspberry sauce was a super way to finish (and more than enough for two greedy people to share).
As with most Polish restaurants, the wine list includes little that isn’t prohibitively expensive (imported, of course, but wine is imported into the UK too!), so you either push the boat right out or enjoy your meal with water (or vodka).
Try to pick yourself (or ask for) a table overlooking the square - you can’t see too much, as there are net curtains, but it’s worth pressing your nose against the glass to catch a glimpse of the comings and goings and illuminated churches. The best surprise, having abstained from wine, was that the whole thing came in at a shake over £20 (€30/$35), which made it the bargain meal and experience of the trip.
From journal Memories and memorials in Krakow