In May 2013 regulars were distressed at news that this much-loved grande dame of London Polish restaurants (established 1947) was to close. However, the staff and the restaurant’s previous owners have rallied round to save the venerable institution.
The premises were given a makeover in 2009 by the Polish Gessler restaurant dynasty, producing a shabby-chic, light and airy look: walls stripped back to uneven plaster, plain wooden tables and fresh flowers. The new regime sees robust, flavourful, no-nonsense traditional dishes served with great charm by the maître d’ Tadeusz Dembiæski and his friendly team. Classic cold starters of meltingly tender herring with cream, apple, onion and flax oil, or beetroot with subtly warming horseradish, are ladled directly from capacious earthenware bowls. All the Polish favourites such as zurek, barszcz and pierogi can be relied upon here.
Mains are assembled directly at the table from well-worn saucepans, borne by the chefs who lovingly prepared the dishes. Succulent chicken poached in light broth with tender vegetables and silky own-made pasta is comfort-food extraordinaire. Home from Polish home, but with a witty and stylish twist.