Ognisko Restaurant

Restaurants, Polish Knightsbridge
5 out of 5 stars
(10user reviews)
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Venue says The beautiful Ognisko in South Kensington is open seven days a week and offers amazing, critically-acclaimed cuisine.

Warsaw meets Knightsbridge: the venue has decorum without being stuffy, the dishes are orthodox and traditional, the Polish staff do their home country proud.

‘A smart Polish restaurant – isn’t that an oxymoron?’ was the question from my date. But Ognisko Polski has been smart and Polish since 1940, when the Polish Hearth Club was founded in the very grand embassy-style building near the Science Museum, to cater for expat Poles. The venue has great decorum without being stuffy; it’s a great place for business meetings or taking extended family out for lunch (bar food is served all afternoon). The new proprietor is Jan Woroniecki, best known for his mission to modernise Polish food in (now defunct) Wódka restaurant, and in Baltic, near Tate Modern.

The revitalised Ognisko has not airbrushed history out of its Polish cooking. The dishes are orthodox and traditional, but the Polish staff do their home country proud.

The baskets of breads could have paved the road from the Baltic to the Carpathians – there were generous amounts of pumpernickel and a dark rye bread, both dense and flavour-packed, served with pickled gherkins and butter. Barszcz (borscht) is a dish that originates in the Ukraine, but has been readily adopted throughout eastern Europe; this Ukrainian version was rich in beetroot and other complex flavours, with the smetana (sour cream) served on the side.

Wheat flour dumplings are part of national cuisines in a northern arc from China through Russia to Poland. The Siberian-style pelmeni here had a more delicate dough than usual, but the filling packed a punch, comprising earthy-flavoured black pudding (kaszanka) with apple and cinnamon. Rabbit and prune stew with kopytka (potato dumplings, like gnocchi) was another hearty, wintry dish that filled out the ribs. If all this sounds too meaty for you, there’s also a vegetarian version of kulebiak made with braised sauerkraut and properly bosky wild mushrooms inside the pastry case.

The elegant bar was packed on our visit, filled with East Europeans tippling vodka and very pleased to see the old Ognisko revived and improved. As well they might.

 

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Ognisko Restaurant says
The beautiful Ognisko, in South Kensington, is open seven days a week. The restaurant offers amazing, critically-acclaimed cuisine and the bar serves a huge selection of cocktails, fine wines and house-infused vodkas. The venue also has a stunning terrace overlooking Prince's Gardens.

That spacious terrace overlooking Prince's Gardens is now open for all restaurant guests, all day long. Join us for alfresco dining and enjoy the sun!

We are just a stone's throw from London's most famous landmarks. The Science Museum, Natural History Museum and Royal Albert Hall are just a few minutes' walk away, as are Hyde Park, Knightsbridge and Kensington High Street.
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Posted:

Venue name: Ognisko Restaurant
Contact:
Address: The Polish Hearth Club
55 Prince's Gate Exhibition Road
Exhibition Rd
London
SW7 2PN
Transport: Tube: South Kensington
Do you own this business?
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|10
1 person listening
1 of 1 found helpful

Yes, the first line is disgraceful and I'm pleased to see other commenters giving it the slating it deserves. It's funny how it's become acceptable to make remarks about Poles and other Eastern Europeans that would never be acceptable were the targets black, for example.

1 of 1 found helpful

The first line of the article is absolutely sickening. The author clearly doesn't realise the extent of their faux pas. To put it in a bit of perspective why not begin a review of an afro-caribbean joint with: 'A lovely taste of jerk chicken in a place where no one will try to go through your pockets'. Stereotyping at its nastiest. Absolutely disgraceful. PS. Dear author, I think your date is a bit of a homophobe and you are struggling to notice that.

1 of 1 found helpful

"‘A smart Polish restaurant – isn’t that an oxymoron?’ was the question from my date" ...I bet she's a Daily Mail reader As to the restaurant itself - fabulous! I had a lovely meal at Ognisko before going to the Royal Albert Hall recently. It's the perfect place to grab an elegant bite, before heading over to see a show. The food was delicious, the service fast and efficient. Would definately recommend and will definately go back.

Tastemaker

While you certainly wouldn't accidentally stumble across this place, it is very much a favoured West London hidden gem. Tucked away in plain sight inside one of the gorgeous white townhouses lining Exhibition Row down from the V&A and opposite Imperial College. On this count, it's ideally placed for post-museum food or a dinner prior to an evening at the Albert Hall. I originally found Ognisko via the Taste Card app, so if you have one, you can use it here so that's all the more reason to visit!


They serve high quality, yet fabulously authentic Polish food and drinks, in a much more glamorous setting than you would traditionally expect. On one memorable occasion for my birthday, I tried their steak tartar which was really very good, as was their take on pork crackling, and I also tried their winter pumpkin cocktail which was refreshingly different. All standard polish fayre is usually available in some form on their menu for traditionalists though, and the service spot on too. I'll definitely be back!




tastemaker

As some of the other reviewers mentioned below, this place is a touch tricky to find, but walking around a bit before hand probably isn't a bad thing given Polish food isn't traditionally light on the waistline!


Ognisko manages to provide a beautiful dining experience without any stuffiness or pretentiousness which is appreciated, particularly as we just stumbled upon the place and weren't in our Sunday finest. 


These guys do Polish food really well. My friends and I had the Fried Kopytka Dumplings with Pepper Relish and the Pierogi filled with Cheese, Potato and Spring Onion. The serving sizes were generous but not offensive so you won't leave feeling uncomfortably stuffed. 


The service was also wonderful and you can tell the staff are passionate about ensuring all the patrons have a great experience.


tastemaker

I found Ognisko after a random google search. It is slightly hard to find, nestled in what looks to be a block of houses. Once we were inside we were blown away by the beautiful venue. High ceilings, long staircases and a gorgeous bar. The food was outstanding, especially for the price. I had the lamb which was perfectly cooked and the staff was attentive and helpful. 

Tastemaker

What a beautiful location! I went with 2 polish friends to guide me through what to order (and which were the best vodka shots) and absolutely loved it.  Polish cuisine is very similar to German - potatoes, starch, meat, drinks.  There is such a great variety of starts and sharing plates that we never tried the main.  The pierogis were awesome and the cinnamon/caramel vodka was DELISH! go! get drunk! eat good food 

Tastemaker

Went here for lunch and what a venue!!! It is stunning- overlooking the square in a beautiful building. The food was good- not the best polish food in London. I still maintain that Patio in Shepherds Bush has the best borscht soup in London but the one served here was nice- you could taste more of the beetrooty flavour. The duck was extremely nice with good portion of side and they are very generous with the vodka (you cannot beat good polish hospitality! In terms of making sure you cannot walk straight as you walk out). 


All in all recommended as a polish restaurant but for a proper polish feed I would still recommend patio any day.


Write a review...Post-refurb, Ognisko is definitely a must-visit. Delicious, authentic Polish food enjoyed in one of the most beautiful dining rooms in London. The shot of ice cold vodka between each course is also fairly enjoyable...