Old Town Underground page 18
Deep Inside Wola Museum page 20
Moving? page 22
May 05 price zĹ‚.10 INDEKS 334901 ISSN:1643-1723
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BALMAIN CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN HERVE LEGER ISABEL MARANT KENZO MONCLER GAMME ROUGE RALPH LAUREN SALVATORE FERRAGAMO SIMONETTA RAVIZZA TOD’S TORY BURCH VALENTINO
Moliera 2 tel.: 228277099, www.Moliera2.com
to our readers
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUMS
can’t say I’ve ever been thrown out of a bar, but I do hold the perplexing privilege of being ejected from a museum – not for anything exciting you understand, like a Muppet-style jewel heist, but for making the mistake of straying too close to an exhibit. Basically, I was penalized for showing an interest in their displays, which considering this was something like the Silesian Bread Museum was by itself an unlikely accomplishment. Maybe they thought I’d eat the exhibits. Anyway, castigated by a battle-axe of a woman whose age I’d determine at approximately 3,000 years, I wasn’t going to argue. So instead I left without a scene, my head bowed in eternal shame. This was, mind you, a long time ago. I’m stating the bleeding obvious here, but Poland’s changed a lot, and not just in socio-economic terms. Culturally speaking, the country has transformed, opening itself up not just to Johnny Foreigner but the natives themselves – after all, you didn’t need to own a different passport to appreciate the Warsaw Uprising deserved a museum that went beyond a cobwebbed room with some rusty grenades. Sightseeing has become serious business, a point underlined by the ongoing success of the Night of Museums held each May. From humble beginnings eleven years back, it’s grown to assume such importance that over 200,000 people are expected to file through Warsaw’s museums over the course of the night. Put simply, you will not find a finer opportunity to disinter the story of the city, both past and present, than this. And it’s in recognition of this we’ve pressed the magic button and generated our first ever ‘museum issue’ – I hope you enjoy it. Alex Webber email@example.com
WARSAW INSIDER | MAY 2014
(Illustration by Michał Miszkurka)
Officially recognized as Poland’s premier Englishlanguage magazine, the Insider is delighted to announce the launch of its new look website. Designed to reflect the nature of a dynamic and energizing capital, the Online Insider sails you through one of Europe’s most exciting cities. In a fast evolving city, the Online Insider opens the door to Warsaw’s secrets, stories and latest scoops. Don’t let Warsaw leave you behind: • Full restaurant, nightlife, café and shopping listings • In-depth picks, past and present • Features
This issue our cover artist takes inspiration from the Night of Museums (see p. 12) – in the picture frame, one of the ace retro buses that potter around Warsaw on the night in question, taking sightseers from museum-to-museum.
• Calendar • City Search • Blog • Newsletter blasts
PHOTOGRAPH BY ED WIGHT
THE ONLINE INSIDER
on the cover
MONCLER RALPH LAUREN SALVATORE FERRAGAMO TOD’S TORY BURCH VALENTINO
what’s inside 18
Below the surface of the Old Town, is this...
07 Opener Bodies Revealed 08 Calendar Music, art and events around town 12 Museums Listings 31 Insider’s Pick Brooklyn 46 Insider’s Pick ArtBistro Stalowa 54 Insider’s Pick Bistro la Cocotte
Cafes & Wine Bars
61 Insider’s Pick Sueno
65 Insider’s Pick Kita Koguta
15 News in Brief The evil face of Lego, rainbow redux, Zlota hits trouble & more local news
18 Museums: Underground Old Town Exploring the cellars of Warsaw’s historic center
22 Museums: Lesser Known A trio of Warsaw’s unsung museums 24 Travel: Lower Silesia Uncovering the secrets and the stories of the Sowa Mountains 88 Bar Spy Unbelievable ex-pat tales!
20 Museums: Wola A look behind the scenes as the Wola Museum prepares to reopen Editor-in-chief Art Director Publisher Advertising Manager Key Account Manager Key Account Manager Key Account Manager Distribution Manager
Alex Webber firstname.lastname@example.org Kevin Demaria email@example.com Morten Lindholm firstname.lastname@example.org Jowita Malich email@example.com Agnieszka Kuczyńska Agata Torańska firstname.lastname@example.org A. Julita Pryzmont email@example.com Krzysztof Wiliński firstname.lastname@example.org
73 Insider’s Pick MacLife
77 Insider’s Pick Łazienki Park
81 Insider’s Secret Hotel Vincent 85 Classifieds 86 Warsaw Map
Contributors: Gill Boelman-Burrows Karolina Kalinowska Vedika Luthra Michał Miszkurka Agnes Monod-Gayraud Ed Wight
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WARSAW INSIDER | MAY 2014
Exhibition: Bodies Revealed 7
for more events visit: www.warsawinsider.pl
EVENTS 8 / MUSEUMS 10
Insider’s Pick Ongoing until June 30 EXHIBITION
ALL PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF ORGANIZERS OR ARTISTS
Bodies Revealed ul. Anny German 12 (Industrial Chemistry Research Institute), open 9:00-19:00, www.bodiesrevealed.pl. Tickets zł. 35-60.
here can’t be many exhibitions in the world that prompt people to reassess their lifestyle, but then there can’t be many exhibitions like this. If not my whole life, I certainly regretted the night before – the tenth beer and that twentieth cigarette. Maybe it was seeing the liver, engorged with cirrhosis, or possibly the blackened lungs of a smoker that did it. Either way, plans for that evening’s boozing were swiftly curtailed. But it is wrong to assume that the Bodies Revealed exhibition is some kind of gore-fest. Sure, there is an element of the macabre, but this isn’t the Hannibal Lecter freak show you’d otherwise expect. Set in a warehouse inside a complex occupied by the Industrial Chemistry Research Institute, it might be off the beaten path but visitors are rewarded by an illuminating and thought provoking exhibition that is in turn both novel and compelling. As their ad campaign states, it combines elements that are ‘fascinating and real’. So it proves.
The exhibits are well-signed in English and Polish, and the level of detail in the descriptions is not to be faulted. But even so, it’s well worth your while being walked through by a guide – local medical students who offer educated insight. Comprising approximately 200 exhibits, the curiosities come in all shapes and sizes: from the smallest bones in the body (tiny dot sized things in the ear), all the way to the sartorius – the longest. There is the strange (six pack muscles that look like strips of bacon) and the grisly (a brain preserved after a hemorrhage). And there is stuff that makes you wince – for instance, a penis sliced in half. There’s even preserved fetuses that illustrate how babies develop and grow over time. But there are also displays of strange grace and beauty. In particular, that means the exhibition dedicated to the circulatory system. Here, the blood vessel network of various body parts is highlighted using brightly colored dyes. The effect is oddly bewitching. Showcasing the functions of all the bodily systems (skeletal, muscular, nervous, digestive, respiratory, circulatory, reproductive, urinary and integumentary), this is an exhibition that lays bare the secrets of the body in an accessible way that doesn’t intimidate. Using real human bodies, it’s an intriguing glimpse into what really goes on under our skin.
RUN Constitution Run The 24th edition of this annual 5K run celebrates the 1791 Constitution of the Third of May. Expected to draw thousands, the route passes Łazienki, parliament and Ujazdowskie Castle. For registration see: wosir.waw.pl
OPERA Electra Teatr Wielki, Pl. Teatralny 1 Regarded as one of the top opera directors in the world, Willy Decker’s interpretation of this classic by Richard Strauss is described as ‘monumental but never static’. The conducting skills of Mikhail Tatarnikov are on full display in a production that has impressed both audiences and critics alike. Further info at: teatrwielki.pl
CONCERT Madeleine Peyroux 20:00, Palladium, ul. Złota 9 With a vocal style that’s been compared to Billie Holiday, American jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux gained widespread global recognition following her 1996 debut album Dreamland. Her latest album, The Blue Room, was released to much acclaim in 2013 and tracks from it are expected to figure highly. Tickets from zł. 99, available at ticketpro.pl
This Finnish band started out playing Guns’n’Roses covers before finding their niche in glam metal. After a successful UK tour last year the rockers arrive in Poland to promote their third album Spirit. Tickets from zł. 59, available at eventim.pl
8, 9 & 10 OPERA
Madame Butterfly Teatr Wielki, Pl. Teatralny 1 Puccini’s classic has, according to critics, ‘lost none of its perfect beauty.’ Find the Polish National Opera in action complimented by the full skills of conductor Andriy Yurkevych. ‘Amazing,’ say those who’ve viewed past performances. Further info at: teatrwielki.pl
8 & 22
SKATING NightSkating Warszawa Join thousands of roller bladers as they skate about Warsaw following a 15km route. Starting at 20:30, usually by the Copernicus Monument on Krakowskie Przedmieście, the mass skate usually concludes at around about 23:00.For details see: nightskating.waw.pl
Reckless Love 19:00, Proxima, ul. Żwirki i Wigury 99A
Nigel Kennedy 19:00, Stodoła, ul. Batorego 10
WARSAW INSIDER | MAY 2014
15 onwards Chopin in Łazienki 12:00 & 16:00, Łazienki Park, ul. Agrykola Nothing announces the start of summer more than the free open-air concerts held by the Chopin Monument in Łazienki Park. Attracting hundreds of people, and often more, the concerts feature some of Poland’s top pianists playing Chopin’s best known works. For info see: lazienki-krolewskie.pl
CONCERT Dillon 21:00, Basen, ul. Konopnickiej 6 This Berlin-based Brazilian vocalist attracted storming feedback as a result of her debut album This Silence Kills, with the song Thirteen Thirty Five scoring eight million YouTube hits alone. Her second album, The
Lawson 19:00, Proxima, ul. Żwirki i Wigury 99A Named after the brain surgeon who saved lead singer Andy Brown’s life, this British pop rock act haven’t looked back since their 2012 debut single earned them a No. 4 spot on the UK singles charts. Five more
FESTIVAL Freeform Festival ul. Mińska 25, Soho Factory Two of the most important days in Warsaw’s musical calendar. The Free Form aims to highlight independent sounds and art forms, showcasing upcoming musical and artistic trends from around the world. The focus is undoubtedly the music, and acts gracing the capital this year include Klaxons, Simian Mobile Disco, Jon Hopkins, Charli XCX, Evian Christ and numerous others. One day tickets from zł. 120-140, two day tickets from zł. 190-220, available at ebilet.pl
Unknown, was released in March and cements her status as one of the rising stars of electronicapop fusion. Tickets from zł. 49, available at eventim.pl
9 & 10
Continuously crossing the borders by mixing up jazz, rock, punk and classic, the acclaimed violinist’s take on Vivaldi’s Four Seasons became the best-selling classical music CD in the world. His Bach to the Future tour promises a brilliantly unique interpretation of one of his favorite composers. Tickets from zł. 69, available at stodola.pl
May 6 John Dikeman, William Parker & Hamid Drake Pardon, To Tu, Pl. Grzybowski 12/16, www.pardontotu.pl
his event gathers together three supremely talented musicians in the shape of saxophonist John Dikeman, percussionist Hamid Drake and double bassist William Parker. The American-born Dikeman is known for a style that in the words of the critics is characterized by ‘an unnerving commitment and a total abandonment to sound.’ William Parker, meanwhile, has become one of the biggest names on New York’s free jazz scene. Last but not least, Hamid Drake is recognized globally for his drumming and percussion. In the words of the organizers, his appearance at Pardon, To Tu is ‘a dream come true.’ For ticket details check Pardon, To Tu’s website
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF ORGANIZERS OR ARTISTS
EVENTS THIS MONTH
CULTURE top 20 singles have followed, not to mention wide praise for their album Chapman Square. Tickets from zł. 89, available at eventim.pl
Once you taste it, you shan’t forget this flamboyant Balkan mix in a hurry. Ingredients consist of: echoes from Jewish and Gypsy weddings, chants from the Orthodox and Catholic Church, Muslim invocations and... an electric guitar. Bregovic continues to act as something of an ambassador for this unique Balkan sound. Tickets from zł. 99, available at ticketpro.pl
17 & 18 MARKET Mustache Yard Sale PKiN, pl. Defilad 1 This bi-annual event is famous for unearthing the most talented young designers in Warsaw. With a variety of stalls including the latest fashions and design products for the home this is a must for those who like to keep their finger on the pulse when it comes to the next big trends. Further info at: mustache.pl
24 FESTIVAL Feast of the Wisła (Swieto Wisły) 11:00, Płyta Desantu Organized by the city’s Office of Sports and Recreation this two-day event aims to promote all forms of water-based activity on the River Wisła. As well as the opportunity to try out various forms of boats, there will also be concerts, food, exhibitions,
22 CONCERT Goran Bregovic 20:00, PKiN, Sala Kongresowa, Pl. Defilad 1
Co-FInanCed BY tHe MInIster oF CuLture and natIonaL HerItaGe
WARSAW INSIDER | MAY 2014
Partner oF tHe PerManent GaLLerIes rearranGeMent
beach volleyball and plenty of family orientated events. Further info at: swietowisly.pl
26 CONCERT Sky Ferreira 21:00, Basen, ul. Konopnickiej 6 A singer-songwriter, actress and model, there’s seemingly no bounds to Ferreira’s talent. Known for her synth-pop style, her 2013 album Night Time, My Time was declared the fifth best album of 2013 by Rolling Stone magazine. Tickets from zł. 79, available at ticketpro.pl
31 CONCERT Pat Metheny 20:00, PKiN, Sala Kongresowa, Pl. Defilad 1 Internationally known for his jazz guitar sound, Pat Metheny has cut his teeth alongside many of the greats: Herbie Hancock, Milton Nascimento and David Bowie. His latest visit to Poland is alongside the Pat Metheny Unity Group.
29, 30 & 31 BALLET Don Quixote Teatr Wielki, Pl. Teatralny 1 So we’re told, ‘fifty years after the Polish premiere, Don Quixote by Pepita and Minkus returns to Warsaw where the Polish National Ballet will use the art of dance to resurrect the story of the errant knight.’ Further info at: teatrwielki.pl
CULTURE Copernicus Science Centre ul. Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 20, tel. 22 596 4100, Car Museum www.kopernik.org.pl ul. Warszawska 21 (Otrębusy), Interactive, witty and surprising, tel. 22 758 5067, Copernicus allows visitors to www.muzuem-motorzyacji.com.pl experience an earthquake, blast What looks like a cemetery of recyclable objects into space rust and a tangle of exhaust and become a mystery cracking pipes unravels into Warsaw’s detective. most underrated museum. Find vehicles of every description: Lech CSW ul. Jazdów 2, www.csw.art.pl Wałesa’s Volvo (with 7cm bulletSituated in a baroque-style proof windows), Gomułka’s ZIS castle the center hosts artists limo, German wartime armor and a pretty-in-pink Buick Skylark – the from all over the world (Edward Dwurnik, Jenny Holzer, Annie type favored by Elvis and Marilyn. Leibovitz, Wilhelm Sasnal, Andy It’s incredible in its peculiarity, with the random layout, oily smells Warhol). The on-site bookshop and dark, cobwebbed corners only is of particular interest for artists and intellectuals. Ongoing adding to the sense of treading till May 16: Martha Rosler: somewhere special. Guidance for the Lost – How Bodies Revealed Exhibition to Succeed in New Poland. The Chemistry Research Institute, American artist takes a look at ul. Anny German 12, www. the realities of everyday life in bodiesrevealed.pl See page TK. modern Poland.
Night of Museums May 17-18, 19:00-9:00
rom modest beginnings in 2004, the annual Night of Museums has grown to become one of Warsaw’s favorite nights – last year 200,000 people joined queues to file into 203 venues. Now it’s time for the biggest and best yet, with galleries, museums, theaters and government buildings opening through the night enabling anyone in Warsaw to venture inside free of charge. Speaking about what makes the event special organizers say: “The Night of Museums is a phenomenon, creating a huge annual place for public meetings. This is a time when you can combine education with entertainment, unforgettable aesthetic experiencesw and the ability to discover and enrich each other.” While most events had yet to be announced at press time, a few of the more quirky include the chance to poke about the remaining ‘Finnish Houses’ on Jazdów, tours of the Wedel chocolate factory in Praga, walks around the Presidential Palace and access to the top floor of the historic PASTa building. Retro buses will be laid on to ferry people from place to place, and anticipate an array of parties, concerts and workshops to also take place. And if we’re lucky, we may even get an English-language version of the official website: um.warszawa. pl/nocmuzeow
WARSAW INSIDER | MAY 2014
Dom Spotkań z Historią ul. Karowa 20, www.dsh.waw.pl The History Meeting House wins points for frequently excellent exhibitions that cover topics such as ‘rebuilding Warsaw’ and ‘Socialist Realist architecture.’ It won’t take longer than twenty minutes to peruse whatever exhibition is on, but it’s still a very worthwhile diversion. Jewish Historical Institute ul. Tłomackie 3/5, www.jhi.pl Officially opened in1947 the Jewish Historical Institute was created to serve as an archive of Jewish culture in Warsaw. It contains art work, historical artifacts and important documents from the city’s rich Jewish past. Historical Museum of Warsaw Rynek Starego Miasta 28/42, www.mhw.pl The granddaddy of Warsaw museums is over the worst of a lengthy refit and gradually reopening bit by bit. The ground floor cinema is a must – playing a 20 minute film that details the depressing story behind the destruction of Warsaw. Invisible Exhibition Al. Jerozolimskie 123A, www.niewidzialna.pl Nothing challenges the sense of sight more than a total lack of it. Confused? Head to the Invisible Exhibition (niewidzialna.pl) to learn first-hand the challenges faced by the blind. This includes everything from crossing the road to ordering a drink in a bar. The Fryderyk Chopin Museum in Warsaw Ostrogski Palace, ul. Okólnik 1, chopin.museum Recognized as one of the most hi-tech museums in Europe, the world even, computer chip tickets allow visitors the chance to personalize the museum experience as never before. Over 5,000 objects are present, among them Chopin’s pocket watch, last piano, a lock of hair and even his death mask.
Królikarnia ul. Puławska 113A, www.krolikarnia.mnw.art.pl Fine art galore inside an elegant suburban palace. The young curator has decided to show some forgotten treasures from the rich archives of the National Museum. The gallery also hosts more contemporary works, such as those by Nicolas Grospierre and Agnieszka Polska. Ongoing till May 25: The Work of Erna Rosenstein. Łazienki Królewskie ul. Agrykoli 1, www.lazienkikrolewskie.pl Situated in the picturesque park which once housed the residence of King Stanisław August this museum includes paintings and furniture from one of the most glorious periods in Poland’s history as well as temporary exhibitions of more modern work. Legia Museum ul. Łazienkowska 6, www.legia. com Aside from silverware affirming Legia’s status, find a vast collection of shirts, pennants and paintings (even part of an old floodlight). Pride of place goes to Legia’s favorite son, 80’s super star Kazimierz Deyna. Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw ul. Pańska 3, www.artmuseum.pl The very first museum of modern art in Warsaw, still fighting for a proper location, bravely manages to provide visitors with a display of contemporary art, including works of Alina Sapocznikow, Zbigniew Libera, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Miroslaw Bałka, Katarzyna Kozyra and Artur Żmijewski. Ongoing: As You Can See – Polish Art Today. The most ‘up-to-date’ collection of Polish modern art to date, will apparently be, “critical, liberating, psychedelic, often brutal and perverse, dense and ambiguous.” Ongoing till Sept 14: In the Near Future. Works from 47 artists demonstrating the social changes that occurred after 1989. Ongoing till June 1: As You Can See: Polish
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF ORGANIZERS OR ARTISTS
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
Art Today. Billed as ‘a review of forms of seeing and perception’ this exhibition, we are told, ‘centers around what you can see, how you see it, and what becomes visible through and in art.’ Museum of Technology Palace of Culture, pl. Defilad 1, muzeumtechniki.warszawa.pl See page 23. National Museum Al. Jerozolimskie 3, www.mnw.art.pl Famed for its collection of Dutch and Flemish masters, it’s also the final word in Polish art, with all the greats represented – inc. Matejko, Witkiewicz and other such stars. Ongoing till August 10: Aleksander Gierymski 1850-1901. The works brought together for this event comprise almost the entirety of Gierymski’s surviving oeuvre – approximately 120 paintings and oil sketches, 66 drawings, and one sketchbook. The Neon Museum ul. Mińska 25 (Soho Factory), www.neonmuzeum.org A complete departure from the stuff museums in Poland are famed for, this long awaited project brings together the neon lights that once illuminated the city. Among the collection are 35 landmark signs, many of which date from the 60s and 70s. Palmiry National Memorial Museum Palmiry, www.palmiry.mhw.pl An excellent multimedia exhibition set next to a cemetery holding the graves of 1,700 Poles executed in the first years of Nazi occupation. The museum tells their forgotten story, with archival video footage complimented by exhumed exhibits and plenty of background info dealing with the siege and subsequent occupation of Warsaw. Pawiak ul. Dzielna 24/26. What was once a Tsarist prison assumed a doubly sinister
function under the Nazis. Some 100,000 Polish political prisoners were held here, 37,000 of which were executed. Split in two sections, cells are found on one side, while on the other the full story of the invasion and occupation. Poster Museum in Wilanów ul. St. Kostki Potockiego 10/16, www.postermuseum.pl With a collection that touches the 55,000 mark, here’s the biggest poster museum in the world. Art spans the period from 1892 till 2002, and while the majority is Polish orientated works on display also include those by Dali and Warhol. Preludes of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews ul. Anielewicza 6. Slated to open in full in the first half of 2014, this hugely impressive museum is already luring streams of onlookers eager to preview the temporary exhibits housed in the opening halls. Ongoing: Biographies of Things. A temporary display of items donated to the museum, among them toys, artwork, photos, religious items and everyday articles like travel trunks and clothing.
Railway Museum ul. Towarowa 1, www.muzkol.pl For details see p. 23.
For details see p. 22.
Zachęta National Art Gallery Pl. Małachowskiego 3, The Royal Castle in Warsaw www.zacheta.art.pl Pl. Zamkowy 4, zamek-krolewski.pl Featuring in the collection are Meticulously restored after WWII, works by Toulouse-Lautrec, highlights inside include the Cezanne, Ernst and Picasso, as lavishly restored 18th century royal well as luminaries of the Polish apartments with 22 paintings art scene such as Tadeusz Kantor, by Bernardo Bellotto (known as Alina Szapocznikow, Katarzyna Canaletto), the Senators’ Chamber Kozyra and Zbigniew Libera. Ongoing until June 6: I’ve Been in which the Constitution of the Here; I Hope the Same For You. Third of May was signed, the An exhibition of the works of biggest collection of oriental rugs Henryk Tomaszewsi, one of the in Europe in the tin-roofed palace key figures in Polish graphic art and two remarkable Rembrandt in the second half of the 20th paintings. century. Ongoing until Aug 31: Warsaw Uprising Museum Anemona Crisan: Installation for ul. Grzybowska 79, www.1944.pl the Interior. Cope with the crowds to discover the definitive story of the Uprising. Exhibits range from a full size NEED TO KNOW replica of a Liberator plane, to a Museum hours (and prices) sewer beneath the cinema screen change way too frequently for and a slice of bread preserved our liking, so check indiviudal from 1944. And don’t miss the websites for the latest story. ‘City of Ruins’, a five minute 3D Note that many of these film which takes you on an aerial addresses close one day per journey over devastated Warsaw. week (usually Monday or Make sure to check out the Tuesday), and that an equal panoramic view tower. amount hold ‘visitor’ days once a week when admission Wola Museum prices are waived. ul. Srebrna 12, www.mhw.pl
THE ROYAL CASTLE in Warsaw
Plac Zamkowy 4 tel. (+48 22) 35 55 170 www.zamek-krolewski.pl firstname.lastname@example.org
INFRONT CONSTRUCTION 16 / LOCAL 16 / NATIONAL 15 / PROPERTY 16 / TRANSPORTATION 16
Slave of Satan
PHOTOGRAPH BY ED WIGHT
A Polish priest has warned parents that Lego is a ‘tool of Satan’ and could lead children ‘to the dark side’. Father Sławomir Kostrzewa from Wolsztyn, Wielkopolska, said the Danish company’s new Monster Fighters and Zombie toys had more in common with 666 – the number of the beast – than with traditional building blocks. In a speech aimed at parents, the priest said both Lego sets contained ghoulish characters which ‘were about darkness and the world of death’ and threatened to ‘destroy’ children’s souls. “Until recently, Lego bricks were a very desirable toy for children, because of their educational and aesthetic value,” he said, “but the latest series raises anxiety. They are dominated by darkness, references to the world of death, and contain characters from horror movies.” “Such toys destroy the souls of children and lead them to the dark side,” he added. Lego’s Monster Fighters set includes ghosts and Lord Vampyre, a cloaked Dracula-like character with fangs. He battles against the forces of good represented by Doctor Rodney Rathbone and Major Quinton Steele who attempt to stop him “cloaking the world in darkness.” In support of his claims, Father Kostrzewa, who has previously hit out at Hello Kitty and My Little Pony, cited reference from New Zealand’s University of Canterbury which found that the faces of Lego characters had become angrier over the years. “The facial expressions may lead to confusion between good and evil,” he said, “it appears the good suffer in battle and the ‘'villains’ have a face showing satisfaction with their evil deeds. Friendly fellows have been replaced by dark monsters.” But his warnings were dismissed by psychologist Monika Filipowska who told Super Express newspaper: “These are just blocks. Linking them to Satan is just wrong, and all that will happen is that children will be afraid of them now.” (EW)
IN THE CITY
The Right Track
Michał Dobrzański of the Civic Institute has called for a radical rethink relating to Warsaw’s Central Station, suggesting the city would be better off building a new station from scratch close to Rondo Dmowskiego, and transforming Centralna into a living museum that would be unique to the world. The new station, says Dobrzański, would “fix the mistakes of the past.” His suggestion, however, has fallen on deaf ears with PKP pushing ahead with plans to revamp the station later this year. Among the changes will be a new mezzanine level and food court. Work is expected to last until 2016. PROPERTY
Tower of Babel The future of the Zlota 44 skyscraper is once more in doubt after its developer Orco posted annual losses of €227 million. Up to half of this sum is believed to have been incurred by Zlota 44, prompting Orco to list the unfinished tower on the market. The unnamed bank financing the scheme has issued a demand for the repayment of loans of approximately zł. 190 million.
The reconstruction of the controversial rainbow installation on pl. Zbawiciela drew further protests in April after far right activists staged a demonstration as work crews attempted to install the rainbow’s skeleton. Consisting of 16,000 artificial flowers, the rainbow has been subject to numerous arson attacks, the most high profile of which was staged during last year’s Independence Day riots. The latest version is due to be unveiled on May 1 to coincide with the 10th anniversary of EU accession.
WARSAW INSIDER | MAY 2014
Cry Me a River
The zł. 122 million project to regenerate Warsaw’s left bank is two months behind schedule, with unexploded WWII ordnance, fluctuating water levels and nesting swallows cited as reasons for the delay. The project had been slated for completion in July, and would have seen a two kilometer stretch of the Wisła riverbank reinvented as a place of cafes, plazas and cultural interaction. Plans for a riverside pedestrian boulevard had originally been mooted by Warsaw’s pre-war mayor and have only been recently revived by the incumbents of City Hall.
FROM TOP: RADEK KOLAKOWSKI FROM WIKICOMMONS, SHUTTERSTOCK, PRESS MATERIAL, SHUTTERSTOCK
MUSEUMS UNDERGROUND OLD TOWN
There’s a school of thought that suggests Old Town’s handsome charm is skin deep. Well, what about going under the skin and right down below… BY ALEX WEBBER
e all know that Old Town was rebuilt after the war, but that’s not to say all of it is new. The methodical zeal demonstrated by the Nazi demolition squads might have left the historic center looking more like the Moon, but some bits survived – namely, the cellars. On the whole, however, funds during Warsaw’s reconstruction didn’t stretch far enough to restore them, and as such many found themselves simply secured and filled with rubble. Only recently has that changed. A cash injection from the Norwegian Financial Mechanism has seen work carried out on a swathe of these, and as of last year they’re now open for business. The most high profile are situated underneath the Historical Museum (Rynek Starego Miasto 28-42), where the basements of the eight tenements that contain the north side have been fully restored. While some of these chambers and passages are thought to date from the 15th century, a few of these old timers owe their survival to some prescient work conducted pre-war. In 1938 it was decided to convert the building into the Museum of Old Warsaw, but the work took an accidental twist and some supporting beams in the cellars threatened to collapse. Oops. They were hurriedly replaced by a steel beam and, as an afterthought, fireproof ceilings were added. Inadvertently, this move saved many of these structures when the Germans came to town. Even so, scorch marks from Nazi flamethrowers remain evident in some. But as fascinating as this is, you can’t help but get the feeling you are wandering about a set of empty brick rooms – the displays are infrequent, and for the most part only feature copies of the artefacts uncovered by recent digs (for instance, a horde of coins believed to have belonged to wine merchant Krzysztof Kiś – it’s thought they were hidden by him in the 18th century when the Swedes were running rampant). And staring down a hole (it’s unknown whether it was used as a well or as a toilet) can only hold the attention for so long. For something altogether more intriguing, then visit the subterranean Heritage Interpretation Center (ul. Brzozowa 11-13). Beginning with a gigantic tapestry of Warsaw circa 1873, this little known venue tells the complex story of Old Town’s reconstruction, while at the same time putting some myths to rest – for instance, that Canaletto’s 18th century paintings of Warsaw were essential to architects looking to recreate the Warsaw that was. In actuality, documentation and drawings made by Oskar
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Sosnowski’s inter-war architecture students were a far more valued source. Walking over a glass floor, beneath which lies smashed masonry and columns recovered from the ruins, a series of then-and-now slides and pictures document Old Town’s annihilation and the subsequent forced exile of its habitants on September 2nd, 1944. Fortunately for us, Sosnowski’s archive was rescued from the Faculty of Polish Architecture – on the same day Bruno Korotyński’s Varsoviana collection was retrieved from a burning building. Hidden first in a fire station, and then in the upright coffins of monks in a Bernadine monastery, these were to form the basis of the rebuilding project. As early as March 1945, staff of the Historic Architecture Department began sifting through the rubble collecting objects of interest, and while whack job ideas were mooted to leave the city as a ruin or, even, transform it into a memorial lake, these never really gained momentum. Finally, in 1949, a six-year plan was approved to rebuild Old Town. Prior to the war this area of town was scruffy, rundown and regarded as a district for the sub-class. The reconstruction allowed architects the opportunity to remodel it to meet the criteria of a modern housing estate and ‘return’ it to the general population. Reading the detailed text boards, we learn this was not necessarily straightforward – three different projects were prepared by different departments, and there were political conditions that also needed to be satisfied. The communist government had planned only to reconstruct three sides of the square, leaving the east side empty as a symbolic gesture that would embody Poland’s new political direction. It is a credit to the architects, planners and workers that they were having none of that: under orders from the architect Jan Zachwatowicz, a crew of builders set about rebuilding the eastern side in the dead of night. Zachwatowicz’s gamble that the commies wouldn’t want to risk offending the public by dismantling it proved dead on. Visiting the Rynek, party leader Bołesław Bierut is alleged to have decreed, “we cannot knock down what the working class have already built.” But if that side was saved, the Royal Castle – emblematic of Polish independence – faced bigger problems. Approval for that was only rubber stamped in 1971, and even then the government refused to donate a single groszy to its reconstruction: what you see was completed in 1984 and entirely funded by the public. Seeing the photographs of the castle as an empty shell, its boundaries ringed by kiosks, one appreciates the sacrifice made by those who pushed hard for it to happen. And the Heritage Interpretation Center is nothing if it is not a heartfelt tribute to those architects who labored so dutifully. If the first section about Warsaw’s physical elimination is poignant, then the others do a fabulous job of sharing the optimism and alacrity that followed. Ending on just such a high note, the exhibition concludes in a cinema where three projector screens show Old Town coming full circle and back to life: the black and white images of 60s, 70s and 80s Warsaw are – at times – hilarious, and backed by a seriously groovy soundtrack that you’ll be humming long after.
“ It is nothing if it is not a
heartfelt tribute to those architects who labored so dutifully”
MUSEUMS INSIDE WOLA
BEHIND THE SCENES
Caught between then and now, the Insider catches the Wola Museum in mid-transformation as it makes its transition from shambolic relic to modern museumâ€Ś The results are an intriguing glimpse at this diamond in the rough. PHOTOGRAPHS BY ED WIGHT
WARSAW INSIDER | MAY 2014
Top, from left: occupying a rambling pre-war villa, the museum exudes a faded charm that hints at past glory; while most past exhibits have been sent to the Historical Museum, others remain casually strewn around. Bottom, from left: in the guts of the building, the cellars present a bizarre other world of artefacts and clutter; even head office is filled with 19th century furnishings, plus a garish tapestry that was created for Brezhnev.
MUSEUMS LESSER KNOWN
Laboratory of Dr. Whatthe-What, Museum of Technology
Do not swallow this capsule, Museum of Technology
INTO THE ABSURD
They may lack a slick PR machine and travel press write-ups, but Warsaw’s lesser known museums aren’t to be missed. BY ALEX WEBBER | PHOTOGRAPHS BY ED WIGHT
It’s not unusual to find unsung museums in Wola (have you ever heard of the Museum of Diving?), what is unusual is to find something as compelling and charismatic as the Wola Museum. Flanked either side by high rise PRL housing schemes, this disheveled Neo Classical palace shines like a diamond in the rough. But those expecting a throwback experience are in for a surprise… Sure, you’d have found that in the past. Prior visits revealed a place stacked with teapots and coins and black and white pictures of old blokes with beards: in short, it was a snooze. “Somewhere,” laughs Hanna Nowak-Radziejowska, head of the museum, “you’ll even find a chest filled with those slippers the old Polish museums would insist that visitors wear.” But under Hanna’s charge, this museum is in the midst of a renaissance. For the time being there is a modern reception neatly stacked with arty Warsaw books, not to mention a play area piled with towering blocks – clearly, our visit has been preceded by a child of some talent. The good stuff, though, is yet to come. On May 6th, ‘the room of one object’ will open to the public, its single exhibit being a 1930s sugar bowl by Julia Keilowa. In keeping with this year’s theme of modernity, it is almost space age in design. “The idea,” says Hanna, “is for the object to be representative of the wider story.” The week after will mark the opening of another exhi-
WARSAW INSIDER | MAY 2014
bition, New Varsovians, dedicated to the young students who floaded into Warsaw in the 1860s and 70s. Finally, on May 17th, we will see the unveiling of the Wola Laboratory, a multimedia exhibition with a focus on the district. All this new wave gadgetry will be augmented by real objects on the first floor, not to mention an archive of amateur film – the first such archive in Poland. “History is like Wikipedia,” comments Hanna, “people tend to see it in short snapshots – I want our visitors to see a deeper side.” In the meantime, we are afforded a rare glimpse of a museum in flux. In the cellars, dank storerooms have more in common with a Fellini film set: naked mannequins in twisted embrace, surrounded by cobwebbed crates and tangles of pipework. Filing upstairs, retro exhibition posters lie scattered about along with dusty collections of the PRL weekly Stolica: even the office has character, hung with a gaudy tapestry specifically made for Brezhnev’s visit – the other hangs in the Zachęta Gallery (“The director plays in our museum band,” we are told). Set against antique furnishings and pots of paint the whole scene is one of cheery disorder: like happening on a 60s acid party held by the Marquess of Bath. But this is all a smokescreen: the mission, you sense, is clearly defined and in the capable hands of a passionate team. Mark the Wola Museum as a must. ul. Srebrna 12, www.mhw.pl
Finally a train that runs on time, Railway Museum
THE MUSEUM OF TECHNOLOGY
Pl. Defilad 1 (PKiN), www.muzeumtechniki.warszawa.pl
ul. Towarowa 1, www.muzkol.pl
Extraordinary in its eccentricity, this museum is something of a misnomer. Surely it should be the Museum of Anomalies? After all, where else would you find such diverse attractions as communist Poland’s first sports car, the Syrena Sport (“It was banned by the government,” laments our guide, “it was the great, lost hope of Poland”) sharing space with a WWII German Enigma machine and computers bigger than your bathroom. Yes, this museum really is something. Of course, the notion of ‘sharing space’ suggests the exhibits are crammed together like tomatoes in a tin. This is not the case. Following a maze-like route in the Palace of Culture, the exhibition halls themselves are worthy of a visit just to gasp at the bling of the 1955 chandeliers that hang over the stairwells. There are other gasps, as well: a Viennese calculator dating from 1898 that’s still in working order – at the behest of our theatrical guide, it crunks into action and confirms that two plus two is indeed four; so pleased is our guide, I think he’ll break into a tap dance. And there’s a glowing ‘glass lady’ that lights up to demonstrate the inner workings of the body. Built in 1971, this Dresden-built dame scares as much as educates. Truly, there is something for everyone – interested in the evolution of the washing machine? This is your place. Or how about a space exhibition that is anything but space age. More pertinent to the younger generation, a selection of vintage phones and laptop computers that hipsters would give their life for. And what about the TVs? View with awe the 55 kilo Ruby, Russia’s first color television, and a contraption we’re warned was ‘extremely explosive’. A mind boggling place in more ways than one.
To some, trains are just a convenient way of getting from A to B. To others, they are the source of an obsession regarded by others as a deviant predilection. But the Railway Museum is not, it must be said, the center of perverted weirdness you may otherwise think. Of course, it takes a while to realize that. Opening out into a gigantic hall, first impressions are overwhelming. Presented in scale model form, in here find hundreds of trains detailing the development of the Polish rail network. Not interested? Then maybe the three model railway villages will stir childhood memories: insert a two złoty coin to see them spring to life. Still not impressed? Then how about snooping into the small room dedicated to the history of WARS – Polish rail’s buffet division. The old menus are, at least, evidence of progress. In truth, none of the above are of more than cursory interest – at least not to most. What has a higher chance of sparking your attention is the remarkable collection of beasts outside. These include a 1942 German armored train – apparently the only one of its type surviving in Europe – not to mention the personal carriage of Bolesław Bierut (Poland’s post-war leader). Inside it’s a decadent orgy of walnut veneer and red velvet splashes. “To hell with the proletariat,” you imagine him snorting. Capering down overgrown platforms there is a whole lineup of interwar steam engines straight out of Thomas the Tank Engine, not to mention the rotting, rusting carcass of an SD 80: the fastest train of the 60s, so they say. Sure it’s geeky and totally nerdy, but this cemetery of steel feels like one of a kind.
TRAVEL LOWER SILESIA
DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK
Unchartered territory for most, Lower Silesia is in turn enchanting, enlightening and eerie. It is never dull – in fact, it’s a scream… BY ALEX WEBBER | PHOTOGRAPHS BY ED WIGHT
WARSAW INSIDER | MAY 2014
SENSE AND THE SILESIA CITY TRAVEL LOWER
aturday morning, beginning of April. For the last two weeks Poland has been bathed in the exquisite colors of an early spring. Today though, it’s a slate grey sky accompanied by drizzle. But it’s appropriate: is there a better way to view Książ Castle than as it emerges from a damp film of mist? The weather feels apt with the zamek perched on a craggy rock amid thick, sinister woodland. Getting here has not been easy. It has involved a torturous train to Wrocław and a glum overnight stay to break up the journey. A great city is Wrocław, but our mood is unsettled, contaminated by a hangover and a spartan hotel. “If that’s the Best Western,” grumbles the photographer, “I’d hate to see the Worst Western.” Rising early we train it to Wałbrzych and then it’s a cab trip to Książ. Spirits lift immediately. The first sight of the castle is a breathtaking moment. Only two in the country beat it for size – Malbork and Wawel – but its far flung location make it far better than those. Not here multinational babble, and not here packs of juvenile delinquents running amok. There’s a scattering of tourists but that’s about it – this is, by the admission of a local guidebook, ‘terra incognita’. Our hotel, the Przy Oślej Bramie, is one of three found in the castle complex. It’s chaste in comfort but exudes a charm that’s ramshackle and rickety and suited to the setting. We are both pleased. Having glugged back the time-honored ‘we made it this far’ lager, we set off to explore what it is that’s around us. And how beautiful it is. Originally built in 1298 by Bolko I, the castle as we see it took its current form in the 16th century. But embel-
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lishments have seen it assume an eccentric skin of patchy complexion: there are elements of Gothic, Baroque, Rococo and Neo-Classical. Each and every angle presents a different form. Each is extraordinary. Even without this, taken on their own the castle’s gardens are a thing of rare refinement. Layered over different levels, our only company are the cats that prowl among the hedgerows. Warsaw, with its bustle and buzz and dastardly deadlines, feels a million miles away. It feels like we’ve fallen off the edge of Poland. It’s a sensation that prevails as we plot up for dinner. We visit the restaurant of a rival hotel – by now the few tourists have dispersed and we eat alone inside a vast dining room that’s all immaculate linen and glinting chandeliers. It’s as if we have taken the role of Jack Nicholson in The Shining – even the music sounds the same. In between courses we break for a cigarette on the terrace and are spooked by the solitude and stillness. Soon, we will be spooked even more… To some, Książ Castle is known as ‘the Pearl of Silesia’. To others, it is known as a paranormal hotspot. Tonight we will learn what that’s all about as we take one of their nocturnal tours. We have been instructed to meet our guide, Małgorzata, at the castle’s entrance, and as we approach – a crescent moon above – our jumpy giggles betray our trepidation. Prior to this moment we had
“S educed by the silence
we wander around lost in thought, reflecting on the lunacy of it all”
assumed that this tour would be banal, clownish and overblown but as we clomp up the gravel path the atmosphere overtakes logic. Małgorzata is already waiting for us, accoutered with a cape and lantern, and as she leads us up the stairs we feel oddly unnerved. Walking through the darkened corridors, you sense the eyes of portraits following you; the wind whistles and the windows rattle. Then, in the distance, we hear wailing – a long, pained, almost unhuman sound. We know these are contrived sound effects but they throw us off balance. The hairs on my neck are rigid. Małgorzata’s tour is story telling at its finest. Standing in a candle-lit reception hall, all gilt and gold, the history of the castle is brought alive. Kaiser’s Wilhelm I and II were once entertained here, as was Winston Churchill who was a relation of the last resident, an English aristocrat known as Daisy. Regarded as one of the most beautiful women in Europe, the disappearance of her six meter pearl necklace is one of the enduring legends of this creepy zamek. And legends this castle has in abundance. As we are guided through ancient cellars and derelict pantries, majestic salons and secret passages we are regaled with tales of hauntings most wicked – a possessed jester, executed thieves and unhappy aristocrats. All the while, Małgorzata is supported by a cast of actors: a little girl with a balloon glides from the shadows; there is the face of a princess in the window; a knight wielding a fiery sword emerges from the bushes; and not least Daisy herself – searching, it is said, for her necklace. It’s done with such convincing unpredictability we jump out of our skins,
Scoobie Doo-style, more than a couple of times. If the actors think we’re berks, then their suspicions are correct. With the tour finished we’re all beery bravado. “I’d give that Daisy a pearl necklace,” I leer, and there’s plenty of innuendo as we unwind in the bar. Only later do we notice the now off-duty actors are sitting within earshot in a corner of the room. But the quality of the tour should not be in doubt. As we convene over breakfast the next day, it’s with heavy bags under the eyes. “Didn’t sleep a wink,” says the photographer. Sheepishly, I confess to keeping the lights on through the night.
istorical evidence suggests Hitler had earmarked Książ as his Silesian HQ, and while he never visited his Luftwaffe adjutant, Nicolaus von Below, did – twice, apparently to oversee the castle’s conversion into Hitler’s lair. But whilst last night’s tour had culminated in a tunnel carved by the Nazis under the castle, its planned use remains unknown. That though only forms part of a much larger mystery. From 1943 on it is estimated 30,000 people – many of them slave laborers – were set to work on the construction of tunnels in the surrounding Sowa Mountains as part of something titled Project Riese. Here, the plot thickens. From the limited sources available historians have determined that only about a third of these underworld complexes have yet been uncovered. It seems likely some were to be used by Nazi high command, while others were slated for use as laboratories specializing in the production of chemical, biological and possibly nuclear weapons (it is said that in the post-war facebook.com/warsawinsider
SENSE AND THE SILESIA CITY TRAVEL LOWER
years the Soviets set about removing all traces of the uranium from the area). But the secrets of the Sowa Mountains extend beyond that: with the war dragging to its conclusion, locals speak of mysterious trains arriving in the dead of night never to be seen again. What was on board these? Speculation has included everything from gold bullion to art treasures, even The Amber Room. Seven complexes have so far been discovered, and three are open to the public. Bleary eyed, we set off to visit the most high profile: Osówka. Traveling by taxi, the 40 minute ride takes us along narrow, corkscrewing roads past factories and farmsteads long since abandoned. The air is forlorn, and the scenery timeless and tantalizing. Even the forests that climb the steep slopes in the distance carry a dark look of menace. You get the feeling that the malignant force of history still hangs in the air. At the visitor center, we equip ourselves with Englishlanguage audio guides and set off into the woods to find
WARSAW INSIDER | MAY 2014
the main entrance – a narrow slit in the rock face with a barred gate. Eventually, as more people gather, the door clanks open and a Putin lookalike ushers us in. Involuntary Polish-lingo tours are not usually my bag, but in this case President Putin does a good job of pointing out the obstacles that come our way: missing steps, jutting rocks and slippery surfaces. The crash helmets issued at the start are definitely appreciated. Following him the group stops at varying points of interest: a collection of weaponry confiscated from local Werwolf units (Nazi resistance groups) in 1946, radio equipment, helmets and other rusting detritus. While some of the halls and guardrooms have been finished with concrete, others are raw and rugged and up to ten meters in height. Working on this monumental, maniacal scheme, it comes as no surprise to learn average life expectancy of prisoners was four months. Bewildering in both layout and scope, it’s not long till we’re lost. The rest of the group have followed the guide obediently, but we’ve lingered back at the behest of the photographer. “Look, I need to get a good shot of you,” he explains, “look like an explorer or something, do an Indiana Jones face.” My protests that the group are slipping further away go ignored. And then, the next time I look, they’ve vanished completely. It’s at this point you realize how labyrinthine the tunnels are: while the Osówka underground trail is 1.5 km, good luck finding your own way around. Left alone, the atmosphere in these cavernous halls is almost other worldly: there is no noise, except for the drip, drip of water. The experience is eerie and uncomfortable yet oddly enlightening. Seduced by the silence we wander around lost in thought, reflecting on the lunacy of it all. There is unspoken relief when we eventually find the exit, but it’s matched by an equal sense of having glimpsed the heart of madness – it’s not every day you get to say that. Książ Castle www.en.ksiaz.walbrzych.pl Hotel Przy Oślej Bramie www.en.zamek-ksiaz.com.pl Osówka Tunnels www.osowka.pl Project Riese www.riese.krzyzowa.org.pl
FOODIE NEWS A collaboration between two of Warsaw’s best known restaurant blogs (restaurantica.pl and froblog.pl), Warsaw Foodie has emerged as the No. 1 site for local food related stories. Featuring all the latest from the foodie frontline, the bilingual Warsaw Foodie promises the hottest news on what’s trending on the restaurant radar. For more info, check: www.warsawfoodie.pl/en
Opened in mid-March Seaside Bistro (ul. Wilcza 26) have already made a big impact thanks to the influence of two chefs: Mario from Italy and Sunan from Thailand. Nautical and unassuming in its design, sister website Froblog found itself seriously impressed declaring in no uncertain terms: “I loved this place from the first minute – it’s both completely unpretentious and simply delicious.” Specializing in seafood such as crab, lobster, swordfish and octopus, it looks like Warsaw finally has the seafood restaurant it’s lacked for so long.
New Arrival: Basil & Lime Opened in April, the day before the Thai New Year, Basil & Lime (ul. Puławska 27) has a simple and refreshing interior featuring Teppanom angels staring onto a simple interior composed of grey and green accents. The main of Kao Pad Ruam Mitr is, according to Froblog, “very good,” while the dessert, vanilla ice cream served in batter, is declared “delicious.” The blog continues: “the Thai chef certainly knows what he’s doing in the kitchen, but could maybe work on the presentation. But overall, first impressions seem very positive.
WARSAW INSIDER | MAY 2014
The end of March saw the opening of Ziggi Point (ul. Pańska 59), an American restaurant featuring several types of burger, among them those made of fish, shrimp and vegetarian options. The cheesesteaks, meanwhile, are made with thin slices of entrecote and based on Philadelphian recipes.
Tex-Mex cuisine continues to grow in the capital with the opening of two new venues. First, Gringo Bar (Odolańska 15) which promise seasonal and regional ingredients, as well as beans from an organic farm, fruit from a Sicilian ecological farm and varying salsas including their signature Gringo Habanero. Also new to the map is Tacamole in the Blue City shopping mall.
PHOTOGRAPHS FACEBOOK AND WARSAW FOODIE
New Arrival: Seaside Bistro
Warsaw’s first ramen bar, Ramen Bar Amen, is now open on Krucza 23/31, with an interior that pays homage to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The menu includes duck, spicy chicken, pork, shrimp, miso and tofu ramen, and a scattering of Thai dishes as well.
Reviews: Brooklyn 31 / Stalowa 46 / Bistro la Cocotte 54 Plus:
* 10 updates
for past picks visit: www.warsawinsider.pl
AFRICAN 32 / AMERICAN 32 / ASIAN 32 / BALKAN & RUSSIAN 35 / BRITISH 35 / BURGERS 35 / CHEAP EATS 36 / COOKING SCHOOLS 60 / CUBAN 38 / FOOD SHOPS 59 / FRENCH 38 / GERMAN 38 / GREEK & TURKISH 38 / HOME DELIVERY 34 / INDIAN 39 / INTERNATIONAL 40 / ITALIAN 48 /JAPANESE & SUSHI 50 / LATIN 51 / MIDDLE EASTERN 54 / POLISH 55 / SCANDINAVIAN 58 / SEAFOOD 59 / WHOLE FOODS 60
“What you probably didn’t know is that there’s other strings to the Brooklyn bow”
or better or worse you sense a lull in the Burger War that defined the previous year: after a glut of openings, you feel people have worked out their favorites, nailed their flags to the mast and are sticking to what they know. Burger bar owners who joined the party late are already finding themselves cursing, closing and waiting to catch the tail of the next passing fad. But Brooklyn didn’t just get their timing right, they got everything
else right: from the team to the chef to the location. Now, while the competition is whimpering, Brooklyn are growing. The latest location, away from the tourist trail of their original Nowy Świat address, instead takes root in the financial quarter. Eschewing the bright migraine colors of the original, the new Brooklyn has an element of airy cool with monochrome shades and floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s a look that’s diner-esque in spirit and very easily swallowed – much like their burgers, in fact: not here meat and ketchup explosive devices that detonate all over your trousers,
instead find neatly formed burgers made with prime Polish beef that’s ground on-site. And while you won’t need them, it’s a nice touch that they come served with disposable gloves. But you knew about their burgers already, right? What you probably didn’t know is that there’s other strings to the Brooklyn bow. That becomes evident downstairs, where their full artillery of skills are showcased in a casual environment fitted with seating booths and paintings of Brooklyn Bridge. Offering a different menu to the lunch-on-the-run options of upstairs,
the monthly card is serious in its intent: there’s even a 5-course tasting menu for zł. 120. It’s no surprise to learn the head chef of this section (upstairs its legendary American burger meister Alan Bohinski), Jan Piecuch, cut his teeth at the fine dining Signature restaurant. Choosing to go a la carte, my starter proves to be simple but effective. The crab cakes are moist, crisp and dainty, and well paired with a potato salad that unlocks memories of starry, summer barbecues. Of the main courses, my rib-eye surprises me in that it’s such a thin cut – but that’s a fault I overlook. Aged for 21 days, the cow – Hereford, should you ask – is tender, well-marbled and cooked just as requested: medium rare. With a nice bit of char on the outside, the Porto sauce is announced surplus to the steak. Instead it’s applied generously to the homemade fries (all four of them). If there is a complaint, then it’s those. Meager in number and lacking any oomph, I can’t help but think the fries served upstairs are better than this disappointing stab at chunky chips. But this is not a criticism that should serve as a deterrent. In the shape of Brooklyn downtown Warsaw now touts an inventive American diner that’s not scared to innovate. That’s very good with us. (AW) Brooklyn Restaurant & Bar Al. Jana Pawła II 18 (Rondo ONZ), tel. 22 114 3434, open Mon-Fri 8:0023:00; Sat-Sun 10:00-23:00.
RESTAURANTS KEY $ zł. 30 (per main) $$ zł. 30-55 $$$ over zł. 55
Insider writers do not accept any form of payment in return for favorable reviews.
Best of Warsaw Award Winner 2013
AFRICAN Café Baobab (H4) ul. Francuska 31, tel. 22 617 4057, open 10:00-23:00, www.cafebaobab.pl Café
Baobab serves Senagelese classics like thiebu djen, mafe yap and yassa ginar. It’s adapted to Polish tastes, but say the word and authentic spiciness can appear. $ La MaMa Africa (C1) ul. Andersa 23, tel. 22 226 3505, open Mon 13:00-24:00; Tue-Thu 11:00-24:00; Fri-Sat 11:00-last guest; Sun 12:00-23:00, www. lamama.eu Things we like: African Star beer and the traditional stews. Things we don’t like: the goat meat. But that’s not a criticism of the cooking, rather an admission we don’t like goats in general – dead or alive. Those who don’t fancy experimenting with gizzards and heads make do with dishes like yam porridge or sweet and spicy coconut rice. It’s the very definition of casual, and something of a focal point for Warsaw’s African community. $$
Because Warsaw Just Got Hotter Classic Indian Cuisine With A Funky Twist ul. Zurawia 22, tel. 501 400 386, www.rain.pl
Champions Sports Bar (D5) Marriott Hotel, al. Jerozolimskie 65/79, tel. 22 630 5119, open 12:00-24:00, www. champions.pl While the concept and style look dated, there’s no faulting the attention to detail – wherever you look, there’s a TV. The heavy décor brings to mind the transAtlantic sports bars of the 90s, with glinting trophies, whirring machines, clacking pool tables and a cacophony of commentaries. Hell, there’s even a boxing ring. But you can’t fault their consistency: the food is always on-point, the staff are pro, while the generous floor plan makes it suitable for unwieldy groups of large and loud lads. $$
Chicago’s (B4) ul. Żelazna 41, tel. 22 890 0999, open MonFri 9:00-24:00; Sat-Sun 12:00-24:00, www. chicagos.pl A TGI replica with one difference: it’s better. Filled with the requisite Route 66 Americana, the menu is as you’d expect: ribs, wings, burgers etc. $$ Hard Rock Café (C4) ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy), tel. 22 222 0700, open daily 9:00-24:00, www.hardrockcafe. pl Instantly recognizable by the giant neon guitar outside, Hard Rock has a pierced staff of skater boys and rock girls and a menu that is, if nothing else, completely reliable. Peruse rock’n’roll swag that includes Joplin’s blouse, Prince’s guitar and Shakira’s pants. $$ Sioux (D4) ul. Chmielna 35, tel. 22 827 8255, open
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Mon-Thu 11:00-22:00; Fri & Sat 11:0023:00; Sun 11:00-22:00, www.sioux.com. pl You might want to point the shotgun hanging on the wall at the chef. Decorated with horseshoes and feather headdresses, the only reason to show up is to humor a nagging infant. Food-wise, it’s little more than a cowboy-themed version of Sphinx: mass market food for those who don’t know better. $$ Someplace Else (E5) Sheraton Hotel, ul. Prusa 2, tel. 22 450 6710, open Mon-Thu 12:00-01:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-02:00; Sun 12:00-24:00, www. someplace-else.pl Favoring a stark concrete look, SPE were once a legend of 90s/00s Warsaw. Things have tamed down since that ex-pat heyday, but this remains a noteworthy choice for live MOR rock and zippy Tex Mex food. $$ T.G.I. Friday’s (B3) al. Jana Pawła II 29, tel. 22 653 8360, open Mon & Tue 11:00-23:00; Wed-Sat 11:0024:00; Sun 12:00-23:00, www.tgifridays.pl/ warszawa The steaks are a miss-and-miss affair, and even the burgers can’t compare to Warsaw’s armada of burgeries. And the interiors are just as you’d remember: crass, vulgar and stuck in the 90s. Why do people bother? $$
ASIAN Asia Tasty (C3) pl. Żelaznej Bramy 1, tel. 22 654 6120, open 9:00-21:00 One of the great secrets of culinary Warsaw – for those In The Know this is the place for cheap, cheerful Asian food. Not that it looks like much, this is as basic as interiors get; leave the hot date outside while you pick-up a takeout. $
Basil & Lime (E8) ul. Puławska 27, tel. 22 126 1943, open 11:00-23:00, www.basil-lime.pl Chef Thanawat Na Nagara showcases his considerable skills inside a beautiful interior that says five star chill out. A color palate of graphite grey and fresh lime creates an intimate setting perfect for date night, while a menu of authentic Thai dishes present this cuisine at its sexiest best. $$ Bliss Restaurant (D2) Rynek Mariensztacki, tel. 22 826 3210, open daily 12:00-22:00, www.blissrestaurant.pl Longevity aside, Bliss (alive since ’95) boast
classically cliche interiors that make dramatic use of dragons and buddhas. Inconsistent accuse some, though you’ll struggle to find better Chinese-style ribs. $$
Cesarski Pałac (D2) ul. Senatorska 27, tel. 22 827 9707, open Mon-Fri 12:00-23:00; Sat 12:3023:00; Sun 12:30-22:00, www.cesarskipalac.com A rouge tinted Chinese restaurant whose design even incorporates a footbridge. Widely acclaimed, this 18-year-old restaurant combines Sichuan and Cantonese cuisine to serve a variety of dishes in an elegant backdrop. The Dim Sum are something else. $$ China Garden ul. Kazachska 1, tel. 22 241 1010, open daily 12:00-22:00, www.chinagarden.pl Bull’s testicles boiled with soy sprouts. Goose jaws. Stewed bull’s penis with radish. Ah, these are meals for the brave. Allegedly the first Jiangsu restaurant in Warsaw, the tastes here
are indeed unique. The China Garden isn’t the Imperial Palace, but the décor of straightbacked chairs and densely constructed wood tables casts an aura of formality. No lounging about here; serious eating is afoot! On the whole the dishes are delicate and delicious, and there are more cautious choices. Du-Za Mi-Ha (D4) ul. Widok 16, tel. 22 447 2424, open Mon-Sat 10:00-22:00; Sun 11:00-22:00 A compact Vietnamese joint noted for fresh, healthy nem filled with crunchy, perky fibers. The pho, on the other hand, is disappointing – according to one reader, “awful”. Prices begin at around zł. 10 and don’t go far north of zł. 20. You get what you pay for. $
Hanoi Pho (B3) Al. Solidarności 117, tel. 729 447 968, open Mon-Fri 10:00-22:00; 11:00-22:00, www. hanoipho.pl The cuisine of Vietnam is prolific
in its representation in Warsaw, but by in large its food you wouldn’t feed a dog. In fact, in some cases you suspect that’s what the food is made of. Bucking the trend is Hanoi Pho, a light and modern eatery whose principal claim to fame are the excellent pho soups not to mention numerous noodle dishes, a few Thai surprises and their own-made tropical juices. $ InAzia (E5) ul. B. Prusa 2 (Sheraton Hotel), tel. 22 450 6705, open Mon-Sat 17:00-23:00; Sun 12:30-16:30, www.restauracja-inazia.pl The Sheraton has a rich history of serving some of Warsaw’s best Asian food, with chef Marcin Sasin creating a menu that draws on influences as diverse as Indonesian, Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese. Popular with Thai diplomats and hushed hotel guests, the experience is worth the predictably large splurge. $$$ Natara Old Town (D1) ul. Szeroki Dunaj 13, tel. 22 635 2501, open 11:00-23:00, www.natara.pl Set inside the
RESTAURANTS Home Delivery Delivero www.delivero.pl Here’s the score: enter your postcode, then wait for the computer to kick into action and spit out the restaurants covered in your delivery zone. In general, the restaurants now err to the side of pizza and sushi choices. Internet ordering only, with no English language option. Dominos Multiple locations, tel. 22 209 0000, open 10:00-23:00, www.dominospizza.pl Years after shutting shop the Dominos crew return to Warsaw, and this time they’re better than ever. It’s strictly takeaway/delivery only (unless you count the stand-up table outside), but these guys get listed for what amounts to the best delivered pizza in the history of Poland. Pizza Portal www.pizzaportal.pl Nationwide service and similar to Delivero: tap in your postcode then wait for a list of choices to crunk out of the machine. As the name suggests, pizza is the forte, though there are also a heavy selection of randoms – kebabs, sushi, pierogi. 24hr pizza delivery options also available. Room Service tel. 22 651 9003, www.roomservice.pl There's over fifty restaurants under their umbrella, and they can also turn their hand to delivering wine, beverages and flowers. Web and phone orders taken in English and Polish, with delivery charges tagged between zł. 13 to zł. 25. Find venues like Blue Cactus, Le Cedre, Namaste, Sushi Zushi, Tomo and The Warsaw Tortilla Factory. Royal Menu tel. 22 244 2121, www.royalmenu.pl Phone and internet delivery options, plus English language website and English speaking telpehone operators. Min. order of 50zł, with delivery charges ranging from 10zł to 24zł (Warsaw outskirts). Credit cards accepted for orders of 80zł plus. Restaurants covered by this mob Home of as theRain Thursday inc. players such by India Curry, Curry Club Osteria, Warsaw Papaya and Sakana.
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Old Town walls, the setting is magical – from the outside. Inside, it’s all dowdy brown and plastic plants. Service, if you can call it that, teases patience to the max, but the food is fantastic. Everything we’ve tried on the menu goes right, not least the fiery red curry duck. Highly recommended. $$ Naam Thai ul. Saska 16, tel. 505 110 100, open Mon 16:00-23:00; Tue-Sat 12:00-23:00; Sun 13:00-21:30 Not to be defeated by the closure of Sunanta, Bangkok chef Chanunkan Dunagkumma makes a quick return to this cookery lark with Naam Thai. While spices have been blanded down to fit the local palette, it’s been a promising start. Look for the roast duck soup – made according to a closely guarded secret family recipe. $$ Papaya (E4) ul. Foksal 16, tel. 22 826 1199, open 12:00-24:00, www.papaya.waw.pl A place of precise lines and slick finishes, Papaya has a varied menu that uses influences from all over Asia, though particularly Thailand. But the star attraction is Preecha Wongsomboon, a Thai chef who fuses cookery with cabaret from behind a teppanyaki grill – his skills draw gasps. But between the honking horns and nifty knife work it becomes clear this is no novelty show: the food is top notch. $$
Patera (C4) ul. Świętokrzyska 36, tel. 535 333 123, open Mon-Thu 11:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 11:00-1:00; Sun 11:00-23:00, www.patera.com.pl Not your usual looking sushi joint, Patera has a cool look with yellow and white tiles and an industrial accent. We approve of the sushi and of the cocktails even more. $$ Pekin Duck ul. Drawska 29A, tel. 22 412 8988, open 12:00-22:00, www.pekinduck.pl Looks like a typical Chinese – i.e., like a 1980s New Year’s Eve ball – and the service is carnage; expect lots of miscommunication and truculent attitude. The food isn’t bad, though it’d be interesting to know how many pigs feet they actually ever sell. $$ Shabu Shabu Hot Pot (D6) ul. Mokotowska 27, tel. 535 685 750, open 12:00-22:30. shabu-shabu.pl Each table has its own set of hot pots installed and once you choose your broth and extras, you
are the master of your own culinary destiny. We chose some seafood and some greens and were served a dish that was not quite a pad thai, but incredibly tasty all the same. A simple meal, but satisfying nonetheless. $$ Suparom Thai (D6) ul. Marszałkowska 45/49, tel. 22 627 1888, open daily 11:00-23:00, www.suparomthaifood.pl Lovely interior with Siamese gold ornaments and gleaming dark wood. The shrimp cakes are always worth a try. $$ Suparom Thaifood II al. Wilanowska 309, tel. 22 853 3087, open 10:00-21:00, www.suparomthaifood. pl Tiny, when compared to its parent on Marszałkowska, and distinctly unassuming. Suparom’s green curry is the ‘best in the world’ according to one reader, and while such a superlative begs for a challenge, none is forthcoming – not from us, anyhow. $$ Thai Thai (C2) Pl. Teatralny 3, tel. 601 818 283, open 12:00-23:00, www.thaithai.pl Sanad Changpuen, a man widely credited with popularizing Thai food in Poland, returns to Warsaw with predictable results: the food is a hit. And what a space this acclaimed chef has been blessed with: gold vaulted ceilings lend a muted glow to a largely black-on-black space; from the walls, serene looking Buddha’s peer on diners down below. At once, the soothing interiors ease guests into a state of inner peace while Sanad does the rest. $$ Toan Pho (D4) ul. Chmielna 5/7, tel. 888 147 307, open Mon-Fri 9:30-21:30, Sat-Sun 10:00-21:30 Toan Pho’s bowls of soup with rice noodles come highly recommended; as does the chaos intrinsic to this type of casual Asian eatery. The short menu is in Vietnamese with Polish decoding – although you can ask for an English version. $ Why Thai (E5) ul. Wiejska 13, tel. 22 625 7698, open Sun-Thu 12:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-24:00, www.whythai.pl A fresh attractive look, an authentic chef and a menu that doesn’t waffle on for pages and pages. But there’s something missing here, with the flavors not quite hitting the levels one expects. $$ Yummy (D5) ul. Krucza 16/22, tel. 797 830 639, open 10:00-21:00, www.restauracjayummy.pl A naff name and empty interiors are enough
to deter some people – don’t join their ranks. Dishes here are uncomplicated but never cease to impress in that classic comfort food way. We swear by the orange chicken. Looking modern, minimal and a cut above the other budget Asian eateries, it’s a decent choice for an informal meal. $
BALKAN & RUSSIAN Banja Luka (E8) ul. Szkolna 2/4, tel. 22 828 1060, open Mon-Sat 12:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-22:00, www.banjaluka.pl Numerous meaty dishes from Serbia and Croatia are served inside Banja Luka, a Warsaw stalwart who’ve moved with the times and... moved. The new, central location is as pleasing as the last, with lots of clunky timber and imported ceramics. $$ Gemo ul. Minska 25 (Soho Factory), tel. 22 468 1876, open 12:00-22:00, www.gemorestaurant.pl At last, a Georgian restaurant without gnarled furniture and peasant fabrics. Located
inside Soho Factory, Gemo has a severe, industrial style accented further by steel lights and exposed pipework. The menu is modestly priced, yet includes several dishes to return for: e.g. the szaszlyk. $ U Madziara (B3) ul. Chłodna 2/18, tel. 22 620 1423, open Mon 11:30-20:00; Tue & Wed 11:30-21:00; Thu & Fri 11:30-22:00; Sat 12:00-22:00; Sun 12:00-21:00, www.umadziara.pl U Madziara looks like it took two days to decorate. No-one goes here to marvel at the interiors though, they go in the knowledge that they’ll find great food at prices that all bank accounts can support. On a grim sleety day, chef Gabor’s signature goulash makes winter not just manageable, but welcome! $
BRITISH Legends (C5) ul. Emilii Plater 25, tel. 22 622 4640, open Mon-Fri 11:00-last guest; Sat-Sun 10:00-last guest, www.legendsbar.pl It’s a British pub
first and foremost, but don’t forego the kitchen either. The all-day breakfast is a great way to stoke up your drinking powers, while other dishes of note inc. pies, sausages and mash and, of course, fish and chips. $$
BURGERS Bobby Burger (C4) ul. E. Plater 47, tel. 785 833 603, pen 12:00-22:00, bobbyburger.pl Perplexingly popular with hipsters who wouldn’t know a good burger if their skinny jeans depended on it. Now sporting a new location (the old one on Żurawia also continues, alas), this bottom feeder continues to prove popularity isn’t always a measure of quality. $ Brooklyn Burgers & Wings (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 36, tel. 22 270 2144, open Sun-Thu 12:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-4:00; Sun 12:00-23:00 There are some people out there who call this Warsaw’s best burger – and we’re not talking about hipsters on longboards but American ex-pats who
RESTAURANTS know the score. They come here in droves to sample a menu finessed by American/ Polish chef Alan Bohinski whose know-how extends to delicious homemade sauces, ribs, strips and wings. Certainly, any Top 3 list of Warsaw’s burger joints would be invalid without the inclusion of this lot. Now also on Jana Pawła 18. $
Burger Kitchen (D4) ul. Widok 8, tel. 22 464 8284, open Mon-Wed 7:30-23:00; Thu-Fri 7:30-1:00; Sat 9:001:00; Sun 9:00-20:00, www.burgerkitchen. pl Opened at a time when most burgeristas had already sworn allegiance to their favorite, the opening of Burger Kitchen surprised everyone. Celebrity chef Tomek Woźniak clocked 64,000 kilometers checking out global street food trends, and his painstaking research is evidenced in Warsaw’s best burgers. Indestructible in architecture, these blighters come in brioche-style buns and with own-brand ketchup that utilizes 24 different Italian tomatoes. It’s the undisputed No. 1 in town, and also notable for steaks, shakes and brilliant breakfasts. $ Bydło i Powidło (A5) ul. Kolejowa 47, tel. 22 400 48 44, open Mon-Sat 12:00-22:00; Sun 12:00-21:00 Set in a modern glass prism, here’s a place that’s realized you can’t get away with just serving burgers anymore (though here, they’re very good indeed). Unfortunately, the steak part of the menu just isn’t there yet. Ćwierćfunciak (C1) ul. Andersa 30, tel. 799 328 822, open Mon-Thu 12:00-21:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-22:00; Sun 13:00-21:00 Hidden in the gastronomic wasteland of Muranów, the impossibly named Ćwierćfunciak impresses with slathers of gloriously fresh ingredients, not to mention complimentary sides of hand-cut chips. Ranked in the Insider’s Top 5 best burger joints, that the resident beers are sourced from Pinta earns this friendly local a few extra points. $ Między Bułkami (D4) Al. Jerozolimskie 23, tel. 22 126 0159, open 11:00-23:00 You want to yell, “stop opening burger joints!” But ‘Between the Buns’ is one of those additions we really don’t mind: there’s nothing original about the menu, nor the presentation, but the quality is a solid 8/10. $
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Warburger (E9) ul. Dąbrowskiego 1. Open Mon-Sat 12:0020:00; Sun 12:00-19:00, www.warburger.pl Forget Year of the Dragon, 2012 was Year of the Burger – or more specifically, Year of the WarBurger. Edging the competition (at least till Burger Kitchen came along), this diminutive little cabin wins eulogies across the board for base-level prices, super friendly service and pimped up burgers that use gourmet ingredients. $
CHEAP EATS Bar Turecki “Efes” (H4) ul. Francuska 1, tel. 22 616 2580, open daily 11:00-21:00. ul. Aleje Niepodleglości 80, tel. 22 898 3001, open daily 11:00-22:00 So it’s a kebab shop, but when the kebabs are this good they’re well worth the listing. Either join the queue outside, or head indoors to sample the smattering of grill food and salads. $ Diner 55 (D5) ul. Żurawia 32/34 Set in a dark, industrial basement, they’ve clearly got the younger 20s crowd in mind – from the speakers hip hop thugs brag about putting caps in your “mother f@ck!ng n!gga’ ass.” But the menu, an alliance between Pan Burger, Rico’s Tacos and Mr. Pancake is fabulous, with the tacos our major highlight. $ Fabryka Frytek (D4) ul. Złota 3, tel. 505 671 334, open Mon-Thu 11:00-22:00; Fri-Sat 11:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-20:00. ul. Waryńskiego 9, tel. 505 671 334, open Mon-Thu 11:00-24:00; Fri-Sat 11:00-01:00; Sun 12:00-22:00, www. fabrykafrytek.pl Giant portions of Belgian fries (up to 600g!), waffles, wedges and whatever else you can make out of a potato come served with an equally comprehensive range of dips and sauces. $ Groole (D6) ul. Śniadeckich 8, tel. 795 633 626, open Mon-Sat 12:00-22:00; Sun 12:00-20:00, www.groole.pl You’ll find potatoes served everywhere in Poland, just not in the way we like them: i.e., with a crunchy, crispy skin and lots of hot, melted goo. Groole fill that gap with jacket spuds loaded with toppings such as spicy cherry tomatoes or chicken curry. A revelation! $ Hummus Bar (B4) ul. Żelazna 64, tel. 723 058 223, open 11:00-19:00, www.hummsubar.pl Much like
the lime green interior, the concept is simple and straightforward: hummus, falafel and fresh pitta breads served to a busy lunchtime crowd. There’s nothing more to say other than it's utterly delicious. $ Justyna’s Secret Recipes (C4) ul. Marszałkowska 138, open Mon-Fri 7:0021:00; Sat-Sun 10:00-21:00. www.jsecretrecipes.com We’re told Justyna was inspired by the Pret-a-Manger chain. Whatever the case, you just can’t fault her sandwiches which are fixed using proper imported bacon, organic sundries, and the freshest of bread. The delivery service is highly recommended for desk-bound officebots. $ La Farine Al. Jana Pawła II 41A, tel. 793 929 210, open Mon-Sat 10:00-22:00; Sun 12:00-20:00, lafarine.pl Traditional-style Lebanese flat breads cooked to perfection inside a narrow little space which many passers-by confuse with a kebab shop – whatever you do, don’t do that yourself. Instead, think of it as Lebanese style pizza, only better. $ Meat Love (D5) ul. Hoża 62, tel. 500 149 210, open Mon-Thu 10:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 10:00-last guest; Sun 12:00-22:00, www.meatlove.pl An artisan sandwich stop that’s entered via a clattering door and a plunging set of steps. In the past you could have described Meat Love as almost Middle Earth in spirit – all wooden crates and tight little spaces. Now though, they’ve knocked a wall through, opening the space up considerably. No changes on the menu though, just premium, slowcooked meat stuck between fresh, fragrant baguettes. The blush colored roast beef will make your knees tremble. $ Mr Pancake (E3) ul. Solec 50, tel. 501 237 461, open MonSat 11:00-10:00; Sun 12:00-8:00, www.mrpancake.pl You’re just going to love their pancakes, with their fun, wacky look and creative toppings (M&Ms, funny faces traced with icing sugar, and lots of chocolatey stuff). They’re the sort of pancakes you’d get if Bart Simpson got stoned and decided to make some food – brilliant. $ To Tu Dumpling Bar ul. Niekłańska 33, open 11:00-20:00, www.chinskapierogarnia.pl A shabby looking shack cabin, To Tu offer what are seriously considered some of the best – if not the best – dim sum in town. Magic-ked up by a
PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARCIN KLABAN
jungle’, the ambition is to create something more, to create a fully functioning restaurant. From a consumer point of view burgers are not enough, and I felt that with the previous name we were having to justify and persuade people we were actually more.” While the name change is strictly cosmetic, the menu tweaks are not. The new two page menu will encompass Italian polpo and handmade ravioli, seafood (including fish and octopus), a wider aged meat selection (sirloin, rib eye, T-bone), not to mention a few Middle Eastern and Asian influences. As of May 5th there’ll also be new daily lunch deals offering a soup plus a main for zł. 24, while the introduction of a sommelier also signifies their Having emerged triumphant from intent. But this is not a U-turn. “While we’ll have a sommelier,” the burger war, a new chapter in the says Tomek, “our approach will remain casual – I don’t want frighten our regulars away. It’s not about making this place Burger Kitchen story awaits… to fancy, it’s about making it ‘proper’. The tastes too will remain familiar in philosophy. “We’re about simple flavors but top quality,” says Tomek, “we’re hat’s a party without a surprise? And Burger fresh, honest, real.” Importantly, Warsaw’s best burgers will Kitchen have one hell of a big one up their remain on the menu, though among the innovations expect sleeve. Celebrating their first birthday on May the introduction of a degustation plate featuring four different 23rd / 24th, it’s on this date they’ll formally ‘mini-burgers’. And while these changes will all be incorpoannounce that Burger Kitchen is no more – instead, it’ll be rated before the name change, mark May 23rd / 24th in the just Kitchen.” diary for celebrations that will involve brunch, music and even “The change is about listening to our guests,” says owner a Mexican singer. The best, it appears, just got better. Tomek Woźniak, “about adjusting to demand. While I guarBurger Kitchen antee all the old favorites will be here, I want to introduce new tastes to the menu – having spent a year in the ‘burger ul. Widok 8, www.burgerkitchen.pl
COMING OF AGE
RESTAURANTS Manchurian exile, the experience isn’t unlike being in a sweaty back street haunt in Asia. And that’s a good thing! $ Wurst Kiosk (H4) ul. Zwycięzców 17, tel. 606 133 134, open Mon-Fri 11:00-21:00; Sat-Sun 11:00-22:00; Sun 12:00-19:00 Imported German sausages served through a hole-in-a-wall with big dabs of mustard and fresh buns to go with them. The currywurst is just like the one you had at Berlin Hauptbahnhof. $
cooking, it’s a wonderful place to sample the plat du jour scribbled up on the blackboard. On our visit that meant near perfect moules mariniere – oh la la.
Bistro Pigalle (D5) ul. Hoża 41 (enter from Poznańska), tel. 881 000 182. There’s a lot to like: the warm beckoning light that glows from the windows. But there’s even more to dislike: scratched, smudged fittings, the one song on continuous loop, and a zł. 76 steak that’s way undercooked. Listen carefully and you might hear it moo. Early days yet for this newbie, but not the most encouraging of starts. $$
El Caribe ul. Mickiewicza 9, tel. 22 400 0994. Open Mon-Thu 12:30-24:00; Fri-Sat 12:30-1:00; Sun 12:30-22:30 Start with a round of daiquiris before ordering frijoles negroes (black beans). But everyone agrees, it’s the flan that gets you doing the cha cha. With the cooking left to a Cuban exile, this perky spot is worth the trip north to Żoliborz. $$
L’Arc (E8) ul. Puławska 16, tel. 519 000 050, open 10:00-last guest, www.larc.pl A place of considered elegance, subtle decorations and monochrome colors. They’re especially noted for their obsessive attitude to seafood (pick from five types of oysters, or delve into the fish tank for the lobster of your choosing), inventive mains and desserts that are heaven. $$
FRENCH Bistro La Cocotte ul. Mokotowska 12, tel. 664 906 000, open 10:00-23:00. A riot of red gingham awaits in this courtyard hideaway, a quaint dining space that gushes with intimacy. Serving classic French home
Le Bistro Rozbrat ul. Rozbrat 44, tel. 22 881 7808, open 12:00-24:00. The signs suggest that Powiśle is set to mature in 2014, making the transition from hipster haunt to restaurant breeding ground – and here is Exhibit A. Owned by Frenchman Alain Budzyk, the interiors are contemporary casual, with talking points saved for the food.
The concise menu has token nods to Spanish cuisine, as well as a steak bavette that’s being raved about on the blogs. $$
GERMAN Adler (E5) ul. Mokotowska 69, tel. 22 628 73 84, open Mon-Fri 12:00-23:00; Sat-Sun 12:00-24:00, www.adlerrestauracja.pl Set in a rustic rotunda, this veteran favorite packs in reassuringly caloric portions of pork knuckles, schnitzel and dumplings – all of a sudden, you understand why Helmut Kohl looks so large. Foaming beers served by Bavarian country maids complete the authenticity. $
GREEK & TURKISH Santorini ul. Egipska 7, tel. 22 672 0525, open daily 12:00-23:00, www.kregliccy.pl/santorini.php Santorini looks scuffed and tired but there’s a bonhomie present that instantly engages. The kitchen attaches no value to things like presentation, preferring instead to simply treat diners to piles of grilled and skewered food that consistently tastes right – and the milefi dessert is magic. $$ Sofra (C6) ul. Wilcza 71, tel. 731 847 731, open MonThu 10:00-23:00; Fri & Sat 10:00-24:00; Sun 10:00-22:00 On the design front it’s almost a straight plagiary of Charlotte: white brickwork,
ul. Senatorska 27, tel. 22 827 97 07 www.cesarski-palac.com.pl Cesarski Palace has thrived in Warsaw for 18 years – from the outset we were the first to offer authentic Chinese dishes, including our signature Peking Duck which comes baked in a custom-made oven and served with pancakes, cucumbers, por and a special sauce. Expect personalized service and special attention from the chef inside a restaurant sensitive to Feng Shui requirements. There’s nothing comparable to our perfect tastes!
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blackboard, communal table. So the surprise here is the food – Turkish. And not just any Turkish, but brilliant Turkish! It’s nothing fancy, but there’s a real honest quality to the moussaka and lamb and beef in tomato sauce. And the desserts are a real spoiler as well. $
INDIAN Bombaj Masala (B3) Al. Jana Pawła II 23, tel. 606 688 777, open 11:00-23:00, www.bombajmasala.pl Ringed by offices and five star hotels, Bombaj Masala thrives in its role as an upmarket Indian restaurant – and yes, it’s nice to see Indian restaurants moving away from the Santa’s Grotto look. For all that, most agree Bombaj is over-priced and over-rated. $$
Buddha (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 23, tel. 22 826 3501, open Sun-Thu 11:00-23:00; Fri&Sat 11:00-24:00, www.buddha. info.pl The days of the Raj are recreated in Buddha, a fine-looking curry house with intricate interiors and top-drawer curries. The murgh masala jhodphur is a favorite of ours though the real plus here is the consistency: it’s always a solid bet. $ Chmielarnia (B4) ul. Twarda 42 (basement level), tel. 725
010 271, open Mon-Thu 11:00-24:00; Fri 11:00-2:00; Sat 12:00-2:00; Sun 11:0024:00, www.chmielarnia.waw.pl Not only does Chmielarnia house some of the world’s best beers (see Nightlife), but also – as the shrine by the door may suggest – a very good restaurant. Sure, you’re eating in a dark and loud beer cellar (to us that’s a bonus), but the Nepalese chef Ram knows what he’s doing. And aside from Indian and Nepalese staples, there’s a menu tailor-made for the beer swiggers. $
Madras Al. Solidarnosci 129/131, tel. 536 335 333, open 11:00-22:00. While it looks cheap, cramped and rather claustrophobic Madras has been installed as our No. 1 source of curry since opening late last year. There are softer options available, but for a proper winter tickler then look no further than the vindaloo: even your hair will feel like it’s on fire. As the burning euphoria subsides, you’re left basking in that blissful, euphoric glow all hotheads will know. $
Curry House ul. Żeromskiego 81, tel. 508 870 774 & al. Ken 47, tel. 22 213 0689, open daily 11:00-22:00, curryhouse.com.pl A primitive design (port-a-loo toilet, barred windows) and far-flung location have not hindered Curry House one bit. It’s a legend, not least for their vindaloo – a macho dish that provokes spontaneous combustion. Be warned: no beer. $
Mr India Al. KEN 47, tel. 22 213 0689, open Mon-Sat 10:00-22:00; Sun 12:00-22:00, www. mrindia.pl Opened by the creators of Curry House, Mr India touts the same menu but an interior that’s a substantial upgrade to its older sibling. As with the original, the spicy dishes could floor an elephant. It’s become a lifeline for Brits shipwrecked in Ursynów. $$
Ganesh (E7) ul. Marszałkowska 10/16, tel. 22 416 4162, open 12:00-24:00, www.ganesh.pl Vast and usually empty the new Ganesh lacks the intimacy of the previous outpost on Wilcza and already looks a little scuffed and tired. While other Indian giants such as Rain and Tandoor have reinvented and rebooted themselves Ganesh plug away with an old menu of standard (and occasionally sub-standard) dishes. With excellence assured in Tandoor round the corner, you wouldn’t bet on Ganesh filling their million vacant tables. $$
Namaste India (D1 & D5) ul. Piwna 12/14, tel. 22 635 7766, open 10:30-23:00, ul. Nowogrodzka 27, tel. 22 357 0939, open Mon-Thu 11:00-22:30; Fri-Sat 11:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-22:00, www.namasteindia.pl A ferociously loyal customer base proclaim this as their favorite curry in town. Highly recommended, find the original, more modest version on Nowogrodzka, and a (very) slightly more upmarket offering in Old Town. $ Parivar al. Waszyngtona 75, tel. 22 393 4104, open
Le Cedre 84
Le Cedre 61
opposite the court Al. Solidarności 84 Tel 22 618 89 99 email@example.com
opposite the zoo Al. Solidarności 61, Praga Tel 22 670 11 66 firstname.lastname@example.org
Taste the Exotic
RESTAURANTS 11:00-22:00, www.parivar.pl The squid sizzler has the taste and texture of that chewing gum you found stuck under the bus seat, while the vindaloo is cunningly disguised as a bowl of red water with some chicken floating about. “I get better curry on the oil rigs,” opined the Insider’s official balti boy. For all of that, the biggest disappointment is Parivar’s apparent success. $ Rain by India Curry (D5) ul. Żurawia 22, tel. 22 438 9350, open Mon-Sun 12:00-23:00, www.rain.pl Fresh, contemporary interiors impart a chic, classy look, while the shaded courtyard garden is one of the best about town. The real credit for Rain’s resuscitation though belongs to the kitchen: our curry expert rates the starters as the best he’s had in any Indian restaurant. And the mains continue the form with a magnificent lamb tikka masala. The tiffins lunch deals are outstanding as well. $$ Rasoi (C5) ul. Chmielna 98, tel. 729 392 172, open 11:00-22:00. Throttled by roads and underpasses, while you may be able to see it from Złote Tarasy, good luck getting there in under ten minutes. But the location aside, there’s something very promising here. Good, well-priced curries inside a charmingly tacky interior of colorful cushions and a collection of trinkets. $$ Tandoor (D7) ul. Marszałkowska 21/25, tel. 22 825 2375, open 12:00-22:30, www.tandoor.com. pl After nearly 20 years at the helm, owner Charanjit Walia has sold up and moved on, leaving a spiritual hole in his life-defining work. His parting shot has been a re-haul which has seen not just the interior modernized, but the menu – start with the pea and basil soup before moving onto the chicken tamarind or the chicken sholay kebab. Coated in absinth, it’s set aflame at the table. Traditionalists will also approve: the ‘classic’ menu features a formidable chicken tikka butter masala. After a couple of years in the doldrums, Tandoor is back with a bang. $$
INTERNATIONAL & FUSION 4/Czwarte ul. Piaseczynska 71, tel. 22 100 3139, open daily 9:00-21:00, www.4czwarte. pl 4/Czwarte sits smack in the middle of Warszawianka’s 29 tennis courts. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it can be rather
WARSAW INSIDER | MAY 2014
motivating to eat and drink to the plop of the tennis balls. Chef Kinga Araucz brings a fresh eye to food in Warsaw, and her modern menu combines well with the pleasantly congenial atmosphere and sharp interior. $$ 12 Stolików ul. Krucza 16/22, tel. 795 373 815, open 9:00-23:00 Affecting a boutique style, the look here is clean, crisp and scattered with lifestyle titles. And forming the central element is the kitchen – yes, here’s a place that promotes cooking as a form of theater. The menu is chalked on a board, and while the aglio e olio was overcooked, the big guns came out for the steak: a very decent piece of meat. Enjoyable enough, though nothing particularly memorable. $$ Akademia (E9) ul. Różana 2, tel. 22 828 99 11, open MonSat 12:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-18:00, www. restauracjaakademia.pl The most high profile launch of 2013, with whole sections of the street blocked off to keep the beautiful people from being molested by the public. But while the prevailing attitude is snooty, chef Grzegorz Nowakowski has done an excellent job on an artfully simple menu that fits seamlessly with the white-on-white interiors. $$ A Nóż (D9) ul. Różana 30, tel. 608 386 388, open daily 9:00-23:00, www.anoz.pl ‘A Jack of all trades, master of none,’ you might think. You’d be wrong. Burgers, pastas, Asian-inspired salads, and pizzas are represented, and while some dishes require fine-tuning, the overall impression is positive. Paired with a cool, typically Warsaw interior (white, white, white), the owners have a real success story on their hands. $
Autorskie Bistro & Cafe ul. Św. Wincentego 95/3, tel. 531 510 460, open Mon 12:00-22:00; Tue-Sun 10:0022:00 You can tell Warsaw’s in the midst of a foodie revolution when even far flung Targówek has a restaurant of note. In charge of the kitchen is Piotr Wielgo, former head chef at the US Embassy, and his menu is a modern, international affair (with several Polish touches) that celebrates local, seasonal ingredients. The sirloin is a standout, and served inside a light, chic interior dotted with images of old Targówek. $$ Boathouse ul. Wał Miedzeszyński 389a, tel. 22 616 3223, open Mon-Sat 12:00-22:00; Sun
12:00- 18:00, www.boathouse.pl For the supersize treatment head to Boathouse, a leviathan restaurant set in three acres of parkland. The menu is Mediterranean in style with strong hints of Italian, though how they fare having lost their French chef Luc remains to be seen. $$ Brasserie Warszawska (E5) ul. Górnośląska 24, tel. 22 628 9423, open Mon 12:00-22:00; Sat 12:00-22:00; Sun 12:00-20:00, www.brasseriewarszawska.pl A posh looking bistro whose credentials are supported by crisp shirted staff, gleaming surfaces and zinc mirrors. The Fine de Claire oysters on a bed of fennel are outstanding, but what catches the attention of the ex-pats is the English influence of an owner who once managed The Grill at London’s Dorchester Hotel. The Friday fish & chips win emphatic approval. The Sunday roast lacks gravy and consistency, and you may find yourself asking for extra red wine sauce to moisten the Yorkshire Pudding – but it’s worth the chance; when everything goes right it’s utterly victorious. $$$ Bufet Centralny (D5) ul. Żurawia 32/34, tel 532 749 160, open Mon-Thu 11:30-2:00; Sat 15:00-5:00, www. bufetcentralny.pl With white tiles, an artsy carpentered bar and draftsman desk lamps hanging from the walls, Bufet certainly gets points for design. The Hungarian fish soup is delicious, while the chocolate soufflé is airy, gooey and all things nice. But choice diminishes quickly – get there early to order the ribs. $$ Butchery & Wine (D5) ul. Żurawia 22, tel. 22 502 3118, open Mon-Sat 12:00-22:00, www. butcheryandwine.pl Has it really been that long? Opened to wide acclaim in 2011, Butchery & Wine stirred Warsaw’s appetite for quality red meat. Served on wooden boards by staff in butchers aprons, the steaks are beyond reproach and the wine list suited to the meat fest in front. Many hail this as Poland’s best steak, and you can definitely see where they’re coming from. $$
By The Way Bottega Kulinarna (E3) ul. Lipowa 7a, tel. 22 692 7239, open 12:00-22:00, www.bytheway.com.pl
RESTAURANTS Everything here looks fantastic – the pared down interiors with their concrete greys and houndstooth touches, and the food. Oh yes, the food. There’s about five mains to hover on, the highlight being the duck breast. The meringue dessert is heaven, as well. $$ Bydło i Poidło (D5) ul. Krucza 16/22, tel. 22 434 2216, open Mon-Thu 12:00-24:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-24:00; Sun 13:00-21:00 Filled with rawhide and industrial undertones, this grown-up version of Bydło i Powidło (see Burgers), has its accent on more high-end meats: and by that we mean steaks. Hopefully, they’re an improvement on the ones served by their sister – we’ll be visiting soon to see. $$ Central Park ul. Belwederska 13, tel. 22 400 8048, open Mon-Fri 8:00-22:00, Sat-Sun 9:00-22:00, www.centralparkwarsaw.pl This is what happens when you faff about for months – much hyped, Central Park just hasn’t met expectations. Fine as a neighborhood hangout, this is an eatery that buys into the trend of natural, quality produce. But we’ve seen it all before, and it does little to stand apart from the crowd. $$ Concept 13 (D4) ul. Bracka 9, tel. 22 310 7373, open Mon-Sat 11:00-23:00; Sun 11:00-16:00 Perched on the fifth floor of the Vitkac luxury department store, Concept 13 has a look that’d be approved of by any lifestyle mag: hardwood floors, glass and plenty of open spaces. The
menu is contemporary and cleverly direct: five course set lunch menus from zł. 50, served between 11:00 and 16:00. Modern designer dining rarely gets better. $$$ Der Elefant (C3) Pl. Bankowy 1, tel. 22 890 0010, open 12:0024:00, www.derelefant.com A Titanic-sized restaurant with a disorganized menu that appears to have been devised by throwing darts at a cookbook: Mediterranean mezze, Tom Yum soup, burgers, pierogi, etc. But if the menu is blurry, the cooking isn’t: it’s average/ acceptable to very good. The interiors are a maze of wrought iron and monochrome tiles, and frequently pack out to the rafters with families and other unwieldy groups. $$ Downtown Restaurant (C4) ul. Emilii Plater 49 (InterContinental Hotel, level 2), tel. 22 328 8745, open Mon-Fri for Breakfast 6:30-10:00; Sat 6:30-11:00, 12:00-15:00, 18:00-23:00; Sat 12:0016:00, Sunday Brunch 12:30-16:00, dinner 18:00-23:00 There’s now a few candidates for Warsaw’s best steak, and Downtown have certainly upped the erm, stakes, with their new menu. Yes, the doors of Downtown are a gateway to heaven – particularly true if, like us, your vision of heaven is a rich green field filled with fat, juicy cows. But don't for one moment assume the offer ends with cows. Now added to their menu are other animalitos like kangaroo. $$$ Grill & Co (B9) ul. Żaryna 2B (Milllennium Park, Building C),
Authentic Portuguese cuisine with an excellent selection of wine ul. Merliniego 2 tel. 22 898 0925 email@example.com www.portucale.pl
WARSAW INSIDER | MAY 2014
tel. 22 646 0045, open Mon-Fri 7:30-23:00; Sat 12:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-22:00, www. grill-co.com Featuring plexiglass seats and clean, dark woods this place could easily be mistaken as one of the trend dens on Mazowiecka. A top (m)eatery, the filet mignon is perfect, and served with generous sides. Prices, too, are pleasingly moderate. $$ Haka (D4) ul. Bracka 20, open 12:00-24:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-last guest. Yes it’s a bar, but there is a talent in the kitchen that elevates it beyond just normal bar standard. That’s Shane, a New Zealander whose put a London past to good use by coming up with an evolving menu that’s seen such items as kangaroo steak, five spiced pork belly and modern interpretations of British classics: shepherd’s pie, for instance. $$ The Harvest (L12) Domaniewska 34A (Ambassador Office Building), tel. 660 750 600, open Mon-Thu 12:00-24:00, Fri Sat 12:00-last guest, www. theharvest.pl A muted design of charcoal colors and concrete surfaces sets the scene for an upmarket experience exclusively enjoyed by the suit and tie brigade. Despite the corporate circle jerk, some of the food is bewilderingly good – the filet Rossini is pure luxury. True, you get the idea that chef Robert Trzópek (formerly El Bulli, Noma), has been told, “look bud, no crazy stuff out there,” but the lack of innovation is a minor quibble.
Chef José Costa Invites you!
RESTAURANTS We’ve been told once this newbie settles a bit to expect a more creative tasting menu. $$$
Hoża by Mondovino (D5) ul. Hoża 25A, tel. 603 778 275, open Mon-Sat 12:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-21:00 Wine and steak: it sounds so simple, but Hoża have taken two simple pleasures to another level. It’s a vibrant space with service right out of charm school, and a kitchen team with a real knowledge of cows. A red blooded affair, the menu is a steak sensation and well paired with a handpicked wine list. $$ Kaskrut (D6) ul. Poznańska 5, tel. 22 622 5438, open Mon-Sun 12:00-15:00, 17:00-23:00, www. facebook.com/dwichlab Referred to by some as the “poor man’s Atelier Amaro”, this haunt has a high communal seating plan and a hip, buzzy foodie crowd: fit in by taking pics of the food. The exciting menu is a temporary work that changes every two weeks – sometimes faster. The chef is known for his trial-and-error attitude: combinations that don’t work get binned before making a public debut. Those that make it through the qualifiers end up on the board. Servings are artistic, excellent and heavily influenced by French and North African cuisine. Go there. $$ BEST WAWA 2013 "Casual Design"
La Rotisserie (C1) ul. Kościelna 12 (Le Régina Hotel), tel. 22 531 6070, open Mon-Fri 6:30-10:30, 12:00-23:00; Sat-Sun 7:00-11:00,12:0023:00, www.leregina.com Truly, one of the standout dining rooms of Poland. Many have commented on the Michelin quality of chef Paweł Oszczyk’s restaurant, and you may consider the lack of a star one of the puzzles of the modern world. The cooking is ‘classic with a twist’, and is built for superlatives: the slow-roasted rack of Welsh lamb was one of our highlights of 2013. Find Oszczyk ably supported by Andrzej Strzelczyk, Poland’s top ranked sommelier, and wonderfully BEST WAWA 2013 charismatic staff. $$$ "Chef" Muu Muu (D2) ul. Moliera 8, tel. 22 465 1553, open daily 12:00-last guest, www.muumuu.pl The place is sparky, fun and engaging: small in size, décor comprises of soft colors and light woods, not to mention a bar adorned with blackboard slogans such as ‘Eat Meat’ and ‘Love Bacon’. The heart of their act is meat, and steak appears in a variety of its forms: there’s T-Bone, bison, wagyu, etc. If you’re a vegetarian (or for that matter, a cow), run. New it might be, but there’s a quiet assurance about Muu Muu: the proprietor knows he’s on a good thing, and he very well is. $$ Momu.Gastrobar (D2) ul. Wierzbowa 11, tel. 506 100 001, open Sun-Thu 11:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 11:00-1:00, www.momu.pl Tapas-style portions of
experimental-looking food arrives in little glass jars (meat and fish skewers, Eton mess), or else on paper plates a la the jalapeno hot dog. Pay zł. 40 for a choice of six itsy pots served in a wire-framed basket. A new concept for Warsaw, it’s been a case of so far so good for Momu. $ Nolita (D5) ul. Wilcza 46, tel. 22 292 0424, open Mon-Fri 12:00-15:30, 18:00-22:30; Sat 13:00-23:00, www.nolita.pl A swank center restaurant anchored on the skills of Jacek Grochowina – a young talent who honed his skills at the London Ritz. Looking chic and high end, advance bookings are recommended if you wish to enjoy this top-class experience. Some of the taste and sensations are utterly unexpected, with the Insider left speechless after enjoying the tuna tartar (zł.49) and aged beef fillet (zł. 97). Privately, many have been left bewildered by the lack of Michelin star. $$$ BEST WAWA 2013 "Fine Dining" Norma ul. Wierzbowa 9/11, tel. 22 828 0130, open 12:00-23:00, www.restauracjanorma.pl Diners step in to find neutral, natural colors offset by Walton Ford paintings depicting wild, tethered animals, and warm lighting provided by way of bare bulbs wrapped around the rafters. But what of the menu. That’s been conceived by chef Kuba Korczak, a familiar name to slow food enthusiasts. His food is an inventive presentation of natural, local produce, and includes subtle influences from both Italy and Asia. The kaszanka is deep and
A fresh taste of Italy in the heart of Poland
1 | MAY 2014 44Insider_VP.indd WARSAW INSIDER
UL. Taśmowa 7 TeL: +48 22 356 10 50 firstname.lastname@example.org
aL. jerozoLimskie 63 (róg z e.PLaTer) TeL: +48 22 852 49 65 email@example.com
gaLeria mokoTów UL. wołoska 12 TeL: +48 600 325 883 firstname.lastname@example.org
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rich but the biggest success is the cod with apple puree: rolling in strong, unique flavors it’s completely astonishing. $$ Nowa Kuźnia ul. Kostki Potockiego 24, tel. 794 126 019, open 12:00-last guest, www.nowakuznia. pl A mere step from Wilanów’s 18th century church, this onetime blacksmith passes muster for excellent steaks and fresh salads practically plucked from a garden. In season, the summer terrace is magical, and the place even touts a faux beach complete with diggers and slides for the kids. $$ Passe Partout (H4) ul. Zwycięzców 21, tel. 22 616 2882, open Mon-Sat 12:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-22.00, www.passepartout.pl Looking like a business class waiting lounge, it’s easy to overlook Passe Partout. But you’d be a fool to do so. Unassuming it might be, but there’s something clearly very right with the kitchen. The diverse international menu has too many positives to count, though the Insider recommends the pork tenderloin: served with a blue cheese and balsamic sauce, it’s a plate licking meal. The back garden is a secret summer treat, so hard luck that it’s gone for now. $$ Platter by Karol Okrasa (C4) InterContinental Hotel, ul. Emilii Plater 49, tel. 22 328 8734 or 22 328 8730, open Mon-Fri 12:00-16:00, Sat-Sun 17:30-23:00, www.platter.pl The hotel has roped in celebrity chef Karol Okrasa to head their revamped dining room. As a temple of nouveau Polish,
the new layout isn’t a dramatic change from the previous occupant, but the food is faultless. In particular, the herb garden salad with prawns comes immaculately groomed. An already excellent experience has been raised to talking point level. $$$ Po Prostu Zachęta (D3) pl. Małachowskiego 3, tel. 22 556 96 77, open Mon-Fri 10:00-20:00; Sat-Sun 12:00-20:00, www.poprostuzacheta. pl Sophisticated yet cozy, Darek Ryniec’s restaurant is set on the lower level of the Zachęta, and despite the grand vaulted ceiling offers substantial privacy with tables nestled beside major columns. The set lunch menu emphasizes Polish, while offering a main menu that’s definitely trendy European: the dishes will be licked clean. Qchnia Artystyczna (E6) Zamek Ujazdowski, Al. Jazdów 2, tel. 22 625 7627, open daily 12:00-22:00, www. qchnia.pl Even on a cold, ashen day, can you question a view that spills down onto a canal and park way down below? And how about when that view comes from a candle-lit reconstructed castle… Endlessly romantic, this artistic eatery comes with a light look and a creative menu honed by Marta Gessler. $$ Rozbrat 20 (F5) ul. Rozbrat 20, tel. 22 628 0295, open MonFri 7:30-last guest; Sat-Sun 9:00-last guest, www.rozbrat20.pl Everything a restaurant should be – modern, but not too excessive, as well as traditional at the same time. Elegance
emanates from everything and class glints off the silver champagne bowl and tasteful crockery. The menu is a contemporary, international affair, much like the crowd who appreciate it. $$ Salto (C6) ul. Wilcza 73, tel. 22 584 8771, www. saltorestauracja.pl When Martin Gimenez Castro scooped top prize in the Top Chef program it simply confirmed what foodies had known for years: that this is a man of some talent. Now leading the kitchen in Salto, the highlight of Castro’s menu is undoubtedly the ‘steak weekends’. We challenge you to find better. During the week opt instead for his South American inspired dishes. Salto has the hallmarks of a success story, and under Castro’s captaincy that’s a certainty to happen. $$$ SAM (E3) ul. Lipowa 7a, tel. 600 806 084, open Mon-Fri 8:00-22:00; Sat-Sun 9:00-22:00 Bistro, bakery, hangout. The cooling concrete interiors buzz throughout the day, with touches like communal tables well suited to the ascetic style. Owned by the same lot in charge of 6/12, there’s a similar commitment to good, healthy eating employed here. $$ Senses (C2) ul. Bielańska 12, tel. 22 331 9697, open Mon-Fri 12:00-14:30, 17:30-22:00; Sat 17:30-22:00, sensesrestaurant.pl Chef Andrea Camastra has worked in some of
RESTAURANTS Europe’s top kitchens, not least Le Chateaubriand and Poland’s own Atelier Amaro. Drawing on these experiences, he’s created what some are recognizing as the most exciting launch of the year. Sourcing much of their produce from their own eco-farm, this beautifully designed space has a fluid, changing menu that features such grandness as feral hog and fallow deer. $$$ Signature (D5) ul. Poznańska 15, tel. 22 55 38755, open 12:00-23:00, www.signaturerestaurant.pl ‘Kilian who?’ people asked when Wojciech Kilian was installed as head chef. But this
young talent has had the last laugh: set to be Poland’s next big chef, his cooking is extraordinary and presents true fine dining at bargain prices. Kilian’s cause is complimented by a beautiful design described by one reader as a ‘Monegasque state of mind’. Think: friezes and reliefs dated from the time this was the Soviet Embassy, lavish 1950s Oswald chairs, lighting by Serge Mouille and original Marilyn photos shot by the acclaimed Milton Greene. $$ BEST WAWA 2013 "Restaurant Design" Skandal (D4) ul. Sienkiewicza 4, tel. 22 350 0444, open
Mon-Fri 7:30-24:00; Sat-Sun 9:00-24:00, www.skandalbistrobar.pl Skandal’s look is light and clear headed with the ground floor statement piece being a collection of cool hanging lights all bunched together. Beautiful. There’s only six or so mains to choose from, but they’re a triumph: the sous-vide duck was a dish of real merit and worth well in excess of the zł. 39 price. $$ Solec 44 (F4) ul. Solec 44, tel. 798 363 996, open Tue-Sun 12:00-last guest; Mon 16:00-last guest. www.solec.waw.pl With all the hipsters mincing about it sure doesn’t look like a
Insider Pick ArtBistro Stalowa ul. Stalowa 52, tel. 22 618 2732, open Mon-Fri 12:00-22:00; Sat-Sun 10:30-22:00, www.stalowa52.pl
emember Praga? Not long back it was being touted as a center of cool and Warsaw’s answer to Williamsburg. Only it never quite happened. “Sod Praga,” you imagine the hipsters saying, “Powiśle is closer.” What had been billed as The Next Big Thing was suddenly left asking where the party had gone. But while Praga never quite reached the heights that were forecast, it feels all the better for it. While Powiśle struggles with pretension and fakery, Warsaw’s right side retains a realness that’s both raw and authentic. It helps, as well, that not all the so-called creatives migrated out West. If proof of this was needed, then let Stalowa 52 be the chief exhibit. Run as an ‘art hotel’, it’s an impressive project alright: bold, beautiful and not short of flair. But if the hotel passes muster, then what of its restaurant… First impressions aren’t just kind, they’re great. Stalowa 52 is not an easy address to reach, yet despite its far flung location I’m surprised to find it packed with families, fashionistas, travelers and
WARSAW INSIDER | MAY 2014
some people lugging camera equipment about. If that’s a Wednesday afternoon, I ask, what’s Friday night like? And certainly, it’s a place you’re happy to be in. I find myself in a narrow dinging chamber with vaulted brick walls, vases of daffodils and lots of white formica fittings. It looks good, but on a brighter day the courtyard, strewn with deckchairs and crates, is the place to be. But if the places oozes with charisma, then the staff do not. Sure they’re efficient, but this is the kind of place that demands characters that reflect the venue. I want confidence, conversation and maybe some suggestions: instead, I’m left communicating to a mute. Further disappointments come with the starter, a dry chicken vol-auvent devoid of taste. This is a dish with the taste and texture of paper. So what happens next takes me by surprise: the main is a work of greatness. The duck comes with carefully crisped skin, while the meat is tender, pink and with a perfect hint of fat – not much, but just enough. Alongside this bird are gorgeously browned potatoes that I’d happily eat all day. The sauce is tricky – orange and caramel – a combination that in the wrong hands is rich and overwhelming, but here it’s executed well. Yes, I love this dish. The dessert, a pot of chocolate ‘cream’ with a side of raspberry sauce is too runny for my taste. Strangely, it also lacks the chocolatey punch you’d expect from this dish. So overall it’s a mixed experience that leaves me quite puzzled. There are highs, there are lows and a few in-betweens. But this remains a place of high potential. What they get wrong is easily fixed, and what they get right is very right indeed. I’m going to watch this place with interest, because the glimmers of glory are hard to ignore. (AW)
PHOTOGRAPH BY ALEX WEBBER
“So what happens next takes me by surprise: the main is a work of greatness”
restaurant: diners line-up at the counter to order, before sitting down in a spontaneous looking interior that clacks and clatters to the sound of grown-ups playing board games. Chef Aleksander Baron is an absolute star, and his daily changing menu (hourly changing, even), presents soul foods made from fresh, seasonally appropriate ingredients. His eye for good meat is undisputed, making it the best alternate dining experience you’ll see for a while. $$
Soul Kitchen (D6) ul. Noakowskiego 16, tel. 519 020 888, open Mon-Thu 12:00-22:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-23:00; Sun 13:00-22:00, www.soulkitchen.pl Chef Andrzej Polań has masterminded a beautiful, modern menu whose highlights include cod with spearmint yogurt. While the interior is the definition of urban chic, you’re urged to take advantage of the garden: complete with grass and tooting musical neighbors. $$ Sowa & Przyjaciele (G8) ul. Gagarina 2, tel. 795 505 152, open MonSat 12:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-20:00, www. sowaiprzyjaciele.pl It really looks the part, with warm lighting, soft colors and bare bulbs hanging from overhead cables. The positive impressions are further underlined by a sommelier with a sixth sense and a barnstorming menu that catches the attention. Sowa is one of the biggest names in Polish cooking, and you may fear he spends more time on TV than in his kitchen: with that in mind, we’re happy to report the main man emerging from the kitchen to share backslaps and bear hugs with the regulars who return. $$$ Stółdzielnia (D9) ul. Kazimierzowska 22, tel. 22 845 00 67, open daily 13:00-22:00 www.stoldzielnia.pl A complete anomaly Stółdzielnia looks more like one of those one-day pop-up restaurants: unfinished looking, with odd-shaped tables and stark colors. But keep an open mind because the food scores big points. The pizza, pasta and seafood dishes incorporate imported Italian ingredients, and come close to blowing your mind. $$ Strefa (C3) ul. Próżna 9, tel. 22 255 0850, open Mon-Fri 8:00-24:00; Sat-Sun 11:00-24:00, www. restauracjastrefa.pl Just what were they think-
ing ignoring the form book like that? No communal tables, no pipes and no rough-hewn bricks. Instead, there’s a swan white elegance here, with lots of pristine colors and smart, smooth-talking service. What a refreshing change. The chef favors sous-vide techniques, and his is a magic, masterful hand – his duck is flawless, and the homemade ice cream with seasonal fruits is quite a follow-up. Even the cocktails are a thing of brilliance. $$ Tamka 43 (E3) ul. Tamka 43, tel. 22 441 6234, open Mon-Sun 10:00-23:00, www.tamka.43.pl There is an inspiration here which causes guests to linger over their meal, explore it and wonder at it. Food isn’t the background; it is the centerpiece. While Robert Trzópek has left the kitchen, he’s been ably replaced by Rafał Hreczaniuk – his menu pitches modern techniques against traditional, primarily root ingredients. It’s pretty wonderful, though the prices are ambitious. $$$ Taste Wilanów ul. Kazachska 1, tel. 22 400 1122, open daily 11:30-22:30, www.taste.pl To leave a restaurant fortified is to be expected; to leave delighted is the mark of quality. With a clever L-shaped interior, a natural terrace and a gleaming white ceramic kitchen it looks good, but it’s the food that earns the plaudits. Dominik Moskalenko, the executive chef who cut his teeth on Amber Room has been a central part of this creation from the beginning and the fruits of his labor are mouth-watering. Fish sit prominently on his menu and account for an astonishing 60% of sales. And rightly so: they’re phenomenal. $$ Villa Foksal (E4) ul. Foksal 3/5, tel. 22 827 8716, open Mon-Fri 12:00 -22:00; Sat-Sun 13:00-23:00, www.restauracjavillafoksal.pl There’s a real elegance to Villa Foksal, an upscale restaurant whose floor plan and garden have made them a favorite for corporate bashes and brand launches. The Vichyssoise with truffles is a prelude to mains like filet mignon in red wine sauce. $$$
Wilczy Głód (D5) ul. Wilcza 29A, tel. 22 891 0285, open Mon 9:30-20:00; Tue-Thu 9:30-22:00; Fri 9:3023:00; Sat 10:00-23:00; Sun 10:00-21:00 The jaunty, impish design makes use of cartoonish wolves on the walls and tree-like installations strung with bare light bulbs. And look, there’s a furry, mouse resting on a cushion. But if the place is playful and perky,
RESTAURANTS then the cooking is both serious and sincere. Pairing international ideas with organic local produce from small family farmsteads, you immediately sense this is a place created out of a love and respect for food. $ Winosfera (B3) ul. Chłodna 31, tel. 22 526 2500, open Mon-Sat 12:00-23:00, www.winosfera.pl You may think wine is the main talking point here, but actually, it’s the chef: Jakub Adamczyk, an upcoming star who studied his trade in Michelin mainstay The Square. His menu is scintillating: ordering the beef tenderloin is a must, as is the rhubarb parfait.
You’ll be happy to pay the heavy handed prices. $$$ Wootwórnia ul. Królowej Aldony 5, tel. 603 696 259, open 10:00-22:00, www.wootwornia.pl. Accessed round a back garden, Wootwórnia feels like a private little secret – you get the sensation not of visiting a restaurant, but of visiting a friend. The dominant element is the counter, from which co-owner Agnes Woo showcases her homemade preserves and own-baked cakes. Sourcing ingredients from small-scale local farms, here is a menu designed to nourish the soul. And it does just that. The
tomato soup, enriched with hint of orange, aniseed and cinnamon isn’t soup of the day, it’s our soup of the year. Genuine ‘food from the heart’. $$
ITALIAN Ave Pizza (E3) ul. Topiel 12, tel. 22 828 8507, open 12:0022:00 A dark and dimmed space – fashionably sparse – with white wall tiles and eclectic wallpaper climbing to the exposed pipes above. The menu is a simple laminated affair with eleven ‘pizza rosse’ and eight ‘pizza
Domaniewska 34A, Warszawa, +48 22 223 64 34 www.theharvest.pl
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biance’, as well as a scattering of other Italian dishes. Cooked up by Lino and Fabio, the result is Warsaw’s most extraordinary pizzas: yep, the place is even endorsed by the city’s notoriously picky Italian community. $ Bacio (D5) ul. Wilcza 43, tel. 22 626 83 03, open Mon-Fri 12:00-23:00; Sat 13:00-23:00; Sun 13:00-22:00, www.bacio.pl New look Bacio has been de-cluttered and simplified and now features a stripped down look and a menu that peaks with the duck in red wine risotto. Portions are huge, and are matched by a quality that’s seen this once ailing giant reinstalled as one of the top Italian eats in town. $$ Carpaccio (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 36, tel. 22 692 4726, open daily 12:00-last guest The Italian influence looms heavy here: the Italian owner patrols the restaurant floor, while Carmelo, a Sicilian, ensures nothing but excellence exits the wood-fired pizza oven. The quality of the hams is undisputed, as a try of the Parma ham bruschetta immediately proves. $$ Delizia (D5) ul. Hoża 58/60, tel. 22 622 6665, open Mon-Sat 12:00-22:00, www.delizia.com.pl The reasons for Delizia’s success are twofold: Luca and Lorenzo. Luca’s the front man, a charismatic chap and natural showman. In his hands, you’ll feel like a star. Then there’s Lorenzo, the chef out the back. Between the pair of them they’ve turned this tiny little venue into Warsaw’s most convincing Italian enterprise. Top quality imported products, a dimly-lit romantic atmosphere, tasteful interiors and brilliant food: what more do you need? How about a recommendation from Michelin… $$ La Tomatina (D5) ul. Krucza 47A, tel. 22 625 1047, open SunThu 10:30-23:00; Fri-Sat 10:30-24:00; Sun 11:00-23:00, www.latomatina.pl Calamitous, slapstick service and accusations pointing to the overuse of readymade ingredients shouldn’t detract from good pizzas served in modern interiors of stark white walls and concrete floors. Our spicy tiger prawn spaghetti was also okay, even if the presentation looked like a student had cooked it. $ Mąka i Woda (D4) ul. Chmielna 13A, tel. 22 505 91 87, open Mon-Thu 12:00-22:00, Fri-Sat 12:00-23:00, Sun 12:00-20:00 When Michelin starred
chef Wojciech Amaro pops in with his family you know something is going right. Here the statement piece is a Stefano Ferrara Napoli oven, used to maximum effect to create pizzas which have come to be considered amongst Warsaw’s best. Import ingredients like Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and Caputo flour add to the authenticity, and there’s a medley of other ‘staples from Naples’. $ Mamma Marietta (C9) ul. Wołoska 74A, tel. 22 880 0071, open 12:00-22:00, www.mammamarietta.com A scattering of tables make reservations recommended in Mamma Marietta, an informal looking restaurant with lugubrious interiors and solemn service. But the food, created by head chef Andrea, has an authenticity that’s rare in a city whose enthusiasm for Italian food isn’t always reflected by quality. The tomato soup starter, is deliciously thick and almost worth the trip itself. $$ Mezzo Italian Steakhouse ul. Sienkiewicza 5 (Konstancin-Jeziorna), tel. 22 756 3343, open daily 12:00-22:00 Tucked at the tip of Konstancin’s park, Mezzo’s wood-burning brick pizza oven constructed in the garden gets all the thumbs up. Also novel to the community is a chance to enjoy top-notch beef – using filet from Poland and T-bones from Irish Hereford cattle, Mezzo’s newly designed kitchen uses a lava grill to ensure excellence each time. $$ Parmizzano’s (C5) Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79 (Marriott Hotel, Floor 1), tel. 22 630 6306, open 12:00-23:00 The prices are highly intimidating, but are offset by cooking that never falls below brilliant. Hotel restaurants get a bad rep, but in the formal surrounds of Parmiazzano’s diners can expect Italian food at its very best. $$$ Ristorante San Lorenzo (B3) Al. Jana Pawła II 36, tel. 22 652 1616, open 12:00-last guest, www.sanlorenzo.pl Adorned with crisp, starched linen and Roman frescos this space is almost magisterial in design. The Tuscan menu is flawless and well worth the rather hefty bill. The wine bar on the ground floor features the same standards at a snip of the price. It’s in here you’ll find Italian natives cheering the Serie A football. $$$ Superiore (D6) ul. Piękna 28/34, tel. 506 404 059, open Mon-Fri 8:00-22:00; Sat-Sun 9:00-24:00, www.superiorewinebar.pl A hybrid wine shop, deli and restaurant, with an owner who
RESTAURANTS prefers to think about the enjoyment of your dining experience rather than his cash till. The veal pasta is the bestselling dish here for very good reason. $$ Trattoria da Antonio (D5) ul. Żurawia 16/20, tel. 22 625 5417, open 11:00-1:00, www.trattoriadaantonio.pl At times you suspect you’ve walked into the 90s, what with the tacky embellishments that appear at each turn – a Vespa, some stone lions, a water well. But this is no bad thing: at a time when restaurants are doing their best to look stripped down and functional, cheerful Antonio feels jaunty and fun. And the food, created by Sicilian-born Antonio Centurrino, has several redeeming qualities: the penne arrabiata is delicious in its simplicity, though for a piece of heaven try the gnocchi tartufati. No less than a warm trattoria whose specialty is good, simple food. $$ Vapiano Al. Jerozolimskie 63 (Lipinski Passage), tel. 22 356 10 50, open Mon-Thu 9:00-23:00, Fri 9:00-1:00; Sat 11:00-1:00, Sun 11:00-22:00
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& ul. Taśmowa 7 (Marynarska Business Park) & ul. Wołoska 12 (Galeria Mokotów) www. vapiano.de/pl Here’s one chain brand that is worth the hype. Featuring a chic look rounded out with Ferrari red colors, the thin crust pizza earns its spurs, and the pasta combinations are great. $$ Venti-tre (E8) ul. Belwederska 23 (Hyatt Hotel), tel. 22 558 1094, open 6:30-23:00 The high class confines of the Hyatt are the home of Venti Tre, a contemporary restaurant with an open kitchen, and a Mediterranean inspired menu constructed using carefully sourced ingredients from local suppliers. The results are befitting of one of Warsaw’s top hotels. $$$
JAPANESE & SUSHI Hana Sushi al. Jana Pawła II 82 (Arkadia), tel. 22 331 7518, open Mon-Sat 11:00-22:00; Sun 12:00-21:00, www.hanasushi.pl Dated decor of bamboo shoots and bonsai trees is made
to look good by dreadful service and irritating elevator music. But it’s hard to dislike Hana – the ‘gunkan special’ is out of this world. $$ Izumi Sushi ul. Mokotowska 17 (pl. Zbawiciela), tel. 22 825 7950, open Mon-Thu 12:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-22:00 & ul. Biały Kamień 4, tel. 22 424 0055, open MonThu 12:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-22:00, www.izumisushi.eu The original location never ceases to amaze with its sushi, though it’s the addition on Biały Kamień that really gets people talking. Here it’s not just the food that wows, but the interiors: a huge venue whose open plan doubles as an indoor forest – you need to see it to believe it. $$ Sakana Sushi Bar ul. Burakowska 5/7 tel. 22 636 0505, open Mon-Sat 12:00-23:00, Sun 13:00-22:00 & ul. Moliera 4/6, tel. 22 826 5958, open Mon-Thu 12:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-1:00; Sun 13:00-22:00 & ul. Wąwozowa 6, lok.10B, tel. 22 498 8899, Mon-Sat 12:00-22:30, Sun 13:00-22:00, www.sakana.pl If there was one
winner in the sushi wars of the noughties, it was Sakana. Many claim it’s the best in the city, a stand that’s hard to dispute. Practice nimble chopstick moves among other aficionados while sushi rolls sail by on tiny, little boats. $$ Sushi Zushi (D5) ul. Żurawia 6/12, tel. 22 420 3373, open Mon-Thu 12:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-03:00; Sun 13:00-22:00, www.sushizushi.pl The mania for sushi is in recess, and that’s a good thing – the rogue operators are dead or dying off, and are survived by the best. And make no mistake, Sushi Zushi continue to be the No. 1 ex-pat choice. Appreciated by a stunning crowd, the rolls are often bold and creative and always astonishingly fresh. $$ Tekeda Sushi & Wok (D1) ul. Freta 18, tel. 600 351 818 & ul. Meissnera 1/3, tel. 606 236 050, open daily 12:00-22:00, www.sushitekeda.pl In an area plagued by tourist rip-offs, Tekeda get it right with a good balance of sushi and wok dishes. The grilled maki is particularly pleasing. $$ Tomo (D5) ul. Krucza 16/22, tel. 22 434 2344, open Mon-Thu 12:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-22:00, www.tomo.pl Excellent. While Warsaw’s other sushi stops gather cobwebs Tomo packs out each night – that should say enough. With the maki, sushi and sashimi bobbing past on wooden platters, this place aims for fast, maximum turnover without ever making the diner feel second best. $$
JEWISH Galil (C3) ul. Zielna 36, tel. 731 492 634, open Mon-Thu 11:00-23:00; Sun 14:00-23:00, www.galil-restaurant.pl There’s been a few Jewish restaurants opened in the last couple of years, and they’ve all quickly folded. Already though, there’s the impression Galil might last the distance, a point underlined by the rather good food. We started with a zesty tabouleh before moving on to grilled chicken breast with dates and a syrup glaze. Set inside a rambling, tiled interior, this labyrinthine space already looks like its snaring big-spending groups. Kosher certified, as well. $$ Pod Samsonem (C1) ul. Freta 3/5, tel. 22 831 1788, open 10:00-
23:00, www.podsamsonem.pl Operating since the 1950s – crazy when you think about it. This is the place for an ordinary meal in an ordinary space. The menu mixes aspects of Polish and Jewish cooking, and fails to do a good job of either. Entertainment is provided by the staff: find them engaged in something akin to war with the people they serve. $
LATIN & MEXICAN Aioli (D3) ul. Świętokrzyska 18, tel. 22 290 102, open Sun-Thu 9:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 9:00-24:00, www.aioli-cantine.com This runaway hit has taken Warsaw by storm. It’s a jaunty space with hams hanging from hooks and long communal tables that thrive with life. Aioli’s breakfasts, sandwiches, pastas and pizzas are a lesson in clean, simple pleasure: nothing out of the world, just consistently good. This and the liberal prices mean there’s no shortage of people passing in and out the doors. $$ Blue Cactus (E8) ul. Zajączkowska 11, tel. 22 851 2323, open Mon-Fri 8:00-23:00; Sat 9:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-21:00, www.bluecactus.pl It’s been around for so long that people had started referring to the Cactus in the past tense. Enter executive chef Patrick Hanna, a man who has revitalized and revived the place in a way no-one could have imagined. Combining the barbecuing techniques of the southern states with the humble but potent tastes of Mexico, Hanna has reawakened this sleeping giant. Committed to local produce and fresh flavors, his finest moment has been hoiking over a wood-fired grill all the way from Nashville – the steaks will stop you in your tracks. Say it loudly: the Blue Cactus is back! $$
‘Simplicity, elegance and atmosphere’
Cafe • Wine Bar • Restaurant • Whisky Bar • Wine Cellar ul. Hoża 25A, tel. 515 037 001 email@example.com Open 12:00-23:00, Sun 12:00-21:00
Casa Pablo (C3) ul. Grzybowska 5A, tel. 22 324 5781, open Mon-Sat 12:00-last guest, www.casapablo.pl While increasingly well represented in the capital, Spanish food has been pointed in a new direction by Casa Pablo. Breaking away from hackneyed clichés, the eclectic interior (tartan colors, crates, a century old mirror) is reflective of a menu that places equal importance on flair, quality and elements of fine dining. Based on the ‘creative Spanish’ movement, find the likes of pork ribs in hoi sin and honey sauce introduced, not to mention cod cooked at
RESTAURANTS 45 C and served with pigs trotters. You’ll be amazed. $$
people come for. Choice here includes aged Spanish beef and Kobe cow. $$
Dos Tacos (B5) Al. Jerozolimskie 123A, tel. 22 243 4618, open 11:00-22:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-24:00, www. dostacos.pl Found high up in the increasingly naff-looking Millennium Plaza, Dos Tacos is adorned with Aztec murals and cartoonish finishes. A growing number of Americans can be found making their way to Floor 5 of the Millennium, and that’s to sample an exciting range of salsas and a solid menu of Mexican staples. $
Secado (D5) ul. Marszałkowska 66, tel. 608 707 799, open Mon-Fri 10:00-23:00; Sat 11:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-23:00 Dogged by failed ventures, this prime location has been gagging for a success story – and it’s got one. The food is good, which has to count for something: from light bites like tortillas, to pots of fresh mussels, everything we’ve tried in this Hispanic-themed spot has been culinary gold. Hanging hocks of ham come scattered around casual, intimate interiors, and further brownie points are gained for a smoking room that doesn’t choke you as well as hilarious toilets (lads, see if you measure up…). $$
Ole Tapas (E5) ul. Bracka 2, tel. 519 875 767, open Mon-Sat 12:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-22:00, www. ole-restaurant.pl A dual level wine bar and restaurant with a modern spirit and a Flamenco vibe. Don’t let the name fool you: while the tapas are good, it’s the steak most
Warsaw Tortilla Factory (D5) ul. Wilcza 46 (entrance from ul. Poznańska), tel. 22 621 8622, open 12:00-last guest,
www.warsawtortillafactory.pl Howling hot salsas and freshly made tortillas give WTF a head start on other restaurants, but there are other strings to their poncho: the menu has been slimmed and continues to be tinkered with, while the introduction of zł. 19 lunches – served on Alcatraz trays – present one of the best deals in town. We’ve enjoyed the burritos here for years, and score them as the best in town. $$
Le Cedre (E1) Al. Solidarności 61, tel. 22 670 1166, open daily 11:00-23:00, www.lecedre.pl With the decadent dazzle of
Insider Pick Bistro la Cocotte ul. Mokotowska 12, tel. 664 906 000, open 10:00-23:00.
onsidering the cultural and historical ties between France and Poland it’s something of a surprise that French food has taken so long to trend out in these parts. But trending it is with a number of Gallic projects realized this year. Bistro la Cocotte is one such place, and comes with possibly the best setting of the lot – round the corner from pl. Zbawiciela and snuck inside a residential courtyard on Mokotowska. While the location isn’t the most conspicuous it feels oh so right: with its boutiques and wine stores and art nouveau tenements, is there a Warsaw street more Parisian than this? And with access through a shadowy courtyard, the sensation
WARSAW INSIDER | MAY 2014
you’re stepping inside a little secret is a pleasure in itself. Presenting itself in a riot of red and white gingham Cocotte feels warm and intimate, a factor aided by a small open kitchen and the atmosphere of home. The menu, chalked up on the blackboard, is a flexible affair that makes use of the ingredients at hand, and is divided into a smattering of starters, desserts, salads and plat du jour. On my visit I order beef carbanade, which to my knowledge is actually more of a Belgian dish – and that is not the only influence from the Low Countries. There is Belgian beer, among which appears Duvel, Westamalle, Kriek and Leffe. The beef transpires to be soft and tender and falls apart on the fork, and is all the better for being served in a delicious stew of mushrooms, onion and bacon. The accompaniment of thick chips is a natural addition and just what’s needed to soak up the sauce. This is simple, honest comfort food at its best. Then, for dessert, I order a strawberry tart: a delicious slice of sin with a delicious creamy base. Again, it’s uncomplicated but perfect for the venue. As a neighborhood bistro Cocotte succeeds on every level. This is a place to savor, a place to wallow in the slow life and forget Warsaw outside. (AW)
PHOTOGRAPH BY ALEX WEBBER
“The sensation you’re stepping inside a little secret is a pleasure in itself”
a bedouin tent, nights in Le Cedre are best celebrated with blasts on a sheesha and their Friday night belly dancer. Otherwise, just settle for the best Lebanese food in CEE; of particular note, the charcoal-grilled lamb chops. $$ Le Cedre 84 (B3) Al. Solidarności 84, tel. 22 618 8999, open 11:00-23:00, www.lecedre.pl Le Cedre just keep on getting it right. Authenticity is key in this chainlette (well, there’s another across the river), as you’ll discover when talking to Tony, the Lebanese owner. To see the diversity of this cuisine, order the balbaak (six cold starters) or the byblos (six hot). And food aside, it’s the atmosphere that carries them that extra yard: the whole philosophy of this cuisine is to share and share alike, making it a uniquely engaging experience when dining with friends. $$ Sokotra (D5) ul. Wilcza 27, tel. 22 270 2766, open Mon-Thu 12:00-22:00; Fri Sat 12:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-22:00, www.sokotra.pl
A Yemeni restaurant with a brief menu full of recognizable Eastern dishes like hummus and grilled halloumi. And one of the big boons is the discovery that Indian influences also fall under the compass of Yemeni cuisine – the madras leaves you puffing smoke rings. $$
dead? Here wedding white colors are fused with a strawberry motif inside this gourmet fave. Keeping patrons returning are aromatic dishes with a contemporary twist – try the duck in rose sauce. $$$
POLISH Akademia Smaku ul. Oboźna 9, tel. 22 828 9901, open 12:00-24:00, www.akademia-smaku.com.pl Something of a side street surprise, Akademia connect contemporary, neutral interiors with a menu that’s best described as modern/ international. That might sound vague and anonymous, but the results are anything but. Beautiful presentation and simple, seasonal ingredients combine to make Akademia a high-scoring venue. $$
Amber Room at the Sobański Palace (E6) Al. Ujazdowskie 13, tel. 22 523 6664, open Mon-Fri 12:00-22:00; Sat 12:00-22:30; Sun 12:00-20:00, www.amberroom.pl The Amber Room is, indeed, a bit of a treasure. Chef Robert Skubisz has excelled himself in creating a menu that injects upmarket Polish dishes with contemporary flair. Set inside a majestic mansion, the recommendation they’ve received from Michelin is justly deserved. $$$
Ale Gloria (E5) Pl. Trzech Krzyży 3, tel. 22 584 7080, open Mon-Sat 12:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-22:00, www.alegloria.pl Who said romance was
Atelier Amaro (E6) ul. Agrykola 1, tel. 22 628 5747, open Mon-Sat 12:00-14:30; 18:00-22:30, www. aterlieramaro.pl The recipient of Poland’s
Authentic French Bistro ul. Rozbrat 44A 00-419 Warszawa +48 22 881 78 07 +48 788 95 97 97 www.lebistrorozbrat.pl www.facebook.com/LeBistroRozbrat
RESTAURANTS first Michelin star, Atelier has no rival – this is the best restaurant in the country, bar none. Find a tasting menu of slow food enhanced by modern techniques, with courses interspersed by occasionally bizarre interludes (leaves, flowers, twigs, etc.). Don’t miss the bespoke vodka menu, either. It’s an extraordinary dining experience, and one which confirms the growing cult of chef Wojciech Amaro. In the hours you’re here, the world stops and you leave feeling like James Bond. Reservations are mandatory, with a waiting list that is approximately two to three months long. $$$ BEST WAWA 2013 "Outstanding Achievement"
Biała Gęś (F8) ul. Belwederska 18A, tel. 22 840 5060, open 12:00-last guest (kitchen to 23:00); Sun 12:00-22:00, www.bialages.pl For that elegant touch of Zhivago-era class, it’s got to be Biała Gęś. Interiors conjure images of a countryside manor; you imagine rolling up here after a day shooting foxes. Yet it’s not those blighters on the menu, but geese. That’s the house specialty, and you’d do well to find better. A whole bird for four is yours for zł. 490. $$$
Bistro Warszawa (D1) ul. Jezuicka 1/3, tel. 22 635 3769, open daily 12:00Bazyliszek (D1) 24:00, www.bistrowarszawa. Rynek Starego Miasto 1/3, tel. 22 831 1841, pl The menu cites pre-war open daily 12:00-24:00, www.bazyliszek. recipe books as its influence, and on it you’ll waw.pl Some parts of Bazyliszek hark to its find such dishes as goose in thyme sauce years as a stately, stuffy restaurant. Now with pear and zucchini. The interiors are though it’s more earthy, with Jurassic portions strictly contemporary though, with vanilla of meaty, lardy food best consumed with one colored furnishings, wine racks and walls liter beers. The Rynek location and festive papered with hundreds of theater scripts and atmosphere account for its popularity more book pages. Regular jazz performances draw than anything that comes from the kitchen. $ people city-wide. $$
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Chłopskie Jadło (D6) pl. Konstytucji 1, tel. 22 339 1717, open Mon-Sat 12:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-22:00 A nationwide chain enterprise designed to mimic a peasant inn, what with all the clunky pots and rustic supplements. And if it’s farmers fare you’re after then the food isn’t bad either, with thick, lumpy servings of countryside classics and soup presented in bread. Twenty-something Poles cringe at such a representation of their country, but there’s no denying it: it’s an accurate caricature of a mountain-slope karczma. $ Dawne Smaki (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 49, tel. 22 465 83 20, open Sun-Thu 12:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-1:00, www.dawnesmaki.pl At last, a proper restaurant on Nowy Świat! The interiors hark to the past, while the back garden promises an oasis-like experience: if you’re new to Warsaw, it’s actually worth hanging around till summer just to see it. Chef Michał Bajerski, formerly of Regina Hotel, wraps it up nicely with a fantastic menu that modernizes traditional Polish recipes. Recommended:
deer steak. $$ Delicja Polska (D6) ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 45, tel. 22 826 4770, open daily 12:00-last guest, www. delicjapolska.pl It’s one of those few places where the food is fabulous, service efficient and discreet and the interior reminiscent of a fairytale dining room. $$ Dom Polski (H4) ul. Francuska 11, tel. 22 616 2432, open daily 12:00-last guest, www.restauracjadompolski.pl Built for moments when nothing but the best will do. Prices are premium, but this piece of high society features an aristocratic temperament and fine Polish cuisine served with an elegant flourish. $$$ Folk Gospoda (B3) ul. Waliców 13, tel. 22 890 1605, open daily 12:00-midnight, www.folkgospoda.pl To quote an unknown source, traditional Polish food is a celebration of ‘heritage, culture, singing and vodka.’ But snooty Warsaw doesn’t do traditional, at least not in the same way tourist havens like Kraków do. So it’s a joy to find Folk Gospoda. Good humored and filled with gnarled furniture and mountain songs, it’s a place where warm memories are made. Mains are a manly affair (solid, meaty and generous in size) and arrive courtesy of waiters dressed as Zakopane tinkers. $$ Inn Under the Red Hog (B3) ul. Żelazna 68, tel. 22 850 3144, open daily 12:00-24:00 (kitchen to 23:00), www.czerwonywieprz.pl Now everyone is rich and happy, it’s easy to forget communism was a pretty dire experiment. Which explains the playful nature of this commie themed restaurant. Dining is done under red banners and paintings of nasty political activists, while the menu is a humorous affair divided between dishes for the dignitary and proletariat – all details that saw it names as one of the Top 25 Unique Restaurants in the World. Another vodka, comrade, and the First Secretary’s pork loins while you’re there! $$ Kafe Zielony Niedwiedz (E4) ul. Smolna 4, tel. 731 996 006, open 8:00-23:00. The Smolna address is a bit misleading – in reality, you’ll be traipsing down into the park under the ‘hammer head’ tower before reaching Zbyszek Kmieć’s restaurant. But you’ll be glad you did. The menu has hints of Atelier Amaro in its fiendish attention to natural Polish produce: the cream of beetroot soup is peerless, and the boar
ragout gains similar approval. This is a happy marriage where traditions are turned on their head using creative techniques and precise presentation. At the same time, be warned the scene here might not appeal: it’s very stars in your eyes as Polish celebs – both major and minor – swan about while their acolytes simper. $$ Kluska Polska (D4) ul. Szpitalna 4, tel. 602 550 786, open MonThu 12:00-21:00; Fri-Sun 12:00-22:00, www. kluskapolska.pl The crazy black and white design has you thinking you’ve stepped into a cartoon cutout, so for the love of God, don’t take any funny little pills before you enter. The menu is simple and traditional, with hefty dumplings the dominant entity. Cheap and cheerful, all the signs suggest a success story in the making. $ Kuchnia Funkcjonalna (G3) ul. Jakubowska 16 (enter from ul. Estońska), tel. 512 893 898, open Mon-Thu 11:0023:00; Sat-Sun 9:00-23:00 Snuck inside one of Saska’s definitive modernist buildings, the opening of Kuchnia has made slow food accessible to all wallets. Venison from the Bieszczady Mountains, dairy products from Jersey cattle milk, and the use of goose fat instead of butter are just a few noteworthy characteristics; the frequently changing menu reflects the commitment to nature. The ascetic design is softened by a cast-iron stove and moody lighting, giving the restaurant a warm, seasonal glow. $$
A modern, urban cocktail bar, which in addition to the full range of spirits and exotic composition drinks and cocktails will delight with its sophisticated sushi and delicious Thai cuisine. An attractive location in the center, right by Rondo ONZ, makes us an easy platform for lunch meetings, business dinners and evening visits. Our casual atmosphere, industrial design and professional, friendly service guarantees a great time. ul. Świętokrzyska 36 patera.com.pl tel. 535 333 123
Pierrogeria (D6) Pl. Konstytucji 2, tel. 22 743 7644, open 11:00-23:00; Sat-Sun 12:00-23:00, www.pierrogeria.eu Pierogi: the pride of the Polish pantry… Pervasive in their presence, no other dish features so heavily on local menus. Even so, the search for perfect pierogi can lead only to one door: and you’ll find that particular portal on pl. Konstytucji. Through their use of unconventional fillings and natural ingredients, Pierrogeria elevate a standard, staple food into a class of its own. $ Podwale Piwna Kompania (D2) ul. Podwale 25, tel. 22 635 6314, open MonSat 11:00-01:00; Sun 12:00-24:00, www. podwale25.pl Set through a courtyard that replicates a Mitteleuropa square, Podwale has a beer hall atmosphere that’s further exaggerated when mountain bands circulate. Food is of average standard and served in portions that are obscene – finishing the wooden platters can be seriously traumatic.
RESTAURANTS Go there for the experience, if nothing else. $ Prasowy (E7) ul. Marszałkowska 10/16, open Mon-Fri 9:00-20:00; Sat-Sun 11:00-19:00 Delicate diners turn their back on milk bars, yet this canteen-style phenomenon, with its history rooted in communism, has enjoyed a remarkable renaissance and a freshly found popularity with a new generation. Sure, the food is an acquired taste and best described using words like ‘basic’ and ‘honest’, but Prasowy gets our vote for a cool design that’s seen the 1954 interiors sensitively updated. $
Restauracja Pod Gigantami (E5) Al. Ujadowskie 24, tel. 22 629 2312, open daily 12:00-23:00, www.podgigantami. pl Despite being judged worthy of a recommendation by the scouts at Michelin, Pod Gigantami divides local opinion; it’s not just the Insider that’s found the food only satisfactory. But the wine list impresses, as do the painfully ornate turn-of-the-century interiors. $$$ Restauracja Polska “Różana” (E8) ul. Chocimska 7, tel. 22 848 1225, open 12:00-last guest, www.restauracjarozana. com.pl Touting a refined, baronial setting,
Rożana has starchy white linen, floral pieces and flickering candles, giving off plenty of classic charm in the best possible taste. With indulgent mains such as farmhouse duck with apple and cranberry, or saddle of venison with homemade pickle, this is a Polish dining extravaganza served from the top table. U Fukiera (D1) Rynek Starego Miasta 27 (Old Town Market Square), tel. 22 831 1013, open 12:00-last guest, www.ufukiera.pl New arrivals looking to get a grasp of local cuisine have many options in varying price brackets. U Fukiera is definitely in the big spend category, but visitors come away with a common sense of wonderment. That’s largely due to enchanting interiors that have guests exploring twinkling chambers that unravel like a fairytale. Set in a 500 year old townhouse, the beautiful backdrop is paired by a grand menu of duck, venison, veal and lamb. $$$ U Szwejka (D6) pl. Konstytucji 1, tel. 22 339 1710, open Mon-Fri 8:00-24:00; Sat 10:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-24:00, www.uszwejka.pl Named after fictional Czech soldier Szwejk, the food here would certainly appeal to the tubby man himself. Bestowed with Prague street signs, the food is a hardy, meaty affair, and arrives in XXXL portions. The price to quantity (Note: not quality) ratio guarantees queues (yes, queues) that stretch out on the street every weekend. $$
Zapiecek Locations inc. ul. Nowy Świat 64, Al. Jerozolimskie 28, Freta 18, Freta 1 & Świętojańska 13, tel. 22 635 61 09, open 11:00-23:00 & ul. Wańkowicza 1, open 11:00-22:00, CH Arkadia, open 10:00-22:00, www.zapiecek.eu Seven Warsaw locales, with our favorite found in the vaulted passages of Świętojańska. The menu is highly traditional, with courses ‘cooked to grandma’s recipes’. It’s for the pierogi though for which they’re famous; find approx. fifty types delivered by servers dressed like saucy country maids. $
SCANDINAVIAN Nabo ul. Zakręt 8, tel. 22 842 0256, open Mon-Fri
WARSAW INSIDER | MAY 2014
8:00-21:30; Sat-Sun 9:00-21:30, www. nabocafe.pl The décor is, we’re told, typical Danish cafe – bold open windows, simple lines, high shelves filled with books and games on the table. But what is Danish food? There’s Old Danish on the menu: meatballs and open face sandwiches with meat and fish in various textural configurations and then there’s New Danish: an emerging trend towards fresh, seasonal food (no microwave oven at Nabo), with locally sourced and innovatively concocted ingredients. $$
SEAFOOD Seaside Bistro (D5) ul. Wilcza 26, tel. 607 562 122, open Mon-Fri 12:00-23:00; Sat 13:00-23:00; Sun 13:0021:00 Wilcza keeps churning out gems of late, and we’re hearing this cabin-like space is serving what some are calling the best seafood Warsaw’s ever seen. We’ll be in soon to see if it lives up to the hype. $$
SPECIALTY FOOD SHOPS Befsztyk ul. Puławska 176/178, tel. 22 843 6110, www.befsztyk.pl The Prokopowicz family has come a long way since launching Befsztyk in 1994. Top restaurants, celebs and ex-pats are listed as clients, and all agree that this operation is indisputably ‘top of the chops’. Find steaks seasoned for three weeks, glutenfree smoked meats, Merino lamb, BBQ kits and so much more. Home delivery, internet ordering and English-speaking staff round out this legend. Bio Bazar ul. Żelazna 51/53, tel. 22 318 8855, open Sat 8:00-16:00, www.biobazar.org.pl Fruit and veg in the first warehouse, some of it imported from as far as Argentina. In the second warehouse, find organic cheese varieties from sheep and goats, as well as import brands from Italy, France and the Netherlands. British Shop ul. Emilii Plater 8, tel. 692 240 804, open Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00 British food and beverages inc. cider, bacon, sausages, gluten free ready meals, confectionary etc. Run by the same team who once operated Fish & Chips on Koszykowa, the offer has now expanded to cover non-food items like Royal Wedding souvenirs, England football paraphernalia etc.
Kuchnie Świata Various locations, www.kuchnieswiata.com. pl The first stop for most ex-pats, with an offer that includes food and drinks from across the globe. The choice is vast. Internet ordering now also available. La Fromagerie ul. Burakowska 5/7, tel. 22 465 2324, open Mon-Wed 9:00-20:00; Thu-Fri 9:00-21:00; Sat 10:00-21:00; Sun 11:30-17:00, www. lafromagerie.pl Top quality cheeses produced by small, artisan producers from England, the major regions of France as well as several other countries. Also, gourmet specialities like Italian parma ham, Spanish chorizo, French sausages, and hard-to-find luxury brands from France, Italy, Greece and more. La Petite France ul. Zwycięzców 28, tel. 22 672 9646, open Mon-Sat 10:30-18:30, www.lapetitefrance. pl Wine and cheese as well as canned and tinned foods from France. Le Targ ul. Mińska 25 (SOHO Factory), tel. 603 051 116, open Sat 10:00-15:00 Find here a rather random array of products: stands display traditional meats, goat’s cheeses, unconventional preserves, Greek products, vegan ingredients… it all still seems a bit like a work in progress. The initiative is noble, however. Maho al. Krakowska 240/242, tel. 22 609 1548, open daily 11:00-23:00, www.maho.com.pl An excellent German-run Turkish restaurant that also doubles as a butcher: halal certified beef, veal, lamb and poultry.
Nominated as Best New Restaurant 2012 by Gazeta Wyborcza and Warsaw Insider Named Best New Restaurant 2012 by Froblog Seasonal Polish Cuisine Summer Garden Live Music on Fridays and Saturdays ul. Noakowskiego 16 tel. 519 020 888 www.soulkitchen.pl
Marks & Spencer Various locations inc. DT Wars & Sawa, ul. Marszałkowska 104/122, tel. 22 551 7553, open Mon-Sat 9:00-21:00; Sun 10:00-20:00, www.marks-and-spencer.com.pl Visit the Marszałkowska location to take advantage of the on-site bakery, but visit early as choice diminishes the later it gets. Aside from baked goods, find an excellent frozen food section, as well as an off-license, tinned goods, ready meals, confectionary and preserves. Martin’s Good Meat ul. Przejazd 4/7, tel. 797 866 131, open Mon-Fri 10:00-19:00 Angus, Hereford and Limousine beef, not to mention lamb, veal and seasoned steaks. A candidate for Warsaw’s best butchery, no less!
RESTAURANTS Ostra Kuchnia www.ostrakuchnia.pl A superb internet shop retailing quite literally the hottest sauces known to man: brands include Blair’s, Dave’s, El Yucateco, Mad Dog, Melinda’s and many more besides. Also sell jalapenos, chili peppers, salsas and pastes. Polish-only website, but easy to navigate and superb customer service.
jospehseeletso.pl A familiar face from the TV, Botswanan born chef Joseph Seeletso marks a new chapter of his career with the launch of his own culinary academy. Tailor-made courses for individuals and groups are held in a custom-designed kitchen, and include cookery classes, wine tasting, dinner and the chance to learn a stack of secrets from the man himself.
Targ Śniadaniowy al. Wojska Polskiego, tel. 508 121 891, open Sat 8:00-16:00, www.targsniadaniowy.pl The idea is a bit different as it is out in the open air, on the grass, so good weather is a must. Part healthy food market, part breakfast picnic, part educational space, part chance to get your two wheeler fixed but above all, an idyllic way to spend a Saturday morning in a beautiful part of town.
Scheller Academy ul. Międzynarodowa 68, tel. 22 626 80 92, open Mon-Fri 9:00-17:00 (Office) www. schelleracademy.pl Instantly recognizable by his beret and whiskers, Swiss-born Kurt Scheller invites guests to his Saska Kępa kitchen for lessons aimed at all skill levels.
WHOLE FOODS Krowarzywa (D5) ul. Hoża 42, tel. 516 894 767, open Sun-Thu 12:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-24:00 Even committed meat eaters concede there’s something special here. This is a burger bar
COOKING SCHOOLS Joseph’s Culinary Studio ul. Duchnicka 3, tel. 663 040 800, www.
with a difference: the stuff between the bun is vegan – and way superior to the majority of ‘proper’ burger bars. Very popular with the local hipsters, so anticipate bewildering fashion statements and eccentric hair. $ Loving Hut (B2) Al. Jana Pawła II 41A, tel. 888 555 568, open Mon-Sat 11:00-21:00; Sun 12:00-20:00, www.lovinghut.waw.pl What looks like just another Vietnamese greasy spoon is, in fact, part of a global chain backed by a spiritual master. The reading material is creepy and cultish, but the vegan food is good if you’re that way inclined. Now also found downtown on Waryńskiego 3 $ W Gruncie Rzeczy (D5) ul. Hoża 62, tel. 692 464 489, open 10:00-23:00 A vegan haven whose menu is heavily slanted towards local produce. The offer includes a number of vegan pastes, sandwiches, beetroot burgers and soups. The presence of Meat Love next door is something of a foil, with the two neighbors naturally complimenting each other. $
TRADITIONAL POLISH CUISINE AND FOOD Souvenirs from Poland: Delicious cold meats, cheeses and preserves and the best Polish mead, traditional Polish aged fruit liquor and vodkas well as jewelry made of striped flint and amber joined with bog oak.
44 Nowy Swiat Street, Warsaw +48 662 254 215 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.specjalyregionalne.pl
WARSAW INSIDER | MAY 2014
Reviews: Sueño Café & Tapas Bar 61 / Plus: * 3 updates
CAFÉS & WINE BARS CAFES 61 / WINE BARS 63
for past picks visit: www.warsawinsider.pl
CAFÉS Bułkę przez Bibułkę (E8) ul. Puławska 24, tel. 794 000 634, open Mon-Fri 8:00-22:00; Sat 9:00-22:00; Sun 9:00-16:00, www.bulkeprzezbibulke.pl There’s a feminine style to this cafe, what with its cute, girly pastels, petite plant pots and woodsy finishes. But no matter what your gender or age, there’s something immediately sunny and positive about this place. Slow food sandwiches arrive on wooden boards, there’s pretty homemade desserts and a careful choice of wine: falling in love with it is easy.
Sueño Café & Tapas Bar ul. Oboźna 9/100, tel. 22 826 8317, open Mon-Thu 9:00-22:00; Fri 9:00-24:00; Sat 12:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-20:00
ocated on the outskirts of Warsaw University, Sueño has seduced much of the younger generation – and for good reason. The simple décor, inspired by a traveller’s way of living, provides a casual yet lively atmosphere. Surfboards and beach photographs decorate the walls and hammocks hang from the ceilings – and in this day and age, when dining out isn’t solely about the food, ambiance can make or break a restaurant – and in this case, it’s the latter. The owners, kite surfers and avid travellers, have combined ideas from various different countries – evident not only in the décor but also in the menu. Tapas, of course, are usually associated with Spanish food, so that’s what was expected. But I was pleasantly surprised to see tapas inspired from a variety of countries: soft corn tortilla chicken quesadillas (simple yet satisfying) and golden deep-fried chicken wontons fried to a light crispiness. But obviously, there are Spanish options: their spicy Chorizo melts in your mouth. The beauty of tapas is the small portion size: you can order six different tapas and share them between two people, and in this case combining flavors never tasted this good. The menu, while diverse, is a concise affair. This is evident in the quality of food that is served: fresh and full of flavor. Immensely satisfied with the meal, it was then onto dessert, a cheesecake made with goat cheese served with a cherry- red peppercorn sauce – the presentation was impeccable. It was by far the most original dessert I have ever tasted with the spicy kick of the red peppercorns complementing the sweetness of the cherries. Dining here is particularly pleasant for a light lunch: obviously the most popular time because of their daily fixed menu, and favored among faculty and students from the university. Definitely not traditional in their food and décor, Sueño support this nation’s culinary renaissance, so to speak. (VL)
Być Może (E7) ul. Bagatela 14, tel. 519 000 014, open 7:0023:00, www.bycmoze.com.pl It’s all about artisan bread and breakfast in this industrial looking Być Może. It’s taken the concept of Charlotte (groan, there’s even a communal table), and improved it with excellent breads and a crowd that’s a little less pleased with itself and a little more normal. Café 6/12 (D5) ul. Żurawia 6/12, tel. 22 622 5333, open Mon-Fri 8:00-23:00; Sat 10:00-24:00; Sun 10:00-23:00, www.612.pl Famous for dispensing complex fruit and vegetable super smoothies, 6/12 have even introduced a full diet plan: pop-by for breakfast, then grab a goodie bag packed with balanced meals and snacks for the day ahead. Being healthy has never tasted better. Or looked better for that matter; the cavernous interiors are still very much the choice haunt for on trend 30 something’s. Café Iluzja (C9) ul. Narbutta 50A, tel. 698 423 738, open daily 11:00-22:00, www.cafeiluzja.pl Bathed in white and black and shades of grey, it’s an allusion to the black and white films of bygone days. The interiors as a whole were designed in a 1950s vibe and the massive armchairs are by far the best part. What more do you expect from a café inside a cult socialist era cinema. Café Vincent (D3) ul. Nowy Świat 64, tel. 22 828 0115, open Sun-Thu 6:30-24:00; Fri-Sat 6:30-1:00
CAFÉS & WINE BARS Ex-pats from France, a nation of master bakers if ever there were, profess Vincent to be their favorite Warsaw bakery. And they’re not alone. Queues build quickly as locals line up to buy baguettes, cinnamon rolls, lemon croissants and beautiful pains au chocolat. But people don’t just head in then out, a small wine list and brilliant people spying opportunities cause most to linger.
crates as shelving, and a toilet with a Space Invaders theme. A versatile place, it’s the café everyone needs next door.
La Vanille (D5) ul. Krucza 16/22, tel. 22 578 2233, open 10:00-20:00, www.lavanille.pl Thick with the scent of icing sugar, La Vanille’s big boast are cupcakes that will make you swoon. Find them lined up in precise formation under a glass counter, and don’t forego the cakes in Cava (E4) ul. Nowy Świat 30, tel. 22 826 6427, open the display case to the right. It looks chic and Mon-Fri 9:00-24:00; Sat-Sun 10:00-24:00, glossy, but most get the cupcakes packed up www.cava.pl A prime spot on Nowy Świat’s red to go for private indulgence. carpet keeps business brisk in this high-end cafe. Premium Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee Limoni Canteri 1952 (E9) available, and best enjoyed on a seasonal ter- ul. Dąbrowskiego 1, tel. 789 176 730, open race that can barely be bettered for its people daily 8:00-22:00. Also at ul. Zwycięzców 49, tel. 518 652 436, open daily 10:00spotting opportunities. 22:00 Appearing as a wooden cabin in an Chłodna 25 overgrown park (someone, clear it up please), ul. Chłodna 25, tel. 604 614 287, open Mon-Fri Limoni get noted for Italian gelato that’s too 9:00-22:00; Sat 11:00-22:00; Sun 12:00good for words – join the line for tastes like 22:00 It’s back! Under new management, this cherry, plum and redcurrant, or go edgy and Warsaw legend has been reclaimed from the experimental with flavors such as salmon, hipsters and given over to the creative classes. tomato or basil. A place of creaking floorboards, retro armchairs and bookshelves in the process of being filled, Między Nami (D4) ul. Bracka 20, tel. 22 828 5417, open that this neighborhood hangout draws more than just neighbors is evidence of its greatness. Mon-Wed 10:00-23:00; Thu 10:00-23:00; And the really good bit? They’ve now got beer Fri-Sat 10:00-24:00; Sun14:00-23:00, www. miedzynamicafe.com With 18 years of service (Bojan, Lwówek and Goralskie) – let joy be under their belt you may think of Między unconfined! Nami as being an antiquated has-been. Not Christian’s Bakerhouse (E5) so. Haunted by a mix of media types and ul. Książęca 6, tel. 22 628 6345, open local characters, this hip white piece of postdaily 9:00-21:00, www.bakerhouse.pl commie Warsaw has an enduring, almost “Our chef places great emphasis on quality,” timeless appeal. confided our waitress, and that’s no word Ministerstwo Kawy (D6) of a lie. Numerous national breakfasts are represented, from nutritious kick-starters to a ul. Marszałkowska 27/35, tel. 503 080 full British fry-up – which we’ve yet to see bet- 906, open Mon-Fri 9:00-22:00; Sat-Sun tered by anywhere in Warsaw. The pet project of 10:00-22:00, www.ministerstwokawy.pl celebrity chef Krystian Zalejski – and not some Ranked 16th in the WORLD, you can put your nutty religious order as the name might suggest faith in the house barista. Using Arabica from Colombia, Kenya and Guatemala, rave – the offer extends beyond breakfast to good reviews are both standard and appropriate. Italian staples cooked with a twist. The backdrop muddles pristine wall tiles with comfy chaises and uber-cool lighting, with Cześć (C3) ul. Grzybowska 2 (through the side passage), the ambience never too commercial, nor too tel. 505 695 512, open Mon-Sat 11:00-last hipster – rather, just right. guest; Sun 10:00-22:00, www.czesc.waw. pl Located down a gusty tunnel underneath MiTo (D6) ul. Waryńskiego 28, tel. 22 629 0815, open a modern residential/office compound, you Mon-Fri 8:00-23:00; Sat-Sun 9:00-23:00, might not expect much. But this small room www.mito.art.pl Café, gallery, bookstore. is a treasure: one with Artezan Pacific and Of course, we’ve seen that concept before, British cider on tap, Rwandan drip coffee, just not done in this style. Stark white mountain vodka and boutique cakes made backgrounds are offset by edgy art, lending with love. Changing art adorns the walls, and there’s no shortage of eccentricities – upcycled the place a Tate Modern feel, something
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accentuated by the earnest fashion students who gather through the day. And there’s the toilet, a futuristic affair with piped music and a mirrored wall. my’o’my (D4) ul. Szpitalna 8 (enter from Górskiego), open Mon 11:00-22:00; Tue-Thu 10:00-22:00; Fri-Sat 10:00-24:00; Sun 10:00-21:00, www. myomy.pl Slightly rustic in design, with wooden panels painted white and winding stairs that lead to a charming second floor. The baked goods are courtesy of baker extraordinaire Zofia Różycka, and the rest of the food offer is pretty grand as well. Its popularity with Warsaw’s mid-20s set makes it occasionally claustrophobic. Niezłe Ziółko Café & Deli (D5) ul. Krucza 17, tel. 664 844 439, open MonFri 8:00-20:00; Sat-Sun 9:00-19:00 A shrine to pure and healthy eating, this friendly café doesn’t just brew a great coffee, but bakes its own bread and produces its own yogurt. Sit in the loft to look down on shoppers scurrying to Mokotowska, and on the way out, check out ‘Grandma’s Cupboard’ in the corner: jams, spreads and olive oils are there to buy for home. Państwo Miasto (B1) ul. Andersa 29, tel. 22 400 9446, open 9:00-24:00, panstwomiasto.pl Is there anything better than sitting in a café, book in hand, while spring sunshine pours through the windows? We go to Państwo to do just that, an echoy, cavernous café with a young, lively crowd that’s keen on scholastic events and political causes. Never does it feel too trendy, or too hipster – it’s a place that’s all about atmosphere and friendship. Prosta Historia (H4) ul. Francuska 24, tel. 22 870 13 25, open Mon-Wed 12:00-22:30; Thu-Sat 12:0023:00; Sun 12:00-22:00 Informal looking with its clean white finishes and stripped wood floors, it’s an ideal spot for a lazy weekend – few places in Warsaw feel so naturally continental. The food, it needs to be said, is very good indeed, with hefty steaks, multiple burgers and some fine desserts. Relaks (E9) ul. Puławska 48, open Mon-Fri 8:00-21:00; Sat 9:00-19:00; Sun 9:00-18:00 Generally travelling by tram for a cup of Joe sounds excessive, but that’s exactly what you’ll be doing on discovering Relaks. Expertly prepared, right down to the foam art, the baristas
here use the finest imported machines and work only with fair trade, ‘specialty’ coffee. If you have time, the drip coffees are more than worth the wait. The interiors supply a retro accent, and are lapped up by a very fashion aware crowd. Socjal (E4) ul. Foksal 18, tel. 787 181 051, open Mon-Thu 12:00-2:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-4:00; Sun 12:00-2:00 Looking raw, industrial and fashionably spartan, the principal feature of Socjal is the long communal table – who you end up talking to is down to the dice. A faded concept, maybe, but in Socjal it feels as fresh as tomorrow. Pizza and Prosecco are the best sellers.
WINE BARS Ale Wino! (E5) ul. Mokotowska 48, tel. 22 628 3830, open Mon-Tue 10:00-22:00; Wed-Sat 10:00-24:00, www.alewino.pl Warsaw is increasingly devoted to megalith wine worlds. In comparison, Ale Wino is small fry, Lilliputian even. Yet there’s a real charm that wins over all. Covertly stashed inside a courtyard, that Ale Wino’s! neighbors include fashion Tsar Robert Kupisz announce this place as the frontline of cool – as if to qualify this, find furnishings by the celebrated design brains at Studio Rygalik. Stocked with wines from 16 countries, place your trust in sommelier Adrian Litkowicz for a taste of something special. Bristol Wine Bar (D2) ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 42/44. open 12:00-23:00 Effortlessly evoking a real sense of history, the design is a triumph with lots of polished brass and nickel, rich wood finishes and marble floors. You feel like you’ve stepped into a film. But talking points aren’t limited to the interiors alone. The wine selection was personally overseen by Robert Mielżyński, possibly the most esteemed wine importer in the country. And the choice is prodigious. Offering a complete cruise through the wines of the Old Continent and the New World, the collection is precisely presented from behind glass cases that line the walls. BEST WAWA 2013 “Wine Bar” Charlotte (D6) ul. Aleja Wyzwolenia 18 (enter from pl. Zbawiciela), tel. 22 628 4459, open Mon-Thur 7:00-24:00; Fri 7:00-1:00; Sat 9:00-1:00; Sun 9:00-22:00,
www.bistrocharlotte.com It matters not if you’re easily traumatized by the catwalk parade that is Charlotte. Open from seven on weekdays, it’s the place for a morning croissant. And if you’re armed with the latest Mac technology, all the better – join the other posers at the communal table. Located on Warsaw’s most happening roundabout, there’s no better place to indulge a hangover with a spot of eavesdropping than inside this boulangerie/wine bar. Hoża by Mondovino (D5) ul. Hoża 25a, tel. 515 037 001, open MonSat 12:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-21:00, www.hoza.warszawa.pl Successfully establishing themselves over summer, you’ll probably know Hoża as the home of steak. But what is meat without wine? Complimenting the Argentine-inspired cooking is a wine list particularly dense with reds. They’re the personal selection of actor / owner Tomasz Budyta, a successful wine importer for the last 23 years. Mielżyński Wine Bar (A1) ul. Burakowska 5/7, tel. 22 636 8709, open Mon-Fri 9:00-23:00 (kitchen closes at 22); Sat 11:00-23:00; Sun 11:30-17:00 (kitchen closes at 17:00), www.mielzynski.pl Robert Mielżyński, a Canadian-born oenologist, awakened Warsaw’s love affair with the grape when he launched Mielżyński in 2004, and it continues to serve as the accepted benchmark to which all wine bars aspire. Their cause is amply boosted by a fine selection of bites to accompany the superlative
wine offer. Find it in a pared down warehouse that emanates with city casual cool.
Portucale (E10) ul. Merliniego 2, tel. 22 898 0925, open 11:00-23:00, www.portucale.pl The rule here is to keep it simple. Stick to the truly amazing seafood and good house wine, both of which promise a terrific Portuguese experience. $$ Winosfera (B3) ul. Chłodna 31, tel. 22 526 25 00, open MonSat 12:00-23:00, www.winosfera.pl Lending a lift to a sad stretch of Chłodna is Winosfera, a huge wine bar with all the requisite crates and industrial fittings – there’s even a cinema. The upside is true fine dining, and a flawless wine selection. Żurawina (D5) ul. Żurawia 32/34, tel. 22 521 06 66, open Mon-Sat 12:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-18:00 Lacking in intimacy, this large white room gets criticized for its jarring artwork and staffing blips – in the world of wine it’s important the customer can connect to the staff: here, we felt like we were joining the SS. But both food and wine score highly, and they’ve already won a staunchly loyal following. Get your week off to a galloping start and visit on ‘Jazz Monday’s’. You’ll be joining the most beautiful people in the city.
A Taste of France in Warsaw Les Secrets Du Vin Wine Bar ul. Walecznych 68 (corner of ul. Londyńska) Saska Kępa, Warsaw www.secretsduvin.pl www.facebook.com/LesSecretsDuVin reservations: +48 531 013 631
Reviews: Kita Koguta 71 / Plus:
* 11 updates
for past picks visit: www.warsawinsider.pl
BARS & PUBS 72 / CLUBS 78 / GENTLEMAN’S CLUBS 78 / JAZZ CLUBS 78 / SHOT BARS 76
BARS & PUBS Bazar (F1) ul. Okrzei 22, tel. 508 321 264, open 12:00last guest There’s Krusovice, Bernard and Staropramen on tap, and the Czech slant is lent added meat by a series of evenings held in cahoots with the Czech Cultural Centre – it’s during boozy disco nights the party spills into a shadowy cellar with light retro hints. On ground level its raw and industrial with asphalt colors and overhead pipes. Beirut (D5) ul. Poznańska 12, open daily 12:00-4:00 As hip as ever, Beirut has walls dusted with cult album covers, documentary posters and witty graffiti inspired by Banksy. Busy in the day, and absolutely packed at night, order unconventional beers (Noteckie, English ale, Erdinger) from androgynous staff standing behind a sandbag bar decorated with silver hand grenades and a model tank.
Kita Koguta ul. Krucza 6/14, tel. 512 307 284, open Mon-Thu 8:00-24:00; Fri 8:00-2:00; Sat 16:00-2:00.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ED WIGHT
t’s 9 p.m., Wednesday night, and I’ve already ripped and ravaged five menus. Thirty minutes later, and that number stands at eight. But rather than sticking me in a headlock, the co-owner of Kita Koguta approaches me and hands me a gift – a wooden yo-yo emblazoned with their logo. This is not, you understand, an ordinary bar. Firstly, an explanation: the menu here is paper, and while the front page lists their cocktails, the back page has illustrative instructions detailing how to make a paper cock (as in a rooster, not something rude). Before I’ve even ordered drink No. 1, barmaid Anita whispers suggestively that should I complete such challenge I’ll win a surprise. Game on. This alone tells you a lot about Kita Koguta: to expect the unexpected. Underlining this is a design that celebrates the strange – the light wood and industrial touches of downstairs are offset by wacky murals of the staff, not to mention a bike hanging from the wall. The bike has antlers… Upstairs though, Kita opens up into a more loungey affair: there are colorful armchairs, plentiful tables and another bar. It’s not the stark, slick look favored by other cocktail bars, rather the sort of aesthetic that puts you at ease. But we’ve already been warned by Anita that she’ll be mad with us if we stray up there, so back downstairs we toddle – the Insider does not let a lady down. Her end of the bargain is kept by way of a range of cocktails that leave us thrilled. There is the venomous Po Godzinach, an exciting blend of Bombay Sapphire, De Kuyper Crème de Cacao and Absinth. Next up, Pimm’s Sour, an off-menu creation we’re told was invented ‘this morning’. Devoid of fruit, and fixed with a touch of Martini, this is not like any Pimm’s I’ve tasted before. Strangely, it works. But pride of place goes to the Kurczak Po Tajkski, a fruity affair in a bamboo-clad glass. Throughout all this, we’re kept constantly engaged in banter with the bar staff. I like this, and I like Kita Koguta. Free from the pompous prattery of Bar Max down the road, it’s the kind of cocktail bar that Warsaw’s been waiting for. (AW)
Bierhalle (A1) Al. Jana Pawła II 82 (Arkadia), open 11:00last guest Having tapped their first beer six or seven years back, Bierhalle have morphed into a national chain. All three Warsaw locations have a cut/paste Bavarian atmosphere, hefty wooden fittings and waitresses dressed like mountain frauleins. The beer is good, but Warsaw now has much better and in less formulaic surrounds. Bollywood Lounge (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 58, tel. 22 827 0283, open Sun-Thu 12:00-3:00; Fri 12:00-6:00; Sat 14:00-6:00, www.bollywoodlounge.pl Now on Nowy Świat, the team have used the opportunity to upgrade their offer: gone is that low-rent feel of old, replaced in favor of a more classy look and a slicker crowd. What has remained constant is the energy. Ace cocktails (recommended: Jim Ban Chili), tottering talent and a range of sheesha pipes make it a weekend must, though the big news is the completion of their downstairs club: check it out for the bright, banging beats of the Bollywood sound.
British Bulldog (D4) ul. Aleje Jerozolimskie 42, tel. 22 827 0020,
NIGHTLIFE open 11:00-1:00, www.bbpub.pl The most faithful replica of an English pub you’ll find. And they get a further nod for a brilliant covered terrace that’s great in all weather. Not that you’ll find many British expats in here, they’ve been boycotting the place ever since the dismissal of the original British manager. Judging by the standard of their beer, you might want to follow their example. Chwila (B3) ul. Ogrodowa 31/35, tel. 22 401 1754, open 12:00-last guest; Sun 15:00-last guest Entered under a red, cabaret-style awning, Chwila is a reject factory space turned good. Furry cushions, patchwork quilts and student art vie for attention alongside iron girders and industrial leftovers inside what is becoming known as one of the top alternative music venues this side of the river. The toilet alone, papered with trillions of cool posters and magazine covers, is a reason to linger.
Chmielarnia (B5) ul. Twarda 42 (basement level), tel. 22 890 77 05, open Mon-Thu 11:00-24:00;
WARSAW INSIDER | MAY 2014
Fri 11:00-2:00; Sat 12:00-2:00; Sun 12:0024:00, www.chmielarnia.waw.pl A subterranean multi-tap found in the depths of the fishing institute. It gets loud and rackety, sweaty and sticky but earns unanimous praise for a rotating beer offer that’s both adventurous and moderately priced. Artisan beers rule the roost here (there’s 15 taps and stacks more beer in the fridge), a point underlined by a glass coffin of mainstream garbage. Coctail Bar Max (D5) ul. Krucza 16/22, tel. 691 710 000, open daily 11:00-15:00, www.barmax.pl Can you trust a cocktail bar that can’t even spell the word? In this case, it’s a resounding yes. With its light wood touches and fruity montages Max looks bright, cheerful and fully loaded for the sun, and also comes with an alcove in the back stuffed with whisky and cigars. The cocktails are the main affair though, and here they’re extravagant efforts that resemble a tropical jungle in a miniature form. The only problem? By their very nature, cocktails aren’t concocted in two minutes
flat – if it’s busy, waiting around is like Death by a Thousand Cuts.
Cuda Na Kiju (E4) ul. Nowy Świat 6/12, tel. 662 006 106, open 10:00-2:00, www.cudanakiju.pl Warsaw’s multi-tap revolution started here! This sleek space comes drenched in sunlight that slants through the four glass walls, while the shaded courtyard is a spring/summer must. Find 15 taps dispensing regional and craft brews as well as quirky imports from Czech, Belgium and beyond. Cześć (C3) ul. Grzybowska 2 (through the side passage), tel. 505 695 512, open Mon-Sat 11:00-last guest; Sun 10:00-22:00, www.czesc.waw.pl Some say it’s more of a café – we say, check the fridge. Despite its diminutive size Cześć have one of the most adventurous alcohol offers in the city, with a steady stream of British cider (Sheppy’s, Weston’s, Old Rosie), Polish lagers (Artezan, Pinta) and other international names (Grimbergen, Crabbies). If there was an award for best neighborhood hangout,
they’d breeze it. Czeska Baszta (E4) Tower 22A, Most Poniatowskiego, open Tue-Thu, Sun 16:00-23:00; Sat-Sun 16:0024:00; Sun 16:00-23:00, www.czeskabaszta. pl Set in one of those towers that props up Most Poniatowskiego, its surroundings look grim – at night even scary. Bathed in a yellowish murk, it’s actually warm and welcoming, and the reason for that soon becomes apparent: everyone is drunk! There’s 80 Czech beers to pick from, and they do more than enough to distract from the rattle and rumble of overhead trams and a swamp monster toilet.
Delirium (C1) ul. Freta 19, tel. 532 742 400, open 11:0022:00, delirium-warszawa.pl Signposted by a dancing pink elephant, Delirium presents its cause the moment you enter – there’s twenty or so taps laid right out in front, and to the left a fridge that’s expected to top out to cover 200 beers. The design is basic – brickwork, beer kegs and varying ephemera of the brewing trade – but it doesn’t need that much more: it’s about the beer, after all. The real negative is the prices: it’s a Belgian beer bar, so find weighty prices passed down to the punters. Dubrovnik (D4) ul. Nowogrodzka 22, tel. 885 835 885, open 11:00-last guest, www.dubrovnik.waw.pl Yes, Dubrovnik is a restaurant. And yes, it’s a restaurant that doesn’t promise much – set
with woodsy features and mock-rustic details, it looks cheap and tacky and one to avoid. But guess what, it’s one of the first tankovy pubs in Poland! A Czech innovation, the storing system preserves the beers freshness, and even takes away the usual gassy, belchy taste of Tyskie. Gorączka Złota (D5) ul. Wilcza 29, tel. 22 625 6855, open MonFri 13:00-24:00; Sat 17:00-24:00, www.goraczka-zlota.com.pl Founded in 1996, Złota’s longevity is to be admired, even if the interiors aren’t. Small, dark and a little pungent, the interiors are rendered out of little more than varnished wood and hundreds of beer coasters. But that’s the clue! The secret of their success is down to the beer. Stocking a range of regional and craft beer (Ale Browar, Pinta, Kormoran, AltenMunster, Olbracht, etc.), this unfashionable bar has an underlying honesty that makes it a success. Haka (D4) ul. Bracka 20, tel. 515 967 123, open Mon-Wed 10:00-24:00; Thu-Sat 10:00-2:00; Sun 12:00-24:00 Big things are happening in this small little room. Under the stewardship of Kevin Bradley this ex-pat hit has now added Guinness and live sports (it’s the rugger bugger favorite) to their offer to go alongside a fab menu by Kiwi chef Shane. An intimate space clad in brickwork and metal, Haka gets further applause for adding Arnie – Warsaw’s favorite cocktail king – to their staff lineup.
Jedna Trzecia (D5) ul. Wilcza 52, tel 605 589 588, open Mon-Thu
16:00-24:00; Fri 16:00-2:00; Sat-Sun 14:0024:00 We wait years for a Belgian bar to open and then two come along at once. Jedna Trzecia is the superior, both in terms of location and price: find bottles from zł. 11 and tap beers from zł. 13. The design is pure industrial chic, the staff know their thing and from what we’ve seen it gets more girls than boys – a first for Warsaw nightlife? With over 80 beers to choose and a sun dappled terrace, you’ll leave quite pleased as well. Full review next issue, by which time they’re expected to add a restaurant around the corner in what was formerly Ganesh. Jimmy Bradley’s (C4) Warsaw Towers (ground floor), ul. Sienna 39, tel. 22 654 6656, open Mon-Fri 10:00-last guest; Sat & Sun 12:00-last guest, www.jimmybradleys.pl Rudderless since the departure of the original landlord, Kevin, this former ex-pat bastion is looking increasingly haggard and past its sell-by date. Tales of walkouts, staff sackings and customer boycotts have swirled thick and fast. There are Guinness taps, and there is a Sky dish, but the people who know how to operate either have long left the building. Kameralna (E4) ul. Foksal 11, tel. 887 878 731, open 12:00-24:00 With a militia truck outside, and interiors that feature cutlery by Społem and 70s newspapers on the walls, you’d be right to think we’ve got another venue that celebrates the past. Looking vast and comfortingly cluttered, Kameralna is both a
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NIGHTLIFE restaurant and a nightspot – brewing their own beer, the house lagers elevate it above the competition. Kraken Rum Bar (D5) ul. Poznańska 12, tel. 791 334 606, open daily 12:00-4:00 Named after one of the ocean’s most feared mythical creatures (the scary squid from Pirates of the Caribbean), the wood-clad Kraken features a wall of cymbals, heavy furniture and some interesting photography. While there’s some decent bottles of rum, there’s perhaps not enough to justify calling it a rum bar. The house beer rocks though. WW
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Kufle i Kapsle (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 25, tel. 22 127 7218, open Mon-Thu 14:00-2:00; Fri 14:00-4:00; Sat 12:00-4:00; Sun 12:00-2:00, www. kufleikapsle.pl Ten tap and two pump beers offer a magnificent spread of daily changing beers, and the good news continues with the choice in the fridge: there’s 120 beers down there, so gamble on a rather jolly night. Interiors are balanced with the pre-war heritage of the building, and are already thick with noise, clamor and the welcome scent of beer and spillage. BEST WAWA 2013 “Beer Bar” Kwadrat (D5) ul. Poznańska 7, tel. 790 010 088, open Mon-Fri 16:00-last guest; Sat 18:00-last guest, www.kwadrat.waw.pl Chilled out and downtempo, owners Zosia and Michał have created a legend out of this dinky two room affair. There’s too many beers to recommend, though the Rowing Jack diminishes quickly for a reason. Legends (C5) ul. Emilii Plater 25, tel. 22 622 4640, open Mon-Thu 11:00-23:00; Fri 11:00-02:00; Sat 12:00-02:00, Sun 12:00-23:00, www.legendsbar.pl A place that just keeps growing on us; there’s a segregated smoking chamber, traditional dartboard (no stupid electronics here), Sky Sports and a menu that’s as authentically English as the Downing Street cat. In charge of it all is Graham, a seasoned ex-pat with an embassy background. Leniviec (D5) ul. Poznańska 7, open Mon-Thu 7:3024:00; Fri 7:30-2:00; Sat 9:00-2:00; Sun 9:00-24:00, www.leniviec.pl Once known as a café, Leniviec still fulfill that role during daylight. However, it’s their reinvention as a cocktail bar that’s got Warsaw talking, with very superb mixology skills completing a laidback look. Lolek (A8) ul. Rokitnicka 20 (Pole Mokotowskie), tel. 22 825 6202, open daily 11:00-03:00, www. lolekpub.pl A boisterous pub with a Bavarian, bacchanal spirit and a park-centered location. Strangers squish together on shaky benches while sausages grill over an open fire inside this classic rough-and-ready drinkery. Catch it at its best in summer when the outdoor seating is thronged. Małe Piwo (D7) ul. Oleandrów 4. tel. 510 905 592, open
Mon-Thu 16:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 16:00-24:00; Sun 16:00-23:00 Tight trousers and flamboyant scarves are recommended in this hipster mecca, as is a triumphant drinks choice that numbers short of sixty regional beers. Design doesn’t go beyond jam jars for lights and a messy blackboard, but that’s all this place needs to work. Similar to a backstreet New York dive it’s got an effortless cool and our beer of the year: the minty flavor/raspberry hint M3. Nowy Świat ‘Pavilions’ (D4) Enter from ul. Nowy Świat 26 Enjoy while you can – slated for demolition in the coming years, the pavilions represent underground Warsaw at its raffish best. A low rent maze of dark, budget bars await, including the celebrated Klaps with its vibrator beer taps. Panorama Bar and Lounge (C5) Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79 (Marriott Hotel), tel. 22 630 6306, open Mon-Sun 18:00-2:00, www.panoramabar.pl An elegant bar that would easily pass for the VIP room of a wellto-do club. A floor 40 location makes it great for a date: the sunset views are dazzling. Paradox (B1) ul. Anielewicza 2, tel. 691 472 969, open Sun-Thu 10:00-24:00; Fri-Sat 10:00-2:00; Sun 10:00-23:00, www.paradox-cafe.pl Billing themselves as a ‘sci-fi / gamers / role play asylum’ this is a cradle of geeks, nerds and people who collect serial killer memorabilia. Decorated with plastic black crows, a map of Mordor and figurines of goblins, watch as oddly attired suspects engross themselves in ‘for hire’ games with names like Hobbit and Bewoulf. Parking Bar (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 27, tel. 501 623 456 or 537 606 897, open Sun-Thu 16:00-2:00; Fri-Sat 17:00-6:00, www.parkingbar.eu It looks raw and ready, but then what did you expect from a place on the ground floor of a car park. Plentiful concrete, mesh fences and swinging car tire seats lend it unique characteristics, as do the drinks: the creative cocktails are served in small little jars. At times it feels a bit slow, but that changes on their weekend club nights. Paparazzi (D3) ul. Mazowiecka 12, tel. 22 828 4219, open daily 18:00-last guest, www.paparazzi.com. pl Engage in suicidal cocktail consumption alongside high rollers and genetic miracles. Slick and smooth, Poland’s original cocktail
NIGHTLIFE chain continues to set the bar high with formidable cocktails (Pimm’s included!) and a smoking section that encompasses everything but the front door. Pardon To Tu (C4) Pl. Grzybowski 12/16, tel. 513 191 641, open 10:00-4:00, www.pardontotu.pl Decorated in voluptuous brothel colors, the design involves mismatched seats, tilted lampshades and a relaxed arthouse look popular with creatives and other fringe dwellers. The live talent ranges from moody quartets to jazzy chanteuses, while a perfect marriage of late hours and great bottled beers helps along the enthusiastic crowd of latter day beatniks.
Patera (C4) ul. Świętokrzyska 36, tel. 535 333 123, open Mon-Thu 11:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 11:00-1:00;
Sun 11:00-23:00, www.patera.com.pl Patera fill a binary role, first as an Asian / sushi joint, and secondly as a raw, urban cocktail bar. The drinks fit the bill and are fixed with all the requisite artistry. Pies Czy Suka (D4) ul. Szpitalna 8A, tel. 22 881 83 73, open Mon-Thu 11:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 11:00-1:00; Sun 16:00-23:00, www.piesczysuka.com Monochrome gun metal grey colors are offset by a fashionable crowd attired in red shoes, pink trousers and blue headphones. This clean, concrete space is speckled with plaster moldings of reindeer heads, and excels on the cocktail front. Order from an iPad menu, before settling back for cocktails made using mad scientist, molecular techniques that involve foam, vapor, beakers and other things you’d usually find in Professor Yaffle’s lab. Piw Paw (D5) ul. Żurawia 32/34 (enter from ul.
Bar Warszawa (D2) ul. Miodowa 2, tel. 504 320 497, open 24hrs Creak upstairs to find a womb-like space filled out with sofas and nostalgic decorations like vintage radios, pics of old stars and black and white images of bare-breasted ladies. Run as a side hobby by a TV producer, the opening hours meet with full approval. Meta (D3/E4) ul. Mazowiecka 11 & ul. Foksal 21, open 11:00-6:00 Affecting the style of a PRL era bar, these twin venues feature a raft of keepsakes leftover from the old days – right down to the chains of bog paper. Pijalnia (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 19, open 24hrs Bow-tied staff serve vodka and pickles from behind
WARSAW INSIDER | MAY 2014
Polonez (D5) ul. Poznańska 24, tel. 604 942 169, open Sun-Wed 10:00-1:00; Thu 10:00-2:00; Fri-Sat 10:00-3:00. Sparse milk bar chic is set against plenty of oddities (black and white Cybulski films, a set of antlers, hordes of junk), but the cool aesthetics only tell a part of the story. This is a celebration of Poland, both old and new, with drinks that include obscure nalewki, craft local beers, bio drinks and regional tipples. The masterstroke comes in making this all feel international, contemporary and creative.
Shot Bars Afera na Szpitalnej (D4) ul. Szpitalna 3, tel. 509 777 797, open 10:00-2:00; Fri-Sat 24hrs Looking light and bright this place appeals to more than just hardened alcoholics – a point proved by spot-on food home cooked by the owner’s mum. It’s young, fun and lively in swagger.
Parkingowa), tel. 534 734 500, open 11:00-1:00 Dubbing themselves to be Warsaw’s first ‘hyper tap bar’, Piw Paw have an armory of 57 tap beers, about ten tables and two toilets – do you see the problem? Designed more for carry-out custom, it’s an ambitious project though one that doesn’t feel entirely thought out. And in spite of the offer, it’s nothing more exciting than the other multi-tap choices. A good start point, nonetheless.
a tiled bar to a crowd that gets younger as the day gets older. In quieter times, check the newspapered walls to read up on 1980s sports reports. Przekąski u Romana (F4) ul. Ludna 2, tel. 660 525 777, open 24hrs. When Warsaw’s original shot bar, Przekąski Zakąski, closed last year the gasps were audible. But fear not, the cult hero you’d have found serving the shots, the bow-tied, debonair Roman Modzelewski, has gone and opened his own venue. Expect the same formula (cheap beer and vodka, traditional Polish boozy bites) inside a background dominated by a giant picture of the Palace of Culture.
Przekazki Zakaski (D4) Al. Jerozolimskie 44, open 24hrs. Warsaw’s first shot bar has upped sticks and moved from the Europesjski Hotel to an all-weather marquee behind the rotunda. Lacking the atmosphere of the original, it feels like a pointless attempt to trade on old glories. And not even city hall want you here: not until owner Adam Gessler pays off the millions he owes them.
Przychodnia (D3) ul. Jasna 22, tel. 22 827 8356, open 12:0024:00 Whoever thought theming a bar on a communist hospital deserves to be sectioned off to one. The interiors are fun (operating theater lights, surgical utensils and a row of toilets in the smoking room), but beyond the gimmickry it’s a place of conventional (bad) Polish beers and frosty staff – if that’s part of the theme we’d rather it weren’t. Secado (D5) ul. Marszałkowska 66, tel. 608 707 799, open Mon-Fri 10:00-23:00; Sat 11:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-23:00 Most part restaurant, bit part bar, there’s a flexibility here that has turned it into one of those places where people meet, eat and generally hangout – not always in that order. And as for the drinks, they’re really very good. Using their own mixes, Secado present a succinct list of must-try cocktails. Try their best seller: the Bloody Hell. Using Chopin vodka infused with horse radish, pirri pirri and basil, this pimped out version of the Bloody Mary incorporates chili syrup and wasabi in a high octane drink BEST WAWA 2013 that kicks like a mule. “Cocktails” Spiskowcy Rozkoszy (D5) ul. Żurawia 47/49, tel. 796 671 950, open Mon-Thu 16:00-24:00; Fri-Sat 16:00-1:00; Sun 16:00-23:00, www.spiskowcy.pl The ground floor is an intimate space with lots of
yet-to-be-famous beers and junky, antique furniture that reminds of the Boho hangouts in Kraków. But what was a packed, little bar is now a packed, big bar with the opening of the basement: find a labyrinth of rooms and psychedelic toilets with pulsating lights – you soon wonder who spiked your drink. And oh, the drinks. Expect IPA and APA beers served from the six taps. Sztuka i Sztucki (D4) ul. Szpitalna 8A, tel. 22 468 00 00, open Sun-Thu 12:00-last guest; Fri-Sat 18:00-last guest, www.sztukisztuczki.pl Visitors negotiate a maze of narrow corridors, nooks and corners, with meanderings to the leviathan, boat-shaped bar taking in concrete floors, naked brickwork and vaulted ceilings. The beer list offers a jumble of exemplary brews, among them the outstanding Grimbergen, while cocktails are novel and largely ravishing. BEST WAWA 2013 “Late Night” Warsaw Tortilla Factory (D5) ul. Wilcza 46, tel. 22 621 8622, open Mon-Sun 12:00-last guest, www.warsawtortillafactory.pl Warsaw’s premier sports pub: and it’s not just the extent of their sporting offer that elevates WTF, but the atmosphere. Whether it’s international rugby, or Bristol City on a Tuesday night, the tension, camaraderie and horseplay are unmatched. On the occasions when there is no sport, swing by for live bands and a lively atmosphere fueled by a heady mix of ex-pats, international students, and locals bewildered by it all. The recent addition of boutique
beverages such as Brew Dog and Thistly Cross has gone down a treat. Warszawa Powiśle (E4) ul. Kruczkowskiego 3B, tel. 22 474 40 84, open Mon-Fri 11:00-last guest; Sat-Sun 9:00-last guest, www.warszawapowisle.pl The prime months for this former ticket-booth are in summer when the deck chairs outside provide ample opportunity for the city’s young to gather in an almost carnival-like atmosphere. Seen as the hipster Center of Power, a collective bout of outrage saved them from council threatened closure last year. Not just a bar, they’re now filling a dual role as Warsaw’s one billionth burger joint.
Capitol Theatre and Club (C3) ul. Marszałkowska 115, tel. 22 826 8570, www.clubcapitol.pl An extravagant dance space with sparkly chandeliers, regal staircases and a modern Moscow, over-thetop style. Mark the Hed Kandi events in your diary for a night to remember. De Lite (E5) ul. Marii Konopnickiej 6, tel. 792 014 166, www.deliteclub.pl This place definitely figures highly in the ‘bubbles and beauties’ stakes. Scantily clad dates bop along sipping on martinis, flirting and dancing, while exposed brick and pipes, raw concrete and an interesting mirror setup in the bathrooms add to the futuristic, spaceship interior.
1500m2 (E3) ul. Solec 18, tel. 22 628 8412, open Fri-Sat 22:00-06:00, www.1500m2.com Set in a former printing factory, 1500m2 has been central to the rise of Powiśle. The industrial space has a real Berlin edge to it, and events range from weekend flea markets to teeth shattering, dusk-till-dawn electro events.
Element (D4) ul. Jasna 1, tel. 22 667 435 363 or 22 692 42 42, open Thu-Sat 22:00-7:00, www. elementclub.pl With door control negotiated, clubbers slip downstairs into a blue-lit labyrinth heaving with slick, polished finishes and a thumping sound system. Marketed at the higher end of the clubbing world, there’s no shortage of temptresses gyrating around in a dense cloud of perfume.
Basen (E5) ul. Konopnickiej 6, tel. 696 058 944, open Fri-Sat 21:00-6:00, www.artbasen.pl Get this, you’ll be doing your dance steps in what was formerly Warsaw’s first public swimming pool. Featuring a line-up of live bands and some of the top electronic acts around, this is definitely one to add to the watch list.
Enklawa (D3) ul. Mazowiecka 12, tel. 22 827 3151, open Wed-Sat 22:00-4:00, www.enklawa.com Forget internet dating, Enklawa is the best pick-up joint around – a classic kitschy, glitzy disco, it draws in huge crowds with a simple lineup of pop and dance hits. Still regarded as the best Wednesday night in Warsaw, it’s
Restauracja / Bar / Klub
ul. Nowy Świat 58, Warszawa | Al. Jana Pawła 9-11 (Aleja Topolowa), Gdynia www.bollywoodlounge.pl / Polub nas na Facebooku
NIGHTLIFE the place for singletons looking for a one night confidence boost. The Eve (D3) Pl. Piłsudskiego 9 (corner of ul. Wierzbowa), tel. 604 145 462 or 22 827 5242, open Thu-Fri 21:00-last guest, www.theeve. pl Beauty and booty come first in The Eve, a blinged up offshoot of Platinium nearby. A cutthroat door policy ensures plenty of egos crash and die at the door, and it’s got a Bacchanalian reputation for champagne popping high jinks. Observe them through the one way mirror in the VIP room. Foksal XVIII (E4) ul. Foksal 18, open Fri-Sat 10:00-4:00 Composed using chandeliers, bricks and velvet this classy space has gone head to head with The Eve as Warsaw’s flashest venue: breathe deep and smell the money. Cardboard animal shapes hang from the bar, adding some surreal humor to the seriously competitive air. Lemon (D4) ul. Sienkiewicza 6, tel. 22 829 5544, www.cafelemon.pl A commercial dance basement that’s more beer than Belvedere. Hardly hedonistic, but usually a good mix of people – some who’ve made the effort, others who haven’t. While the club isn’t round-the-clock, the upstairs bar is, and as such find plenty of early morning casualties looking utterly zonked inside a chilled out, lemon yellow interior. Luzztro (E4) Al. Jerozolimskie 6, open Wed-Thu 22:00-10:00; Fri-Sat 24:00-14:00, www. luztro.pl Feeling naughty? Luztro enjoys a nefarious reputation as something of a dodgy den of illicit pharmaceuticals and libertine behavior. Looking grim and grotty, this after party legend gets going at about 4 a.m. when troglodyte club creatures emerge to put the final touches to their zonked out stare. For the full tilt, rib rattling electro experience it’s pretty hard to beat. Organza ul. Mazowiecka 12, open Wed-Sat 19:00-4:00, www.kluborganza.pl The layout is basic: set over two floors lit in Organza’s signature orange/black colors, there’s not much to comment in terms of design – it’s shiny and new and all things Warsaw. The crowd though likes to party and lacks the airs and arrogance of neighboring establishments.
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Platinium (D3) ul. Fredry 6, tel. 694 413 439, open Thu-Sat 21:00-6:00. www.platiniumclub.pl The place if you’re rich or beautiful – but preferably both. Large and spectacular you’ll need to be dressed to the nines to reap the rewards that lie inside: featuring the most eye candy per sq/m in Europe, you might not find Mr/Mrs Right, but you will find Mr/Mrs Right for Now. Resort (C2) ul. Bielańska 1, tel. 535 350 997, open 12:00-last guest With pretty much all interior features made from reusable materials: seats from shopping trolleys, tables from street signs and a bar from books. Shame about the one dimensional beer choice, therefore. Sen Pszczoły ul. Ząbkowska 27/31, tel. 530 360 060, open Tue-Wed 18:00-2:00; Thu-Sat 18:005:00; Sun 18:00-2:00, www.senpszczoly.pl A dive club of legend. With the original turned to ashes (literally, it burnt down last year), the owners could have been forgiven for calling it a day. They haven’t. Instead they’ve reopened in Koneser, and unleashed Warsaw’s most surreal interior in the process: amid the heavy industrial background expect bunk bed frames, a dentist’s chair and no shortage of neon painted weirdness. Concerts are a mixed bag, and range from didgeridoo performances to inter-war songs to full-on techno. Space Club (A5) ul. Kolejowa 37/39, tel. 606 617 228, open Fri-Sat 23:00-6:00, www.club-space.eu A true techno club with crazy lights, a great sound system, big name DJs, and lots of room to waggle about and enjoy Ibiza flashbacks. Watch Me (D3) ul. Mazowiecka 6/8, open 19:00-4:00, www. watchmeclub.pl Seen as a glowing glass block from the outside, Watch Me unravels into a multi-level club space: one with a sunken dance zone and a neon stripped stairwell.
GENTLEMAN’S CLUBS Coyote (D3) ul. Mazowiecka 6/8, tel. 505 469 056, open Mon-Sun 21:00-5:00, www.coyotebar.eu Coyote Bar marks the start of the Mazowiecka, err, strip, and features a small bar in front and then a larger room with more intimate acts of friendship taking place behind the curtain.
Playhouse (B3) Al. Solidarności 82A, tel. 794 007 000, open 21:00-4:00, www.playhouse.pl Not here gorilla gangsters on the door or pushy girls doing the rounds (“buy me drinky drinky”). Instead, Playhouse models itself on the top class mega clubs such as Spearmint Rhino, and the result is a subterranean space removed from the sleaze and murk usually associated with the industry. But you want to know what the girls are like, yeah? Let the fact askmen.com voted it their favorite strip in the world speak for itself. Sofia (D6) ul. Polna 13, www.klubsofia.pl A.k.a The Bulgarian Embassy, Sofia have rebuilt the reputation earned during their city center heyday in the naughty noughties. Sure, the atmosphere is more restrained than in their former location, but the dancers aren’t.
Sogo (E4) Al. Jerozolimskie 6, www.sogoclub.pl This place is all about volume, about being the biggest and loudest strip club Poland’s ever seen. Amid the glitzy sprawl find a myriad of attractive ladies who are all in agreement that you’re really great.
JAZZ Bistro na Pięknej (D6) ul. Piękna 20, tel. 22 627 4151, open Mon-Fri 11:00-24:00; Sat 12:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-23:00, www.jazzone.pl A slick looking jazz spot that’s seen the benefit of a recent overhaul. Valued additions include a less austere style and what at times might feel like Warsaw’s only fireplace. Popular with a smart city crowd, keep an eye out for their live acts. Nu Nu Nu (D5) ul. Żurawia 6/12, tel. 22 621 8989, open Mon-Fri 11:00-24:00; Sat-Sun 12:00-24:00. For something a little educated take a date to Nu, a high-ceilinged effort with slick urban dashes and regular piano. The Żurawia location marks it out as a popular spot for a high-end crowd. Tygmont Jazz Club (D3) ul. Mazowiecka 6/8, tel. 22 828 3409, www.tygmont.com.pl, open daily 16:004:00For true jazz lovers, Tygmont is a breath of fresh air in a city up to its ears in terrible acoustics.
Reviews: MacLife 73 / Plus:
* 1 update
for past picks visit: www.warsawinsider.pl
ACCESSORIES 73/ ANTIQUES 74 / BOOKS 74 / FASHION 74 / HOME DECOR 75 / SHOPPING MALLS 76
MacLife ul. Puławska 31, open Mon-Fri 8:00-20:00, Sat 10:00-14:00, www.maclife.pl
hen you live in a place long enough, you acquire a lot of second hand knowledge about the best this and the best that: dentist, shoe repair, tailor, etc. To that list I’m now also adding MacLife, which if it isn’t a lifesaver is certainly a hard drive saver. I discovered it following a Facebook appeal after my computer came to a shuddering crash, and while a few people recommended Espo in the Uni library I ended up leaving on discovering that first, they don’t look at the computer on-site, and that second, they charge zł. 100 just for diagnosis. Which is why I ended up going for suggestion No. 2, MacLife. I was immediately impressed by their attention and courtesy, and even more so when I was told that the diagnosis and repair cost estimate would be free. Sat over a coffee – yes, it also doubles as a coffee shop – the guy in charge of reviving my baby also revealed they also offer an ‘express’ repair service that allows customers to skip queues and get their Macs checked straight away: something well worth the zł. 50 fee. That’s not all. There’s also a mobile ‘ambulance’ service that, for a call-out fee of zł. 150 (within a 10km radius of the shop, plus the additional cost of repair and materials), will drive to whichever trouble spot you’re in and either conduct surgery on your Mac at your place, or take the device back to the shop before delivering it back to you in full working order. Not bad at all. As if that wasn’t enough, MacLife stands out in other ways as well – should the worst come to the worse, then the prices they offer for new Apple products are actually cheaper than the official online store. I don’t know how they do it, but MacLife is king, though even so, the whole sorry episode did remind me of one of life’s more brutal lessons: there are those who back up their information, and those who will. (KD)
ACCESSORIES Agent Provocateur ul. Mokotowska 59, tel. 22 273 6162, www. agentprovocateur.com The boutique is stocked full of the latest collection – gorgeous lacy bras with scrumptious attention to detail, matching panties, teddies and a bunch of strappy get-ups you can only get away with if you’re very fit or very confident, but preferably both. And if that’s not enough, they’ve got sexy stockings, silk robes, perfume, satin gloves, a blindfold and nipple tassels…
Bath & Body Works ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy), open Mon-Sat 9:00-22:00; Sun 9:00-21:00, ul. Wołoska 12 (Galeria Mokotów), Mon-Sat 10:00-22:00; Sun 10:00-21:00 The famed American brand signals its arrival to Europe with the launch of their Warsaw branch. Now fans of the brand can experience first-hand luxurious fragrant body care, hand and home collections. Customers can discover sophisticated fragrances, test shower gels and soaps at the sink area, and try everything from body lotions to home fragrances. HOS&me ul. Mokotowska 63, tel. 22 625 0881, open Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00; Sat 12:00-15:00, www. mokotowska63.com Luxury jewelry and the best in the biz. In stock: high end treasures from Nialaya, Lene Bjerre Design, Ti Sento, Christensen and Dryberg/Kern. Lilou ul. Mokotowska 63, tel. 22 403 19 19, open Mon-Fri 11:19:00; Sat 11:00-18:00; Sun 11:00-16:00, www.lilou.pl Modular jewelry made simple, and a must for all Warsaw fashionista.
Victoria’s Secret Beauty & Accessories ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy), tel. 665 625 618, open Mon-Sat 9:00-22:00; Sun 9:00-21:00,
SHOPPING ul. Wołoska 12 (Galeria Mokotów), tel. 22 541 4141, Mon-Sat 10:00-22:00; Sun 10:00-21:00 An assortment of Victoria’s Secret Beauty products including fun and flirty fragrances, such as Bombshell, as well as the scented VS Fantasies body care range. For that glam girl-on-the go, expect to find a wide range of Victoria’s Secret branded bags, luggage, passport covers and small leather goods to cosmetic bags, bangles and key fobs.
ANTIQUES Kolo ul. Obozowa 99, www.gieldastaroci.waw.pl What looks like a soggy tent city transforms each Sunday morning into a hopelessly addictive flea market offering wartime militaria, religious icons, chinaware, furniture from unverified periods of history, and even the occasional suit of armor. Half-junkyard, half treasure trove, it’s an experience in itself. Kwadryga ul. Wilcza 29, www.kwadryga.com Entered through a courtyard, it’s a magnet for bibliophiles, and groans with antique books, faded photographs, yellowing maps and dog-eared magazines – the atmosphere is timeless. The PRL-era lifestyle magazines are an amazing insight into the past. Lapidarium ul. Nowomiejska 15/17, tel. 509 601 894, www.lapidarium.pl Cavalry swords, pre-war Judaica, Orthodox icons, books, scrolls, helmets, cameras, chess sets, jewelry… Lapidarium is possibly one of the most famed antique stores in the capital, and presents the opportunity for endless rummaging. Prima Porta Antiquities ul. Moktowska 71, www.primaportaantiquities.com The German-run Prima Porta specialize in pieces from ancient Rome, Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia and Asia. Formidable pieces from tiny little Egyptian clay hippos from the 12th Dynasty, all the way to one and half meter statues of Buddha from the Third Myanmar Kingdom. Victoria Galeria ul. Żytnia 15 lok. 4, open daily 10:00-18:00, www.antykivictoria.pl Sourced from the auction houses of London, with deliveries arriving each month, the offer is overwhelmingly English, though not exclusively so – there are oriental pieces, French, and more. Refreshing in its bright, clean style, Victoria
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is a magnificent environment to shop for that statement piece every living room requires.
BOOKS American Bookstore Various locations, www.americanbookstore. pl Now a nationwide chain with seven outlets alone in Warsaw. The offer is overwhelmingly commercial with a strong emphasis placed on international bestsellers. There is, however, a very decent section dedicated to Polish history and tourism. Bookoff Ogrodowa 7, tel. 22 253 6286, www.bookoff. pl A cult bookstore filled with trendy fashion and design bibles, photography albums, on-trend cookbooks and grown-up comics. You could potentially end up spending really rather heavily. Dom Spotkań z Historią ul. Karowa 20, www.dsh.waw.pl Look no further for books on modern Polish / Warsaw history. Of particular note are the picture heavy coffee table tomes that focus on Poland’s immediate pre-war, occupation and socialist years. Boffins are happy to spend hours browsing. Fundacja Bęc Zmiana ul. Mokotowska 65/7, www.beczmiana.pl A tiny curiosity shop retailing hipster t-shirts, trendy trinkets and a fair amount of arty books with a strong slant towards contemporary Warsaw.
Super Salon ul. Chmielna 10, tel. 22 468 1619, open Mon-Sat 11:00-19:00, www.supersalon. org The sort of titles you find in a cool New York magazine store: Apartmento, Elephant, The Gourmand, Kinfolk, Cereal, Aperture, and Gather. And check out the amazing art books published by the likes of Steidl, Mack, Gestalten and Powerhouse.
FASHION American Eagle Outfitters Al. Jana Pawła II 82 (C. H. Arkadia), tel. 665 625 639, ul. Wołoska 12 (Galeria Mokotów), tel. 605645289, open Mon-Sat 10:00-22:00; Sun 10:00-21:00 American Eagle brings you high-quality, on-trend clothing and accessories inspired by a denim heritage that truly expresses individual style.
Ania Kuczyńska ul. Mokotowska 61, tel. 22 622 02 76, open Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00; Sat 11:00-16:00 Ania Kuczyńska is becoming well known for her highly fashionable, minimalist clothing designs. The store also carries adorable baby clothes and various accessories. Designer Secret ul. Mokotowska 39 (courtyard), tel. 506 051 048 or 511 649 493, open Mon-Fri 11:0019:00; Sat 11:00-17:00; Sun 11:00-15:00, www.designersecret.pl High end designer clothing brands at discount prices. The racks brim with ladies and mens apparel from the previous years’ collections, with price tags that read from one third to 50% off the original price. Frank A ul. Natolińska 3, tel. 22 424 79 79, open Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00; Sat 11:00-15:00, www.franka.pl The interior is painfully chic and the clothing effortlessly elegant with a minimalist edge. Stocks major brands that you can’t find anywhere else in Warsaw, from handbags from Pauric Sweeney, perfectly fashioned tees from American Vintage and ballet flats from Bloch. Likus Concept Store ul. Bracka 9 (Vitkac), tel. 22 310 73 13, open Mon-Sat 11:00-21:00; Sun 11:00-18:00, www.likusconceptstore.pl The Likus Concept Store brings ultra-chic designer clothing to Warsaw. The latest collections from Diesel, D2, Ferre, Sophia Kokosalaki and J. Lindeberg are all available and presented in this stylish three-floor department store. Maciej Zień Boutique ul. Mokotowska 57, tel. 519 000 049, open Mon-Sat 11:00-19:00, www.zien.pl A flagship boutique from one of the stars of Polish fashion. Check Zień Home upstairs for the ultimate designer showroom. Marks & Spencer Jana Pawła II 82, tel. 22 206 4370, open Mon-Sat 10:00-22:00, Sun 10:00-21:00. ul. Marszałkowska 104/122 (DT Wars & Sawa), tel. 22 206 4353, open 9:00-21:00, Sun 10:00-20:00, Al. Jerozolimskie 179, tel. 22 206 4386, open Mon-Sat 10:0022:00, Sun 10:00-20:00, Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy), tel. 22 222 0653, open Mon-Sat 9:00-22:00; Sun 9:00-21:00, www.marksand-spencer.com.pl The popular British brand’s new Warsaw store sells menswear, womenswear and children’s clothing, as well
as various beauty products, groceries, wines and spirits. This is its newest and largest store in Poland to date.
Moliera 2 Boutique ul. Moliera 2, tel, 22 827 7099, open Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00, Sat 11:00-16:00, www.moliera2.com Moliera 2 is the first place in Poland with collections of Valentino, Christian Louboutin, Salvatore Ferragamo, Ralph Lauren Collection, Herve Leger, Moncler Gamme Rouge, Isabel Marant, Simonetta Ravizza, Tod’s, Tory Burch and Balmain.
Pl. Trzech Krzyży 3/4 Pl. Trzech Krzyży 3/4, tel. 22 622 14 16, open Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00; Sat 11:00-17:00, www. plactrzechkrzyzy.com The first Ralph Lauren store in Poland features not only the latest RL collections for men and women, but also
labels like Tod’s, Tom Ford, Valentino, Tory Burch, Moncler and Salvatore Ferragamo. Ready-to-wear clothes and accessories. QπШ - Robert Kupisz ul. Mokotowska 48/204 (courtyard), tel. 506 170 801, open Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00; Sat 11:00-14:00, www.robertkupisz.com One of Warsaw’s hottest fashion icons, and a trip here soon explains why. The exclusive, handmade garments are a guaranteed head turner. Redford and Grant Metropolitan Building, Pl. Piłsudskiego 3, tel. 22 313 2400, open Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00; Sat: 11:00-15:00, www.redfordandgrant.pl This multibrand fashion store is the ultimate destination for designer style in Warsaw for men and women. Offers clothing and accessories from the newest collections from all the major international designers like Dior, YSL, D&G, Gucci, Miu Miu and Prada. Reykjavik District ul. Solec 18/20, tel. 501 399 222, open Tue-
Fri 13:00-19:00; Sat-Sun 13:00-17:00, www. reykjavikdistrict.com Chic, well-cut menswear for all occasions as designed by upcoming Icelandic native Olly Lindal. Sabotage ul. Burakowska 5/7, tel. 22 887 1056, open Mon-Sat 10:00-19:30 Those in-the-know know Sabotage as one of the places to buy funky deconstructed denim and sportswear pieces. Here you’ll find a wide array of unique clothes, hats, belts and handbags in a variety of fabrics and styles that hail straight from New York, London and Tokyo. Snobissimo ul. Mokotowska 28, tel. 22 629 8759, open Mon & Fri 11:00-19:00; Sat 11:00-16:00 Top labels from design houses like Jimmy Choo, Sonia Rykiel, Les Copains, Sergio Rossi etc., etc. With shoes and accessories all provided for, it’s a one-stop shop to re-boot your wardrobe. Vintage Store ul. Dobra 56/66 (Level 1, University of
SHOPPING Warsaw library), tel. 501 301 742, www. vintagestore.pl Since its inception the store has grown in many ways – now, used brands like Burberry, Barbour, dresses from the ’70s, Hermes scarves, snakeskin handbags, or original Adidas sweaters from the ’60s and ’70s (the owner is an avid collector) are not an uncommon find in the shop.
HOME DECOR 3F Studio ul. Nowolipki 28b, tel. 22 651 5644, open Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00; Sat 11:00-15:00, www.3fstudio.com.pl Offers furnishings and lighting from top contemporary Italian brands like BB Italia, Moroso, Living Divani, Desalto and Artemide. The in-house design team creates custom interiors for clients. Apteka Sztuki Al. Wyzwolenia 3/5, tel. 22 622 0421, open Tue-Sat 11:00-18:00; Sun 11:00-17:00 Apteka Sztuki is an art gallery that features collections by up-and-coming contemporary artists, preferring promising unknowns to big names. The exhibits, which rotate on a monthly basis, include a variety of media created by artists from all over Europe (although the focus is on Poland). Bo Concept ul. Młocińska 5/7, tel. 22 636 7770, open Mon-Fri 11:00-20:00; Sat 11:00-18:00; Sun 11:00-16:00 Lovely, clean lines make this one of the best places to invest in good furniture and statement accessories for the home. Coqlila ul. Lentza 20 (Wilanów), tel. 22 651 6884, open Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00; Sat 10:00-16:00, www.coqlila.pl Home products with a marked provincial French style. Among the offer are fabrics, fragrances, furniture and kitchenware. ego&eco ul. Nowy Świat 35, tel. 22 826 2512, open Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00; Sat 12:00-17:00, www.egoeco.eu Stocks everything from unique handmade jewellery to pure linen hand towels, traditional honey and organic soaps. Combines style with an eco-philosophy. Galeria 2 Deco ul. Wilcza 71, tel. 22 621 2420, www.2deco. pl A small yet concise collection of brilliant
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home furnishings that combine the classic with contemporary at fair prices. Special orders and consulting also available.
Velt ul. Próżna 12, www.velt.pl Beautiful familyrun glassware store whose pieces include the Leda lamp, awarded an honorable mention in the prestigious 2012 Red Dot Awards.
Mokotowska 71 ul. Mokotowska 71, tel. 22 629 0511, open Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00; Sat 11:00-16:00, www.mokotowska71.pl Offering creations by Belgian and French designers, this shop just screams elegance, beauty and style.
MOOMO ul. Marynarska 15, tel. 22 360 4389, open Mon-Fri 11:00-20:00; Sat 11:00-15:00, www.moomo.pl Fun furniture styles and innovative products. There are products from designers Joseph Joseph as well as a range of prestigious Scandinavian nd European brands, among whose number are Marimeko, Muuto, Kähler, Normann Copenhagen and Design House Stockholm.
Galeria Mokotów ul. Wołoska 12, tel. 22 541 4141, open Mon-Sat 10:00-22:00; Sun 10:00-21:00, www.galeriamokotow.com.pl
Numero Uno ul. Grzybowska 4, tel. 22 620 0049, www.numerouno.pl Exclusive furniture and fittings with brands including Poggenpohl, Presotto Italia, Calia Italia, EGO zeroventiquattro, Masiero, Bang & Olufsen and Porsche. Red Onion ul. Burakowska 5/7, tel. 22 817 1339, open Mon-Sat 9:00-20:00; Sun 9:00-18:00, www. redonion.pl Their new internet shopping site makes it even easier to indulge, whatever your budget. Red Poppy ul. Lekarska 9, tel. 516 894 4306, www. redpoppy.pl. (open by appointment only) Being the first hand-printing design studio in Poland, they focus primarily on making one-of-a-kind wallpapers as well curtains, lampshades, and cushions. And a good product it is: a series of Justyna Medoń’s patterns won the 2012 Must Have Prize at the Łódź Design Festival. Secret Life (of Things) ul. Dąbrowskiego 15A, tel. 600 486 582 or 509 852 617, open Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00; Sat 11:00-15:00, www.secretlife.pl An ‘eco lifestyle concept store’ full of bio-friendly scents, cosmetics, hand-made trinkets and housewares, rustic furnishings and detox teas. And it’s the multi-colored tins that greet you at the door, all of them crying out ‘drink me’. Check the prestigious porcelain by Kristoff, stock up on Madara cosmetics, or snap up a pair of handmade shoes.
Arkadia Al. Jana Pawła II 82, tel. 22 323 6767, open Mon-Sat 10:00-22:00; Sun 10:00-21:00, www.arkadia.com.pl
Klif ul. Okopowa 58/72, tel. 22 531 4500, open Mon-Sat 09:00-21:00; Sun 10:00-20:00. www.klif.pl Warsaw’s original luxury shopping center has everything from the excellent Bomi supermarket to top boutiques that include Max Mara, Paul & Shark and Pinko. Plac Unii ul. Puławska 2, tel. 22 204 0499, open Mon-Sat 10:00-21:00; Sun 10:00-20:00, www.placunii.pl Warsaw’s latest mall counts Armani Jeans, Liu-Jo and Pandora amongst its upmarket tenants. Mysia 3 ul. Mysia 3, tel. 603 767 574, open Mon-Sat 10:00-20:00; Sun 12:00-18:00, www. mysia3.pl Hip and high-end department store with units such as NYCity (DKNY, Donna Karan), Berries & Co. (Ice Watch, Triwa, Ike Milano), UEG, My Paris and Take a Nap selling great pieces from both established and upcoming designers. Vitkac Wolf Bracka Vitkac, ul. Bracka 9, tel. 22 310 7313, open Mon-Sat 11:00-21:00; Sun 11:00-18:00, www.likusconceptstore.pl Poland’s premier address for designer tags – you won’t find more designer labels per sq/m anywhere else. Money spenders inc. Jimmy Choo, Paul Smith, Stella McCartney, Jil Sander, Gucci, Bottega, Yves Saint Laurent, etc… Złote Tarasy ul. Złota 59, tel. 22 222 2200, open Mon-Sat 9:00-22:00; Sun 9:00-21:00, www. zlotetarasy.pl Over 200 stores, restaurants and cafes, plus the Multikino cinema and the Pure Jatomi Health and Fitness Club.
Reviews: Łazienki Park 77
for past picks visit: www.warsawinsider.pl
ACTIVITIES 77 / CAFES 80 /EDUCATION 78
ACTIVITIES Barwy Muzyki ul. Niecała 14, tel. 22 188 18 27, www. barwymuzyki.pl This informal music school, with highly qualified teachers experienced in the Colour Strings program, acknowledges not every child will be a professional musician but that playing, listening and singing to music is an asset to their development. Group or individual lessons on piano, violin, guitar, cello and flute for 6-12yrs. Copernicus Science Centre ul. Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 20, tel. 22 596 41 00, open Tue-Fri 9:00-6:00; Sat-Sun 10:00-7:00, www.kopernik.org.pl A brilliant array of science-inspired attractions that prove as stimulating for parents as they are for the kids. Check out Galeria BZZZ, an area designated for children up to six. In order to keep numbers manageable, expect entry times to be staggered.
Łazienki Park ul. Agrykola, www.lazienki-krolewskie.pl, edukacjamuzealna.blogspot.com
PHOTOGRAPH BY GILL BOELMAN-BURROWS
ith pristine green lawns, immaculately preserved and restored 17th century architecture, no traffic, no rubbish and no dog poo, Łazienki Park needs no further hyping. It will always be one of Warsaw’s top treasures and a place to be and be seen. This month the park’s nature is in full bloom and outdoor events kick off. My daughter took her first steps in this park and on many occasion slept contently through ecstatic preludes and polonaises courtesy of the free Chopin concerts (piano concerts commence each Sunday from May-September). She’s grown up scurrying after red squirrels, strutting with glossy feathered peacocks and exploring the many buildings and museums. The Hunting and Horsemanship museum is a favorite, albeit the collection of stuffed animals is somewhat macabre. We’ve also had more than our fair share of princess drama at the amphitheater! But recently, a new trend is hitting our park life scene: birthday parties in the rather impressive Stara Kordegarda (Old Guard House). The Old Guard House Pavilion, built in 1791, was originally used by the royal guards to King Stanisław August Poniatowski and is situated on the water, north of the Palace. It has undergone sympathetic restoration and since January 2014 the Old Guard House has dedicated its unique space to educating children and families about the history of Warsaw’s Royal Park. During park opening times families can wander in and out, collect folders and maps or participate in educational walks and workshops. With an abundance of colorful Ikea furniture and a bijou kitchen this has become the latest trendy hot spot to give your child the right royal birthday knees up they deserve! The venue will impress your guests but it is the professional team, who help set up and host an array of fun and educational indoor/ outdoor activities, one of which is a supervised tour of the park with maps and quizzes all the way, that will make your event so memorable. I can only fault the location for lacking in-house catering – but if you want to treat your guests like royalty then one must accept working like a servant in the scullery, to keep up appearances, is a small sacrifice. (GBB)
Fundacja Atelier ul. Foksal 11, 22 826 8813 or 22 826 9589, open Mon-Fri 10:00- 20:00, Sat 9:30-20:30, www.atelier.org.pl Situated in an atmospheric 19th century building this foundation organizes affordable/flexible workshops to develop and inspire art education and creative skills (painting/drawing/sculpture/ art history) for children, young people and adults. HulaKula ul. Dobra 56/66, tel. 22 552 74 00, open Mon-Tue 12:00-24:00; Wed 12:00-1:00; Fri 12:00-3:00; Sat 10:00-4:00; Sun 10:0024:00, www.hulakula.com.pl Bowling alley and soft indoor playground: heaven for kids and hell for grown-ups! Children love to climb, explore and slide into large ball pools. Parents hate the lack of daylight and fast food menu. Little Chef ul. Bałuckiego 30/1, tel. 501 093 691, www.littlechef.pl (visit for more information) Cooking classes for children age 3-16. Groups for younger children age 4-10 and Junior Chef courses age 11-16. Kids cook-and-eat healthy meals. Great fun! Classes in English and Polish, Mon-Sat.
CHILDREN Little Gym ul. Bruzdowa 56, tel. 22 842 0728, www. thelittlegym.pl Expect an age specific fitness curriculum, a high instructor-to-child ratio, original music and a weekly theme to engage the child’s imagination and sense of fun. Not only a great place for children, but tailored to a comfortable and relaxing stay for parents as well. Manufaktura Cukierów ul. Tamka 49 (enter from Ordynacka), open Mon-Fri 11:00-18:00; Sat 11:00-17:30; Sun 13:00-17:30, tel. 692 888 751, www. manufaktura-cukierkow.pl Sweet making courses in a confectionary factory! Lessons are conducted in Polish, though enthusiasm is more important than a mastery of the language. Mums & Tots www.mumsandtots.pl A volunteer group for mums (and dads) of all nationalities – coffee mornings, play groups, art and music classes and nights out for parents; the list is endless. For more details, as well as their newsletter and schedule check their web. Wilanów Golf Driving Range/ Ekberg Golf Academy ul. Vogla 19, tel. 22 424 7083, open Mon-Sun 9:00-21:00, www.golfparkspoland.pl Keen golfers (all ages) can perfect their swing at this friendly, well equipped driving range, whilst beginners can opt for professional individual lessons or beginner group programs in English or Polish. There is a weekly junior
hour (5-15yrs), ladies hour and fun mini-golf course. Zachęta Gallery Pl. Małachowskiego 3, tel. 22 556 9600, open Tue-Sun 12:00-20:00, www.zacheta.art. pl Recently undergone extensive modernization but still awaiting a café, this gallery and bookshop offer a perfect introduction to modern art. Also available are weekend workshops for children and original cultural birthday parties guided by experienced animators in a contemporary environment.
American School of Warsaw ul. Warszawska 202 (Konstancin-Jeziorna), tel. 22 702 85 00, www.aswarsaw.org ASW provides an American-styled educational program to students aged 4 and 5. The curriculum offers a rich, meaningful and balanced educational experience through age-appropriate activities. For further information and/ or to visit our school, contact: admissions@ aswarsaw.org or 22 702 85 00.
WARSAW INSIDER | MAY 2014
The Canadian School of Warsaw Preschool Unit ul. Ignacego Krasickiego 53, tel. 697 979 100, email@example.com The Canadian School of Warsaw is the only authorized school in Warsaw teaching IB PYP in English. The preschool offers a bilingual environment for 3-6 year olds enriched with foreign languages and extra activities. Serving the Warsaw community since 2000, they’re now found on new premises 100m from Mokotów’s Dreszera Park and 300m away from Ogródek Jordanowski. All children are welcome, though available space is limited. For further info, tours and school visits call or email.
Casa dei Bambini & Toddler School The British School Early Years Centre ul. Dąbrowskiego 84 (Early Years Centre), tel. 22 646 7777, firstname.lastname@example.org,
warsaw montessori school
www.thebritishschool.pl The British School provides special classes from pre-nursery aged 30 months to 6 years old. Children at the Early Years Centre move on to our Primary and Secondary schools at Limanowskiego 15.
Warsaw Montessori School ul. Badowska 19 (Mokotów), tel. 22 851 6893; ul. Szkolna 16 (Izabelin), tel. 22 721 8736, mob. 692 099 134, office@warsaw-
montessori.edu.pl, www.warsawmontessori. edu.pl Warsaw Montessori and Casa dei Bambini have 3 green and harmonious locations in Mokotów and Izabelin. The school in Izabelin is set in the quiet of the Kampinos Forest just outside the city. Teachers are fully trained in early-childhood education in English according to the Montessori philosophy. Registration open to children 2 1/2 to 6 years of age. Call to make an appointment to tour any of the 3 schools.
Ecole Antoine de Saint-Exupery ul. Nobla 16, tel. 22 616 14 99, www.ecolemontessori.pl The preschool is located in the Saska Kępa district and provides a Montessori curriculum in French for children aged from 18 months to 6 years old. The English Playhouse ul. Pływiańska 14a & ul. Rzodkiewki 18, tel. 22 843 9370, office open 8:00-16.00, www.theenglishplayhouse.com The English Playhouse functions in the quiet, green residential district of Mokotów, next to Królikarnia Park. The pre-school follows the English National Curriculum and accepts children from 12 months till six years old. Now with an additional location in Wilanów which includes a new, purpose-built pre-school building with a huge garden for children up to six years of age. For info call Agnieszka
Weston on 604 464 333 or email: office@ theenglishplayhouse.com. Maple Tree Montessori ul. Piechoty Łanowej 46A (entrance from Rotmistrzowska/ Petyhorska), tel. 531 599 444, www. mapletreemontessori.pl Maple Tree Montessori is a family-run, international preschool that offers an authentic Montessori curriculum supported by a Music & Art program, with a natural playground and a strong focus on an ecological & healthy lifestyle. They have two classes: a toddler group (15 to 30 months) and a casa class (2.5 to 6 years). Find them located in the Wilanów district of Warsaw, in a house safely nestled into the end of a quiet street. Międzynarodowa Szkoła Podstawowa Argonaut ul. Radarowa 6, tel. 504 509 504, open Mon-Fri 7.30-18:00, www.argonaut.edu.pl This elementary school is open for children of all nationalities and backgrounds. It places a focus on learning English as well as additional languages, and has an attractive list of available extracurricular activities. Montessori Academy for International Children ul. Królewicza Jakuba 36 (Wilanów), open Mon-Fri 8:00-16:15, ul. Sadowa 4 (Konstancin), Open 8:00-16:45, tel. 502 315 022, www.montessoriacademy.eu An English-speaking pre-school (16 months
to 6 years of age) with two locations. The school’s policy is to comply with Montessori standards, using the Montessori Method in English. The school’s philosophy is based on the joy of learning, which comes from discovering and furthering the individual development of each child. Trilingual Pre-school and Nursery “Three Languages” Center ul. Karowa 14/16 lok 6 (3-6 year olds); ul. Cicha 5 lok 1 (1-2 year olds), open Mon-Fri 7:30-18:30, tel. 517 872 682, www.3languages.pl The only trilingual pre-school and nursery teaching English, Spanish and Polish through total language immersion. All educators are native speaker pre-school teachers. The comprehensive curriculum follows American, Spanish and Polish curriculum standards. The pre-school was awarded European Language Label in 2012.
SCHOOLS American School of Warsaw ul. Warszawska 202 (Konstancin-Jeziorna), tel. 22 702 85 00, www. aswarsaw.org ASW is a premier collegepreparatory international school that offers a PK-12 curriculum, including the IB Diploma Program in Grades 11 and 12. Students are inspired and challenged every day by experi-
CHILDREN enced and dedicated teachers, who provide enriching learning opportunities in a world class facility. For further information and/ or to visit our school contact: admissions@ aswarsaw.org or 22 702 85 00.
The British School ul. Limanowskiego 15, tel. 22 842 3281, open 8:00-16:00, british@thebritishschool. pl, www.thebritishschool.pl Top-ranking private school in Warsaw providing outstanding education based on the British system. The Canadian School of Warsaw – Middle and High School Unit ul. Olimpijska 11, tel. 600 247 655, www. canadian-school.pl Provides a continuation of IB education for 11-15 year olds. International staff, cultural events and challenging student initiatives create a perfect learning and creative thinking environment. For further info, tours and school visits call or email. The Canadian School of Warsaw Primary School ul. Bełska 7, tel. 692 411 573, admission@ canadian-school.pl, www. canadian-school.pl The Canadian School of Warsaw is the only authorized school in Warsaw teaching IB PYP in English. The Primary School offers bilingual education for 6-11 year olds. Highly qualified, international staff, challenging materials and a friendly
atmosphere provide an optimal setting for the highest standard of education. Extra-curricular activities include visual arts, designing classes, ceramics/pottery, art studio, music lessons (piano, guitar, choir), sports (capoeira, karate, judo, soccer, swimming, gymnastics), languages (English, Polish, French, Spanish, Italian, German) and more. Ecole Antoine de Saint-Exupery ul. Nobla 16, tel. 22 616 14 99, www.saintexupery.pl Established in 1994, the Antoine de Saint-Exupery preschool and school provides a French curriculum for children aged from 3 to eleven years old in a welcoming family atmosphere. Highly qualified native French-speaking teachers.
Kid’s Academy Primary & Pre-School ul. Arbuzowa 33D (Wilanów), tel. 510 077 979 or 603 798 297, open 7:30-18.00, ul. Łąkowa 38 (Konstancin), tel. 506 021 038 or 501 205 080, Open 7:30-17:30, www. kidsacademy.com.pl A Private English - Polish School which provides an excellent early educational program for children from ages 2.5 - 5 years old and at the Primary School, from Grade 0. Combining elements of both the Polish and British curriculum, the focus is on creating a positive and vibrant learning
environment. They’re also proud of their large playground and variety of healthy foods.
Lycée Français de Varsovie ul. Walecznych 4/6, tel. 22 616 5400, www.lfv.pl. French school admitting students from the age of two years old. All instruction is in French. Languages offered : Polish, English, German, Spanish, Latin. Also, a wide variety of after school activities (sport, arts, extra-curricular instruction).
CAFES Kolonia ul. Łęczycka (corner of Ładysława), tel. 661 064 944 or 605 084 804, open 9:00-20:00, www.kolonia-ochota.pl Not just an excellent cafe, Kolonia is aslo equipped with a garden/ playground. Kolonia is the most kid-friendly (and pet-friendly) place in the area, offering fresh daily specials and a staff that always welcomes you with a smile. Kredkafe al. Wyzwolenia 14, tel. 22 622 1561 or 502 683 246, open 10:00-20:00. www.kredkafe. pl The interiors look great, bright and cheerful with cute cartoon sketches and an entire playroom complete with toys, stuffed animals and a playhouse. There is even a mini-theater where the kids can put on puppet shows. Bathrooms, of course, have baby-change facilities. Nabo ul. Zakręt 8, tel. 22 842 0256, open Mon-Fri 8:00-21:30; Sat-Sun 9:00-21:30, www.nabocafe.pl Nabo is run by a Danish couple and its light and minimalist interior – designed by those who created R20 – lends itself to every occasion. But aside from its tasty and seasonal dishes, it’s the children’s corner that is causing the biggest commotion. Peek-a-boo ul. Karola Chodkiewicza 7, tel. 22 370 21 71, open Mon-Sun 10:00-20:00 The pale palette and plush velvet upholstered furniture might not be the first choice of fabrics around sticky, chocolaty paws but every mummy needs a bit of luxury from time-to-time. The café divides its limited square meters evenly between parent and child expectations, creating space to relax, eat and play in: however.
WARSAW INSIDER | MAY 2014
Reviews: Hotel Vincent 81 / Plus:
* 2 updates
for past picks visit: www.warsawinsider.pl
ACCOMMODATION 81 / HEALTH & BEAUTY 83 / MEDICAL 84 / POLISH FOR FOREIGNERS 84 / RELOCATION COMPANIES 83
HOTELS IN WARSAW 5-Star Hotels
Bristol Hotel ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 42/44, tel. 22 551 1000, bristol@luxurycollection. com, www.hotelbristolwarsaw.pl H15 Boutique Apartments ul. Poznańska 15, tel. 22 553 8700, email@example.com www.h15boutiqueapartments.com
Hilton Warsaw ul. Grzybowska 63, tel. 22 356 5555 or 800 44 11 482, www.hilton.com Hotel Vincent ul. Krakowska 11, Kazimierz Dolny, tel. 81 881 0876, www.pensjonatvincent.pl
ometimes the only antidote to big city life is a weekend jaunt. Kraków and Zakopane are always a given, but there are places much closer to home that offer just as much novelty and ‘old world charm’. Friends have told me about Kazimierz Dolny for years, a medieval city just two hours from the capital. And finally my husband and I got it together, made some reservations and hopped in the car. As luck would have it, the moment we got to Kazimierz, it started to rain. An unrelenting patter that went on for just about a day-and-a-half. But somehow we didn’t really mind it at all because we happened to enjoy the hotel so much that it was a great excuse to loll around indoors, catching up on our reading and taking meals from the positively excellent hotel restaurant. Now typically I’m not a fan of hotel dining, but this particular place is something else. I’d skipped out on booking the legendary Hotel Król Kazimierz in favour of something a bit more unique. And my final choice did not disappoint – in the shape of the Vincent Kazimierz has a beautiful, Provençal-style hotel that boasts the sort of class that would impress anywhere in Europe, but at a more digestible price. Our room was off to the side of the hotel, with its own entrance and a wonderful charm that made our lazy long weekend just all the more satisfying. As I mentioned earlier, the food at the Kuchnia i Wino restaurant, its chef trained by Michelin-rated Wojciech Amaro, is guaranteed to please. The concise menu of dishes is a dream and we stood up to the challenge of trying everything we could before checkout time. Over the two days we were there we indulged in the cheese plate for starters (which boasts locally-made cheeses), beef tartare, onion soup with chicken livers and Calvados and then on to the mains, a delectable roasted young chicken, tender and flavorful pork shank and the aromatic duck breast. We finished off with a home-made apple pie and (also home-made) ice cream. All this in the company of the house cat, Josephine. Truly, if there was nothing more to Kazimierz Dolny but the food at Vincent then we would not have complained. (AMG)
Hyatt Regency Warsaw ul. Belwederska 23, tel. 22 558 1234, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.warsaw.regency.hyatt.com InterContinental ul. Emilii Plater 49, tel. 22 328 8888, www.warsaw.intercontinental.com Mamaison Le Régina Hotel Warsaw ul. Kościelna 12, tel. 22 531 6000, www.mamaison.com Marriott Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79, tel. 22 630 6306, www.warsawmarriott.com The Rialto Boutique Hotel ul. Wilcza 73, tel. 22 584 8700, www.rialto.pl Sheraton ul. Prusa 2, tel. 22 450 6100, www.sheraton.pl Radisson Blu Centrum Hotel ul. Grzybowska 24, tel. 22 321 8888. www.radissonblu.com/hotel-warsaw
LIFESTYLE Sofitel Warsaw Victoria ul. Królewska 11, tel. 22 657 8011, www.sofitel-victoria-warsaw.com Westin Al. Jana Pawła II 21, tel. 22 450 8000, www.westin.pl
Airport Hotel Okęcie ul. 17-ego Stycznia 24, tel. 22 456 8000, www.airporthotel.com.pl
Radisson Blu pl. Zawiszy 1, tel. 22 579 1000, www.sobieski.com.pl
Novotel Warszawa Centrum ul. Marszałkowska 94/98, tel. 22 596 0000, www.novotel.com, www.accorhotels.com
Mecure ul. Złota 48/54, tel. 22 697 3999, www.holiday-inn.com
Polonia Palace Hotel Al. Jerozolimskie 45, tel. 22 318 2800, www.poloniapalace.com
Mercure Grand Warszawa ul. Krucza 28, tel. 22 583 2100, www.orbis.pl
Courtyard by Marriott Hotel (Airport) ul. Żwirki i Wigury 1, tel. 22 650 0100, www.warszawacourtyard.pl
Hotel Belwederski ul. Sulkiewicza 11, tel. 22 840 4011, www.hotelbelwederski.pl Castle Inn Pl. Zamkowy, ul. Świętojańska 2, tel. 22 425 0100, www.castleinn.pl Golden Tulip ul. Towarowa 2, tel. 22 582 7500. Holiday Inn Express Warsaw Airport ul. Poleczki 35, tel. 22 373 37 00, www.hiexpress.com Novotel Warszawa (Airport) ul. 1-ego Sierpnia 1, tel. 22 575 6000 Hotel Belwederski ul. Sulkiewicza 11, tel. 22 840 4011, www.hotelbelwederski.pl
DAILY GUIDED TOURS IN ENGLISH WWW.SEGWAYCITYTOURS.PL Booking +48 600 310 320
WARSAW INSIDER | MAY 2014
Hotel Reytan ul. T. Rejtana 6, tel. 22 201 6400, www.reytan.pl
ul. Emili Plater 49, tel. 22 328 8888, www.warsaw.intercontinental.com Long and short stay apartments provided by the hotel of the same name. Perks included are the same as those received by hotel guests: i.e. access to the top floor pool, room service, maid service etc. MaMaison Residence Diana ul. Chmielna 13A, tel. 22 505 9100, www. mamaison.com/diana A beautiful city center location from the same team behind Le Regina. Short and long term stays. Vision Apartments Al. Jerozolimskie 81/22, tel. 22 292 8888, www.visionapartments.eu Founded in Switzerland, Vision specialize in the rental of high-quality furnished apartments and are known for their commitment to service and style. Having evolved into Switzerland’s market leader in furnished living, the company is now in the process of establishing footholds throughout Europe with a presence in Berlin, Geneva, Munich, Warsaw and Vienna. Find their Warsaw apartments in
Platinum Towers on Grzybowska.
Between Us Bed & Breakfast ul. Bracka 20, tel. 22 8285417 (from 10 a.m. to 11p.m.), www.between-us.eu
RELOCATION COMPANIES AGS Warsaw ul. Julianowska 37, Piaseczno, tel. 22 702 1072, www.agsmovers.com CorstJens Worldwide Movers Group ul. Nowa 23, Stara Iwiczna, tel. 22 737 7200, www.corstjens.com DuX Consulting Agency ul. Panieńska 9/28, tel. 22 670 4280 or 502 216 606 www.duxconsulting.com.pl and over 600 alliances worldwide. Move One Relocations ul. Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79, tel. 22 630 8160, fax. 22 630 8166, www.moveonerelo.com
Also immigration assistance, fine art shipping, pet transport and consulting services.
HEALTH & BEAUTY FITNESS
Holmes Place Premier ul. Belwederska 23 (Hyatt Hotel), tel. 22 851 0563, ul. Grzybowska 63 (Hilton), tel. 22 313 1222, al. Jerozolimskie 65/79 (Marriott), tel. 519 436 841, www.holmesplace.pl Those who use it claim the Hilton branch is the best gym in Poland. Set on two floors, highlights include a 25 meter pool, sauna and steam room and a spacious gym packed with the most modern equipment. Also on-site, a varied timetable of classes, excellent personal trainers and a Green Coffee relaxation area.
Pure Jatomi Fitness Platinum Złote Tarasy ul. Złota 59 (floor 3, opposite McDonald’s), tel. 22 379 7777, open Mon-Fri 6:00-22:30; Sat 8:00-22:30; Sun 8:00-21:00, www. jatomifitness.pl The largest and fastest
LIFESTYLE growing fitness chain in Poland currently has 35 locations and 117,000 members across the country. All clubs have new generation of machines, innovative forms of group activities (Booiaka, Hot Yoga, Pure Pump, Pure Fire and Wah Gwan Dancehall) and professional personal trainers schooled in nutrition and the healthy lifestyle.
Pure Jatomi Fitness Platinum Zodiak ul. Widok 26, tel. 22 100 3400, open 24hrs, www.jatomifitness.pl Poland’s fastest growing fitness chain has been recognized for excellence after being named SCF Leisure &
Fitness Retailer of the Year 2014. Other Pure Jatomi clubs in Warsaw include: Blue City, Galeria Renova, Sadyba Best Mall, Promenada and Targówek.
Diamond Membership (includes two personal training sessions per month, a complimentary weekend at the InterContinental, restaurant discounts, etc.).
RiverView Wellness Centre ul. Emilii Plater 49 (InterContinental), tel. 22 328 86 40, www.riverview.com.pl Top-class facilities and equipment, private instructors and small classes. The view from the highest pool in Europe offers a glorious panorama of the city. Annual prices from zł. 4,200 (access from Mon-Fri 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.), zł. 5,760 (all times), and zł. 8,350 for
SPAS & SALONS
Hair a Porter ul. Belwederska 23 (Hyatt Hotel, level -1), tel. 22 558 1555, open Mon-Fri 9:00-20:00; Sat 9:00-17:00, www.hair-a-porter.pl A staunch favorite of the ex-pat crowd, Hair a Porter offer the ultimate hair experience utilizing expert staff and top-quality products. Haircology ul. Rozbrat 44A, tel. 669 780 669, open Mon-Fri 10:00-20:00; Sat 10:00-last guest, www.haircology.pl An upmarket ecologically minded hairdresser that eschews such things as synthetic fragrances, silicon and preservatives.
MEDICAL MEDICAL PRIVATE CLINICS
Aster Med ul. Św. Bonifacego 92, tel. 22 858 0354, www.astermed.pl Aster Med, while billing itself as a center of orthodontics and implantology, is really the full service with 14 dentists and 4 orthodontists and implant surgeons. Ren Clinic Al. Gen. Władysława Sikorskiego 9A lok. 12A, tel. 22 414 2222 or 501 126 108, www. renclinic.pl Surgical care, cosmetics, medical dermatology, aesthetic medicine and more Lux Med Medical Clinics Various locations, see website for details: www.luxmed.pl
POLISH FOR FOREIGNERS
Edu & More ul. Nowogrodzka 44 / 7, tel. 22 622 14 41, www.polishonlinenow.com Polish Language School incorporating modern teaching methods and reasonable prices. Intensive & regular Polish courses for beginners. Business & everyday Polish. Preparatory courses for the state exam as well as for the international ECL certificate in Polish. Morning, afternoon & evening classes.
WARSAW INSIDER | MAY 2014
CLASSIFIEDS w W a r s a www.city-tour.com.pl
Yellow Double-Decker Bus
Invites you to experience a panoramic tour of tourist attractions of the capital of Poland, Warsaw, in a relaxing and comfortable way. Traveling over the course of approximately 1,5 hour, a double-decker bus will take you past many beautiful and interesting places of Warsaw, such as its interesting districts, palaces and churches, monuments and museums, parks and historical cemeteries, as well as the Jewish historical sites. A GPS 12 language audio-guide, will give explanations and accompany you to make your ride a more adventurous, exciting and an unforgettable one. Excellent Hop on Hop off and one trip service operates every day all year round.
5% DISCOUNT with this ad
Line approved by municipal authorities.
+48 500 033 414
Tel: +48 22 702 10 72
ChoCdhkod łyiaKłyam kieicwzaic BiaB iew Kaiem za ńień
“S he was fuming, not
because I had fallen asleep, but because I’d wet my trousers...”
penny’s dropped. The other day I washed my socks and undies in the sink and forgot to take them off the radiator before I went out for the morning. Of course, I’ve denied all knowledge that they’re mine, but questions are being asked just who they belong to.” “Ever since I discovered I had healing powers I’ve used my time to really help others – I cured Sean Connery of throat cancer.” “Wow, what he was like as a person?” “Oh, I never met him you know, I do my healings through the power of dreams.”
Loose sips sink ships! This month we’ve sent our city spy undercover in the bars of Warsaw to listen in on expat conversations. The results reveal a murky demi monde of drunkenness, duplicityand deceit…
“The lease came up on my flat a few months ago, so I started sleeping in the office while I sorted myself out. Thing is, I realized I was saving a fortune in rent so have just kind of stayed there. None of my colleagues suspected anything, for a while – I’d wake up before anyone got to work, go for a leisurely breakfast and a walk about town, and then turn up late complaining about traffic. But I think the
WARSAW INSIDER | MAY 2014
“I checked into a hotel in Nowa Huta, already armed with a takeaway curry, went up to my room, took my clothes off and started tucking into my dinner. All of sudden I thought, hang on, that suitcase doesn’t look like mine. I’d somehow ended up in the wrong room. I was out of there like a shot. Can you imagine if the guest who was meant to be staying there had walked in to find a naked man on his / her bed eating a curry…” “Nightmare job interview in Moscow the other week – the boss was great, and invited me around his flat later that night for a house party he was having. I got carried away on the wine and the next thing I know his wife is waking me up on the marital bed. I’ve only gone and fallen asleep in there while the rest of the party is going on outside. She was fuming, not because I had fallen asleep, but because I’d wet my trousers: their bed was soaking, and so was my passport. They haven’t got back in touch about the job…”
PHOTOGRAPH KEVIN DEMARIA
I CAN’T BELIEVE MY EARS!
“Crikey, I remember back in the early 60s and west London was still a sinkhole in those days – war damage, battered buildings and pretty grim all round. I was sat in this pub when this lanky haired hobo got on stage and started banging away on his guitar. Right racket it was. Well, it only turned out to be Eric bloody Clapton. And that’s not my only run-in with him. Twenty years later I’m walking down King’s Road in Chelsea when a Ferrari comes screaming around the corner and nearly knocks me for six. The driver unrolls his window to see if I’m alright and it’s only Eric Clapton. ‘I’d tell you to buy me a drink,’ I said, ‘but I know you’re a recovering alcoholic.’ ‘I take it one day at a time,’ he winked and then drove off chuckling.”