I have to admit that when I read that Restaurant Kawaleria, “Cavalry” (I believe in Polish), was equine themed, I was worried that I would be sharing a rustic space with a display of horseshoes, horse brasses, horse paintings and, worst of all, cartoons of robust girls on small ponies. I’m afraid I tend to view equine pursuits with ambivalence or bewilderment. However, Kawaleria proved to be an elegant, attractive restaurant specialising in contemporary Polish cuisine.
The first two rooms – a bar and dining room - are quite intimate with cream walls, sepia photos, wooden furniture and subdued lighting.
The room we were seated in is more of a banqueting space, very pleasant - perfect for large groups and parties but a little empty with just the two of us at 6 in the evening. Towards the end of the room is a wonderful old stove and, yes, there are equine themed black and white photographs but actually this gallery, well displayed on the pale blue walls, was both decorative and interesting.
The menu is traditional Polish with a modern slant, starters include crab terrine, Polish sour rye soup, battered sardines and the intriguing but a little gruesome (at least for a non-meat eater like me) piglet in jelly. Main courses take in a selection of meats in sauces and casserole including wild boar, duck and turkey. For non meaties there are fish and vegetarian options, the latter including pancakes and pierogi. The food was extremely well presented and service throughout the evening was excellent. The standard of cooking was good but I am not sure that the main courses we had exactly worked, the carp was tasty but a little overpowered by the strong taste of the mushrooms, the Turkey could have done with a little more garlic and a little more sauce. However it was still a very nice meal and I would certainly eat there again, not least because of the lovely ambience and attentive staff.
Golebia 4 - a short walk from the Rynek Glowny
Situated along the walk from the Rynek Glowny to Wawel Hill the restaurant Balaton at ul Grodzka 37 provides excellent value Hungarian and Polish cuisine.
The surroundings are simple but pleasant, white walls, wooden chairs and benches, black and white photos on the wall and an array of hanging wooden fishes. The menu comprises a variety of soup - brought to your table in a metal dish suspended over an open flame from which you ladle it into your bowl – herrings, salmon and salami for starters followed by main courses of meat - including veal and wild boar goulash - poultry and fish dishes many incorporating potato cakes and dumplings. There is, however, only one vegetarian dish, potato cakes with mushroom sauce.
Service was understated but friendly and with a touch of flourish, for instance, when a main course of chicken Hungarian style was brought out sizzling from the kitchen and served ceremoniously from a platter onto the plate. As for the food itself it was great, tasty, filling, well cooked and well spiced. The main course of trout was perfectly cooked, crisp skin with melt in your mouth flesh underneath. Each main course also came with a side order of refreshing carrot, red and white cabbage salad.
And the price for two people for two courses, beer and vodka each – 99 zloty including a tip (approx. £17.00/$33.00). Excellent.
ul. Grodzka 37
Tel. (012) 422 04 69
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org