Katarzyna Wasilewska of the legendary Dom Polski talks about the restaurant’s recent expansion to pastures new.
How has Dom Polski developed over the years?
We’re in a constant state of evolution. Design-wise, that means adding and collecting more paintings and assorted antiques to create a consistent and harmonious pre-war climate. As for the food, we originally started from just a few dishes, nowadays that repertoire has grown to such an extent we offer a rapidly changing menu adjusted according to what nature offers.
What’s kept the restaurant so successful?
Firstly, hard work. Then there’s the food; the dishes we serve attempt to reprise old recipes that have been lost to history. To keep successful we’re always looking at new ways to modernize these classic dishes, while also staying true to concepts of seasonality.
How important is tradition…
We can’t forget about our cultural or culinary heritage. You could almost say there’s an educational value as well, especially where the younger generation is concerned. They’ve already forgotten the joy of flavors like, for example, traditional huntsman’s stew and pickled red borscht. Tradition is our driving force, though of course we have had to tinker with it – after all, traditional Polish food is an explosion of calories. The trick is to keep these old, unique flavors but update their preparation.
Have you tried to do anything different at the Belwederska location?
The primary concern at our restaurants is the food. What we’ve achieved at our first restaurant comes down to years of experience so there won’t be a kitchen revolution – our menu is tried and tested and the guests love it. Instead, the revolution at Belwederska is a little more subtle. For instance, it’s more business and event friendly in terms of private rooms: there’s even one inside a turret complete with a separate entrance.
Everything about the new Belwederska venue – the location, the building – fits the original Dom Polski mold. How important was this?
The pre-war villa on Belwederska sums up the nature of the restaurant perfectly. When looking for a new space we weren’t just looking for a central location, but also a building that reflected our style. I can honestly say that this address exceeded our wildest expectations – I think our guests would agree.
As a restaurateur, what excites you most about summer?
Our focus falls on light, fat-free seasonal produce and that’s so abundant in summer that our menu changes like a kaleidoscope – one moment there’s baby asparagus, the next young cabbage. And of course, there’s so many fruits to play with to create the perfect dessert: rhubarb tart, rum and strawberry cake, baked apricot muffins, etc.
For those newcomers unfamiliar with your brand, what can they expect?
That’s straight forward – first and foremost we’re a proven kitchen with excellent food. That’s the bottom line.
ul. Francuska 11 & ul. Belwederska 18A