Eating Out: Baken
Simple but impactful, Baken has already secured its spot on the foodie map of Warsaw…
When René Redzepi announced the closure of his innovative temple of gastronomy, NOMA, it seemed to confirm the tanking stock of the fine dining sector. But if fine dining is on the way out, then comfort dining is well and truly in – and what can be more comforting than bread and all-day breakfast?
Pronounced ‘bach-in’ rather than ‘bacon’, Baken shines like a beacon amid the soulless, socialist edifices that line the streets of Krucza and Żurawia. Stepping inside, Baken feels like a merger between the chic streets of Paris and the cozy corners of Copenhagen, with its delectable breads and inviting atmosphere hinting at French and Danish charm.
It’s hard not to be hit with a wave of excitement entering, with the energy conducted through an open kitchen and expressed by handsome staff clad in white t-shirts. Enthusiastic and knowledgeable, they gush about the dishes as if they were their own secret family recipes.
Simple as F**k
That’s Baken’s own mission statement, with plates presented in a manner that smacks of Yotam Ottolenghi: think organized chaos. Using ingredients sourced from the market at Hala Mirowska, and batch-brewed coffee from Java Roaster (make use of the half-price refill!), it’s a place where the product is the hero.
What We Ate
The must-try is the creamy scrambled eggs from the happy hens of Rozwienica. Accompanied by kale fried with butter and garlic, find them crowned with day-old breadcrumbs and a shower of Emilgrana cheese and chives. When it comes to hidden gems, look on the side menu for thinly-sliced avocado seasoned with chili, oil and Malden salt – post to Insta and it’ll definitely enliven your algorithm.
As for the sweeter side, heavenly plum Crêpes Suzette come soaked in aromatic cardamom syrup before being served with homemade crème fraîche, pancakes and gingerbread crumble. It’s a feast for the senses. And, of course, don’t forego the bread. There’s three to choose from, with the options numbering the Berlin (90% rye and 10% wheat), a classic sourdough with poppy seeds, and a Polish staple called Ziarenko, a soft wheat bread with a delicate skin and mixed seeds such as linseed, sesame, poppy, and nigella.
Celebrate the Chefs
Leading the line is Michał Toczyłowski, a chef who gained his experience in renowned establishments such as Atelier Amaro, Nolita, Nabo, Sowa i Przyjaciele, and Bez Tytylu. As for the baking, that’s left to Artem Artemev, a star in his own right.
If you’re stocking up on bread, then why not snap up an organic cotton tote bag complete with Baken’s striking san-serif logo. If you’re visiting in the evening, then check their refined selection of natural wine.
Żurawia 6/12, website
(All photos: Kevin Demaria)
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