Been there, done it all. That’s Robert Sowa, a national treasure widely hailed for modernizing Poland’s gastronomic sector back in the country’s culinary dark days. A common sight on TV, the chef’s public profile has meant there’s no shortage of bums on seats in his flagship restaurant, but does his chic city center bubble live up to the hype? There’s nothing like a tasting menu to find out…
The yardstick of any restaurant in Poland is its tartar. Served with a shot of Ostoya vodka, here it comes with a curl of lard and a subtle peppery kick. First test passed with flying colors!
Formerly the chef for the Polish national football side, Sowa’s international travels are reflected by surprises such as this: flawless tuna comes partnered with kabayaki sauce, yuzu, wasabi dressing and turnip salad. Brilliant flavor combinations.
The scary bit proves anything but: a double act of creamy veal sweetbread and black pudding works well against an apple puree and oyster mushroom.
Seafood heaven: a coil of octopus shows up alongside shrimp, calamari, truffle puree and an aioli dressing. Things are getting seriously good here…
Following a palate cleansing gooseberry sorbet, next up is the kind of lamb that makes you weep: perfect in every respect, find it given admirable backing by an accompaniment of foie gras and and beetroot.
A storming finish comes courtesy of an elaborate cone of chocolate served up with coconut ice cream, Oreo dust and a swirl of orange & grapefruit mousse. If my doctor approved I’d eat this every day. If only…
Complex but understandable, the menu at N31 reflects well on a chef scaling new peaks. If you thought this might be a case of a chef trading on his past then think again: in an increasingly competitive sector, consider N31 one of the more impressive fine dining experiences in Warsaw.
N31 By Robert Sowa
ul. Nowogrodzka 31, n31restaurant.pl