Talk about rotten luck – as unfortunate as the lockdown was for Warsaw’s more established hangouts, it came as even tougher news for the newbies yet to truly establish themselves. Now reopened, we present a fab five that were just gaining traction before you-know-what happened. Let the summer belong to them!
Al. 3 Maja / ul. Kruczkowskiego
Opened a couple of months before some total prat ordered the bat soup in Wuhan, Mr. Oh looked a dead cert to enter the summer as just about the hottest address in the city. A semi-secret world for those In The Know, it was to this dark and decadent address that the A-list headed for late nights and Asian-themed cocktails that felt fun, playful and in tune with the vibe.
But with the lockdown came a new lease of life: not only did we discover their home-delivered bottled pre-mixes, but we were also swiftly reminded of their dual function as a restaurant – from the menu, find new wave recipes such as shitake arancini; samurai sandwiches (pulled pork, bao buns, hoisin); and our fave, the kimchi and tomato soup. Back open as they should be, let the last few months prove a momentary blip.
ul. Poznańska 7
After a brief lull in action, the crossroads on the corner of Wilcza and Poznańska are back on the front end of cool and lending it new gusto is Zkurczybyk: suitably tricked out for modern times the hip hop / steam punk vibe (corrugated iron sheets, stools with bicycle pedals for foot rests, ammo boxes, and turntables emblazoned with pics of hip hop heroes), jives well with an atmosphere that’s high on banter and bravado, but it’s the hot wings we’re here for!
These ain’t good, they’re bloody well brilliant, and come in a variety of coatings from mango chili to honey hot. There’s vegan strips as well, not to mention hefty artisanal sandwiches with a meaty bent as well as heaps of fries with various add-ons.
ul. Andersa 22
The simplicity of the aesthetics here belie their beauty: like strange, alien planets, spherical lights dangle from the tall ceilings casting the concrete colored interiors in a warming glow that feels tastefully restrained.
Food-wise, you’ll enjoy it. Several steps beyond what you’d expect from a neighborhood pizzeria, find wonderful leopard-spotted pizzas that are by far the best in this segment of Warsaw. Actually, they’re not that far off being our favorite in town.
ul. Racławicka 99
Shot from the same cannon as Ale Wino and Kukułka, the latest project from this celebrated team was busy winning blanket praise right up until the lockdown threw a spanner in the works. Confession time: though high on our ‘to-do’ list, schedule conflicts, meant we never got to visit before the shutdown was introduced, something we’ll be seeking to correct in the coming few days.
To look forward to: the cooking of Daniel Uliczny inside a stunningly designed space inside a redbrick outbuilding set in the Fort Mokotów complex. The number of acquaintances nominating this as their standout opening of the last few months speaks volumes – full report coming soon!
ul. Piękna 28/34
A couple of years back you’d have found us backing Korean as ‘The Next Big Thing’. Didn’t work out quite that way, but there’s still hope yet for the forecast to bear fruit – certainly, there is when places like K-Bar Piękna open.
Fusing the function of a vintage furniture store with that of a supremely cool resto-bar, find this non-standard space firing out brilliantly perverted dishes such as Korean Fried Cauliflower, Kimcheese Beef Bavette and cheesecake with yuzu and pear. Matched with highly unconventional Asian-themed cocktails and you have a space that was neck-deep in the process of becoming one of the hottest check-ins of the year.