The distinct Kashubian decor of Cafe Polskie Smaki tells me what to expect. I’m very curious about the head chef’s, Krystian Szidel, interpretation of Kashubian cuisine. He has been in charge of the restaurant since the very beginning.
Krystian, a chef with more than 20 years of experience, was born in Tricity. Therefore, he knows everything about local cuisine and can make the best out of it. Studying old recipe books, also on Kashubian cuisine, has lead to a menu full of regional dishes with a modern twist.
„We don’t want to serve dots and dashes on our plates” – says the head chef – “we want to present Polish cuisine, but without aspiring towards Michelin stars. Our dishes are minimalistic, their purpose is to satisfy hunger, although presentation is also important. We change the menu every three to four months, relying on seasonal ingredients, putting quality first. We don’t have any permanent items on the menu, as I’m not a fan of serving the same dishes in summer and winter.”
Menu of Cafe Polskie Smaki Restaurant
The menu of the restaurant is full of Kashubian classics: whitefish, berries, regional cheese, or Baltic Sea herring. All of the menu is appealing: herring marinated in pickle brine with dill mayonnaise, smoked duck breast with maturing bacon and pickled spring vegetables, veal dumplings with pigweed and asparaguses, or trout and spinach stuffed dumplings are just a few of delicious treats.
I decided to have cold beet soup, which was a bit sour because of the home-made beetroot sourdough and yogurt. Balanced in falvour, with a nice twist of finely chopped potatoes. A simple, yet impressive idea.
As a regular to the well-known bar “Sielawka” (whitefish) , I couldn’t say no to a serving of whitefish in Cafe Polskie Smaki: fried fish with Kashubian strawberries, buttery sauce, and mint. Ladies and gentleman, this is heaven. Soft fish meat is perfectly complemented by the buttery sauce, and strawberries and mint make the flavours more pronounced.
Braised rabbit in a gravy made with podpiwek (a home-made, non-alcoholic brew), served with spinach dumplings and wild cabbage is another delicacy that I tested.
However, the true queen of all dishes was the inconspicuous dessert: blueberry mousse with buttermilk, a genuine tribute to the Kashubian blueberry. The dessert is served in a form of a soft pillow, is beautifully purple, not to sweet, with a delicate sour hint of buttermilk. And, of course, blueberries whose pronounced flavour binds the entire dish. I think I have never eaten such excellent blueberry-based dessert. I’m certainly going to think about it on those long, winter evenings!
The restaurant also offers different kinds of regional alcohol: wines, meads, Kashubian potato vodka, ratafia, or regional beer, including the cult classic, “Starogdańskie” beer. Guests are greeted with a table with a selection of Kashubian-style amous bouche: home-made lard, low-salt pickles, home-made bread and cold cuts.
Cafe Polskie Smaki is worth visiting not only for its food, but also to admire the view: the pier and the fountain, from a safe perspective, without having to make your way through the crowds. Seen from this perspective, Sopot is really beautiful!