In 1919, Bronisław Kubicki in „Gazeta Gdańska” (Gdańsk Gazette) announced:
„To the honourable people of Gdańsk and surrounding area, I kindly inform you that on 25 January I opened a RESTAURANT with a daily concert. My intention is to provide diligent service. Your kind support is respectfully requested by Bronisław Kubicki. Gdańsk, Am Brausenden Wasser 5.”
More than a hundred years later, I visited the Kubicki restaurant, which is located in one of the most picturesque corners of the tourist part of Gdańsk, on Wartka street. Once a bit off the beaten track, at the end of Długie Pobrzeże (Long Pier), today it is located next to a walkway where masses of tourists flock during the season. This is why I prefer to visit the restaurant once things calm down a bit, and the old chestnut tree that grows in front of the building has already lost its brown leaves.
Great soups in Kubicki restaurant
The beginning of the year is a perfect moment for a visit in Kubicki for another reason. This is the time where I crave a good soup the most, and the ones served in Kubicki are in a league of their own. The head chef, Damian Mazurowski, who has been leading the restaurant for a decade, is a true master when it comes to soups. I went for cream of porcini mushrooms aromatized with truffle olive oil, served with vitelotte potatoes. This smooth soup is an explosion of umami flavours, with the perfectly balanced mushroom essence enriched by the hint of truffles. I always eat the most delicious dishes with my eyes closed, and this is exactly what I did eating this soup. The fish soup made with crayfish and lobster broth has an equally intense flavour. So does the sour rye soup (żurek) with pronounced notes of mushrooms. What connect all of them is their smooth texture and the fact that they are not too thick, which is a common flaw in other restaurants.
I could talk about soups from Kubicki for hours on end, but it’s time to move on! How about crunchy pumpkin pancakes with sour cream and caviar? It’s a perfect starter. Some solid menu items include: duck in Malaga wine with Cumberland sauce or tender herring in a classic marinade.
There are plenty of meat dishes in the menu. From the popular, traditional Polish loin with fried egg and cabbage, through the delicious duck served with cranberry sauce and red cabbage, to the exquisite beef tenderloin with roasted potatoes and porcini and pepper sauce. Kubicki is famous for their eisbein (pork knuckle dish), which has for decades been prepared in the same (secret) way. If you don’t like heavy food, try something with fish. I tasted the tender halibut with a delicious potato and celery puree, which pairs wonderfully with the lemony flavour of the sauce and mussels. It’s a beautiful and complete dish, and it still gives you room for dessert!
With a memory of the challah ice cream I once tried here, I ordered the delicious vanilla ice cream, served with warm plums with a spicy note. The cheesecake mousse with coconut and mango and passion fruit sauce also deserves a special mention, as well as raspberries and pear with malaga ice-cream. Plus, a glass of cognac, the serving ceremony of which is an unforgettable experience for the guest. A large selection of spirits awaits for alcohol connoisseurs, from Danzig classics such as Goldwasser to interesting drinks such as whisky sour.
The head chef, Damian Mazurowski and his team, specialise in traditional Polish cuisine served in a lighter, more modern form. When you go to Kubicki, you can be sure that it will be a delicious tour of Polish cuisine at its best. And any history geek will appreciate the fact that they are dining in a restaurant that was functioning before the war! The window view has changed a little, but the unmistakable atmosphere of Gdańsk has remained the same for more than a century.