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It is a cool autumn afternoon, Gdansk tenement houses after the rain shine like a person straight out of a bath. Standing on the other side of the Motława River, I admire the historic crane and observe tourists walking along the Long Embankment. From the perspective of the garden in the Filharmonia restaurant on Ołowianka island, Gdańsk shows its prettiest face. Since the footbridge was built, Ołowianka has become more dense and there are more strollers here.

The Filharmonia Restaurant Ołowianka 1, 80-751 Gdańsk, Polska https://restauracjafilharmonia.pl/ marketing@restauracjafilharmonia.pl + 48 58 323 83 58

Filharmonia restaurant brings back good memories in me. It was here that my wedding dinner was held. Later, I would sometimes visit the restaurant for anniversary dinner. Today I come back here with sentiment and a certain emotion. Marcin Szlagowski, who has been the chef of Filharmonia restaurant for two years, greets me with a delicious mustard soup sprinkled with even bites of carrots and celery.

mustard soup sprinkled in Filharmonia Restaurant in Gdańsk

It is deliciously odd, so much different from the soups we are used to! It is something you have to try if you want to discover Kashubian cuisine. And believe me when I say it: the man responsible for Kashubian flavours is an expert.

Chef of Filharmonia Restaurant in Gdańsk

“I am Kashubian, I feel Kashubian, and I want to promote my region. That is why I “smuggle” traditional Kashubian flavours into my recipes. My Mum’s parents come from Puck and Dad’s from Kościerzyna, so I grew up surrounded by cuisines of Kaszuby and Kociewie regions, with all the abundance of freshwater and saltwater fish, including the renown Baltic Sea herring” – says Marcin Szlagowski.

Kashubian cuisine in Filharmonia Restaurant

“Kashubian cuisine revolves around sweet and sour flavours, like vinegar and sugar. Of course, there are dishes on the menu that are not typical of the region, but even these dishes I like to enrich with these Kashubian, sweet & sour accents. I learned them from my grandparents. My grandmother used to cook swede soup,  and my grandfather was a herring master chef. I am also not in favour of any kinds of twists on dishes, I like to prepare them in a traditional way. A good product does not need makeovers.” – adds.

Indeed, roasted goose with Kashubian potato dumplings (golce) and cranberries prepared in a traditional way speaks for itself. It tastes excellent, it is soft and delicate – if you ever tried to roast a goose, you will know that it is not an easy endeavour. Goose is one thing, but I completely fell in love with golce (traditional dumplings made from raw and boiled potatoes, served with bacon gravy). The ones I had at Filharmonia restaurant were fluffy and delicate, had a beautiful yellow colour and even shape. Marcin Szlagowski says that it is an old recipe, which he recreated using the trial and error method.

There are plenty of Kashubian accents in the menu, such as my final treat, dumplings with sea trout. The dumplings are green (thanks to spinach), have a delicate fish stuffing, the taste of which is enhanced by thick cream.

dumplings in Filharmonia Restaurant in Gdańsk

Kashubian accents are combined with French classics (e.g. sauces, characteristic herbs). The idea is to make the dish simple and get the best out of it. The menu changes seasonally, although there are some constants such as mustard soup, lamb shank or roasted goose. Every weekend, and sometimes during the week, there are seasonal menu inserts – autumn is the time for mushrooms, while late spring provides different kinds of fish. In Filharmonia restaurant there is a possiblity to arrange a tasting menu, with a selection of excellent wines. You can also try the locally prepared tinctures. Wine lovers will have a wide selection of their favourite beverage, as well as the certainty that properly trained staff will help with choosing the right wine to accompany the food.

During my visit to the restaurant I did not have time to try dessert, but from what I’ve heard through the grapevine, the brownie is superb. The amount of chocolate it contains has the power to get rid of the autumn blues. Takie it into account when planning your next stroll in Gdańsk!

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