When walking down the seaside promenade in the Northern Łazienki Park in Sopot, you pass by a few places where you could stop for dinner. But the one definitely worth visiting is the Bulaj (Bull’s Eye) Restaurant, located in the vicinity of the Sopot Kamienny Potok district. This place should be recommended particularly to those who know what to expect from good cuisine and who like to live and eat in keeping with the slow food philosophy.
The Bulaj Restaurant was opened in 2004 and is owned by Artur Moroz. From his earliest years he dreamt of living at the seaside, which is why he chose Sopot instead of Warsaw, where he had lived previously. The restaurant’s owner and head chef at the same time, he has a reputation of being one of the best chefs in Poland. He is a self-confessed gourmet and cooking enthusiast, and this food passion goes back to his family home, where everything revolved around the table. Mr Moroz is also an ardent promoter of the slow food movement. He sees slow food as a philosophy of cooking fresh local ingredients and a healthy lifestyle. In his cooking, he puts these ideas into practice. He orders all the ingredients – vegetables, fruit, meat, and fish – from local suppliers.
The Bulaj has received numerous awards and distinctions. The most important one is GRAND AWARD – THREE FORKS, won in the “Poland 100 best restaurants” poll. Apart from that, the Bulaj has been listed among the best twenty-five restaurants in Poland according to C’est la vie. It also boasts numerous recommendations, such as those from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or from the President of the City of Sopot. Several times on November 11th, the crew of the Bulaj has been entrusted with preparing dinner at the Presidential Palace.
Among the restaurant’s regular guests there are many famous people, whom you can sometimes see there when dropping in for lunch. They include Robert Makłowicz, Alicja Resich-Modlińska, Magda Mołek, Małgorzata Potocka, Anna Przybylska, Kuba Wojewódzki, or Kinga Rusin.
The Bulaj organizes plenty of occasional cultural events, such as the Royal Dinner at the Yacht Club, seminars on slow food, or St Martin’s Day Goose Meat Festival. Apart from fish, it is goose meat that the restaurant specializes in.
At the Bulaj we feel at home. The interior is cosy. This effect is enhanced by decorative wallpapers and boards on the ceiling. The interior is inspired by the geographical location of the Tricity – with marine décor, but not extravagant. There is no room here for fashionable or fancy designer’s tricks enhancing the restaurant’s prestige: at the Bulaj, it is cuisine itself that creates the atmosphere, and its effect doesn’t need any enhancement. Dishes are intricately served, but above all they lure diners with their appetizing looks. You will not find any traditional poultry on the menu, but there are things worth trying, such as goose, duck, or rabbit meat. The restaurant also offers quite a few fish dishes prepared in various interesting ways. The cuisine is largely Old Polish and local, but it does make explorations in search of new, fresh solutions. The restaurant also has a rich list of more than two hundred wines.
Expecting a top quality culinary experience, we visit the Bulaj Restaurant. Everything we have been told about this place finds confirmation on our plates. Although there are a good many people here, the place is not very much abuzz, being some distance from the centre. If you can plan your dinner time exactly, it is worth booking a table via the Internet. Inside the restaurant the atmosphere is professional and friendly and the service is of the highest quality. The waiter strikes up a nice conversation and shows a considerable sense of humour. He also has extensive knowledge of the cuisine served here.
For a start, we order Baltic salmon tartare served with pomelo and pomegranate. The combination is excellent. Salmon is a fish that feels good both in dry and in sweet company. The flavours go together well – the melon’s sweetness counterpoints the pomegranate. The fish is as fresh as can be. Also, one must not fail to mention the way in which the appetizer was served. What we saw on the plate was a meadow of spring vegetables and fresh flowers.
Then, a real Dutch matias served with carrots and asparagus entered the scene. Fish meat was firm but also delicate and perfectly salty, and the asparagus, delicately seasoned, complemented the array of flavours on the plate. That was one of the best dished we’ve ever had a chance to eat.
Just like in the case of the previous dishes, when time came for the main course, we felt sorry to disturb the arrangement on the plate. Still, in the end, our voracious appetites prevailed, additionally stimulated by the smells wafting up from the plates. Grilled roastbeef steak served with marrow bone was accompanied by grilled young vegetables such as pepper, courgette and carrots proved to have been an inspired choice. The meat was perfectly roasted, tender and juicy.
All the dishes we tried were marked by freshness, above all. Each of them was prepared as ordered. Still, the most important thing is that we won’t forget those flavours, fragrances, and views for a very long time.
Baltic salmon tartare served with pomelo and pomegranate – 29 PLN
Real Dutch matias served over potato cakes – 24 PLN
Grilled roastbeef steak served with marrow bone – 56 PLN
Text and photos: Joanna Ogórek
Al. F. Mamuszki 22, Sopot
Phone. +48 600 92 03 03
[mapa]Al. F. Mamuszki 22, Sopot[/mapa]