Mokotowska 69 at Warsaw was the first restaurant I ate at when I arrived in Poland and it set the bar very high for the rest of the trip.
The restaurant was started in May 2016 by Bartek Czerwiński and Andrzej Rudnicki-Sipayłło, the latter of whom has 30 years of restaurant experience including working in New York.
Chef Kamil Kosnowski specialises in seafood dishes and quality steaks (American Black Angus certified prime beef grade by the USDA, Scottish Aberdeen Angus and highest quality Japanese Tajima-gyu beef).
They serve classic Polish dishes with a modern twist.
For my first course, the seemingly simple salad is not simple at all. Although it comprises only several ingredients, there are varying textures and tastes.
The softness of the Polish artisan goat cheese offsets the toasted baguette slices; the pungency of cheese against sweetness of fig and sourness of vinaigrette. Has there been a more enjoyable salad for a meat-eater like me?
For the main, the catfish comes from Masuria, the northeastern part of Poland.
Unlike other fine-dining places, this catfish arrives scalding-hot, which I absolutely love, so that the crust is at its optimal crispiness and the flesh is moist and savoury. So good.
The risotto is an exciting balance to the fish. I have never eaten risotto paired with horseradish and it is delicious. It’s slightly pungent, one of my favourite flavours, to the savoury fish and very sweet Paradise apples. The sweetness, of course, is meant to undercut and lighten the risotto.
Delightful and very smart combination. Also: dill is such an under-utilised and great herb to go with fish.
French desserts are renowned because they are intricate. If you judge this plum dessert on intricacy, then it won’t hold a candle to the French. But..
But this dessert requires another criteria to judge it. Is it complementary to the courses? It’s a resounding yes.
The simple dessert, just seasonal caramelised plums topped with ice cream and crumbles, fits into the whole rusticity of the meal and the concept of the restaurant.
Furthermore, while in Singapore, we have plums all year long, it’s really a seasonal Christmassy food that brings out the festive mood as I was eating it.
Mokotowska 69 is a very impressive restaurant. No foam, no molecular gastronomy, no useless appendices, no pretty but ultimately tasteless and useless decorative flowers used just for instagram photos. Every ingredient on the plate has a function.
Rather, they showcase their very fresh local ingredients and use conventional cooking methods. But they pair their ingredients in innovative ways that display a wide range of flavours and textures.
This is my type of food. Homely, hearty, unpretentious, honest, smart pairing, great balance, and, most importantly, delicious. It is as if I was eating at the home of a retired accomplished chef.
It was my first, and perhaps, the best meal I had in my week in Poland.
00-533 Warszawa, Mokotowska 69 str, Warsaw Poland
M – Sat 12pm – 11pm, Sun 12pm – 10pm
Tel: +48 22 6287384 / +48 22 6272033
Price / value: 6.5/10
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.