My host said that she knows a friend who knows the owner so she managed to score a table for us at Zoni Restaurant, widely regarded to be one of the best restaurants in Warsaw. Otherwise, the reservation wait list is long. Be sure to make reservations way in advance.
ZONI Restaurant is situated in a historic rectification building in the former vodka distillery called Koneser, located in Praga district in Warsaw. The first floor of the restaurant is designed with barrels—very cute.
It is just beside the Poland Vodka Museum so make sure you time your visit so that you go to the museum first, and go to Zoni for dinner. It’ll be a nice complement to visit Zoni for its extensive vodka collection.
The restaurant is helmed by the 27 year-old Michał Gniadek, who won the “Young Talent” for Gault & Millau Polska guide. His cooking focuses on simplicity of ingredients, letting them speak for themselves.
For starters, we tried both the beef tartare and the cauliflower, the du jour vegetable at the moment (many chefs and active people are using it for cauliflower rice).
Indeed, they retain the original flavours of the ingredients without much salt. The flavours come across as a little bland for my palate.
Both the broths, similarly, are more consummé than broths. They are very light, although I prefer something rich and robust. However, the beef broth is interesting because it has a sort of cheese dumpling, and Polish food is famous for dumplings.
It’s interesting that for each course–appetiser, soup, main, dessert–there is a choice of vegetarian. Here for mains, the vegetarian option is the seabass. It’s cute that they consider as a vegetable.
In any case, what is lacking in flavour in the first two courses is made up in the mains.
The meat from the ribs falls off the bone, and the BBQ sauce is sweet like American version. This is a very American dish, but I wonder what it is doing on the menu.
Now, the seabass is delicious. The flesh is light and fresh. But this particular species of seabass has many bones. Wonder if they could have use another species?
Between the two desserts, carrot and cheesecake, the cheesecake is better although for both, I don’t get much flavours here except for the sweetness. The carrot is dry.
Overall, I am rather disappointed with the food here. It’s not terrible, just that it doesn’t live up to its reputation. Mokotowska 69 is the first restaurant I ate at in Poland and Zoni is the last. Between the two, I’d much prefer the unpretentious, homely food at Mokotowska.
Prepare to spend about 150 zloty (S$60) here.
Praga Koneser Centre, Pl. Konesera 1, 03-736 Warsaw Poland
t: +48 22 355 3001
M – Sat: 12pm – 11.45pm
Sun: 12pm – 8pm
Price / value: 7/10
Ambience / decor: 8/10
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.