piątek, 4 września 2015

Aaahh ! the sweet scented Radhe Vega Indian restaurant Poznan

A welcome treat  for Indian vegetarian  food lovers situated on Głogowska 86.
Radhe Vega is a charming windowless place, with an Indian oriented decor befitting the setting. Food is rich, creamy, and well adjusted on capturing the mild Polish palate, compared to the traditional spicier cooking in India.
The owners have really gambled on establishing a niche restaurant in a meat dominated market, however seeing that the restaurant has survived the first few years, I think they finally have found their rightful place on the market. Locals and takeaways seem to be their main thrust of business which is a good sign of repeat clientele.
The menu is extensive, North Indian based,  with a lot of dishes featuring Paneer ( home made Indian semi-hard pressed twaróg ) a little bit hard on  customers who are lactose intolerant. A variety of Indian breads baked in the earthen oven called the Tandoor,  are featured though it is well impossible to try them all. Freshly baked Indian breads such as roti, naan, parantha are a gourmet treat not to be missed. Sadly missing out on the menu is a mixed Indian bread basket which offers customers a small degustation for a set price.
Our meal with friends was an enjoyable experience, though we would like to see more fresh vegetables in season being offered on the menu. Specially greens like zucchini, fresh spinach, broccoli, french beans, pumpkins etc. India being such a huge subcontinent offers a variety of interesting vegetarian dishes from regional cuisines. It would be magnificient if the Chef could pick at least one special dish for the day from some region other than the North,  to add further interest in the menu.
Food is averagely good, however a bit too creamy and in  heavy tomato based sauces. Perhaps even a tad pricey for the kind of establishment Radhe Vega is . A starter, main course and dessert will set you back 60 zloty easily. Price of small bottled water was another revelation, considering when one can get a decent glass of house wine for a couple of extra złoty in most restaurants for that price.
Dessert section is old fashioned and uninspiring with nothing to tickle the taste buds. Our selection of home made mango kulfi ( indian version of home made ice cream) was saturated with sugar even for Indian standards. Overall a simple unpretentious  cosy place to go to when one is inclined for Indian fare.

Michelin recommended restaurant Warsaw - Review the Good and the Bad

So it was a very special occassion for me, and my good wife Jagoda says " I am taking you out for lunch 300 kms away ! Got me thinking, and finally it was revealed that we are travelling all the way from Poznan to Warsaw to dine at the Michelin recommended Wino Sfera.
 Excited ? yes I was ! my chance to sample the best of cuisine in Warsaw. Having been a professional chef all my life -- my expectations were really high.
Arrived at the restaurant to find out that it is currently housed in a former  cinema /garage or warehouse with the now trendy plaster peeled bare brick walls, exhaust pipes and plumbing in full view in the cieling. My personal opinion about this kind of internal decor is, that customers pay a top zloty for little elegance. I reckon if the food is elegant and refined then the decor should eventually match and create an ambience of upmarket dining. The slim wooden dining chairs, with no cushioning is surely a step backwards in comfortable seating, considering one has to sit at least a good two hours for a relaxed meal, though the plush seating next to the walls is ideal.

A special lunch menu with 2 or 3 choices was available. Woe, alas at the way the menus nowadays are described. There is little or totally ambiguous explanation of what is going to end up on the plate.

For starters we chose the foie-gras, from the main menu. Beautifully presented, with a super rich cherry sauce, some salad and brioche. Foie-gras was melt in the mouth and creamy, cherry sauce could be a tad lighter, and the brioche sadly was presented as a slice, slighty toasted and very dry and crumbly, in it's place I would have loved to see a  freshly baked mini brioche complementing the foie-gras. Menu translations in English are unclear and do no justice to the food.
We tried another 2 starters, which were part of the set menu lunch selection.

Calamari with salad --  Baby Calamari tentacles in a light batter, result was, oily tepid fried calamari sitting on mixed salad with a too oily a dressing, a total lack of citrus or acid, and no salt or pepper mill  or  a waiter or waitress in sight to ask for assistance :-(   to make matters worse, my salad bowl was chipped  on the edge !! surely a Michelin recommended  restaurant cannot be pardoned for such an ugly oversight. Sigh !

Rillette of duck and pork with salad -- well presented, but lacked any defined long lasting taste, so well deserved of a true rillette.

My good wife chose the Bavette of Beef for mains -- for those of you who dont know- bavette of beef is the meat from the flank or abdominal muscles of the cow-- quite long and thickly grained. Beef steak was far too underdone for such a cut, and the accompanying home cut potato chips not crisped to perfection. Beef steak almost  limpidly raw and again with no service personnel in sight it is very difficult to get things fixed.

I chose the fish of the day Cod : well cooked and light with pureed cauliflower, and raisins. The accompanying sauce according to the waitress, was with shrimps. Alas the shrimps and waitress were no where in sight. Nothing exceptional about this offerring.
We both chose the panna cotta for dessert with home made sorbet and fresh berries, again beautifully presented however lacking in any inspirational modification of a traditional favourite.

STAFF : Mostly indifferent and very laid back, lacked a thorough understanding of what is comprised in the dish, and did not find time to interact with us, though the restaurant had only 20 people around when we were present. I prefer restaurants where staff are trained to check with clients about the quality of the cooking as the meal progresses. To check with clients after the meals are over is like a post mortem analysis, too late to fix anything.
As a young chef, I was taught to closely observe what was left over on the plates, when the dishes returned to the kitchen. Any more than a few scraps would send alarm bells ringing in the kitchen and all efforts were made to check with the customers for feedback. Alas, my wife had only a couple of bites of the bavette steak, and the rest went untouched, the waitress cleared the plates from the table, without batting an eyelid or expressing any intrest in checking with my wife as to what went wrong !!

VERDICT : A truly good restaurant is one where the kitchen, wait staff and bar personnel are working together as a well oiled machine. For each cog runs the other. In this case some cogs are very rusty or simply missing teeth to run smoothly. I have heard the chef Jakub Adamczyk is very aspiring, however he really needs to bring the service staff to higher levels.
Even the best restaurants have bad days, and I think we were in this place on such a day. We would like to visit again, though I still think that there could be more value for money, better honed service, for at the moment it seems it is a place for the urban yuppie, business person,  corporate account dining crowd. Surely good food, fantastic service, and elegant ambience demands a good price, however I reckon we paid a lot more for what we got. 


czwartek, 26 kwietnia 2012

Kuchnia Hinduska Vegetarianska part 2 @ SPOT

Indian Vegetarian Cooking @ SPOT 


Zupa z czerwonej soczewicy i moreli
( Lentil soup with Apricots )

Dum aloo, saym z cashewnuts i rodzynkami- Młode ziemniaki wiosenne, fasola szparagowa gotowana w mleku kokosowym z przyprawami, orzechami i rodzynkami
(Slow cooked spring potatoes with beans and cashewnuts)

Mutter, gobhi, paneer  sabzi- Groch, kapusta, domowy twaróg indyjski gotowane z garam masala i pomidorami
( Cauliflower, peas and paneer sabzi ) 
Baingan  ka raita- Pieczony bakłażan, czosnek, kminek rzymski i granat z kremowym jogurtem
( Cold Salad of Eggplant with Pomegranate and spices )

Pudding z wermiszelu z wodą różaną i kardamonem ( vermicilli pudding )