I was planning to visit the Epoka restaurant already in March, but the pandemic prevented it. Finally, when @restauracjaepoka again opened its doors to guests I decided to achieve this goal. The Chef at the Epoka restaurant is @przybyszmarcin, who gained experience cooking alongside such famous Chefs as Massimo Bottura, Rasmus Kofoed or René Redzepi. No wonder the expectations were enormous.
The moment you enter the restaurant, you can see how every detail is thought out and refined. The decor is magical, in some places, dark and charming in others, but elegant and coherent all the time.
Together with other Degustujące Istoty , we decided on 20 recipes menu, but traditionally without wine pairing.
Delicious sourdough bread made of płaskurka grain, ground in the restaurant. A separate butter with buttermilk from Normandy was served for every person. 3 eggplants.
Recipes inspired by the cookbook from 1686
Beautiful cumin wafer with pike roe. 4 eggplants.
A toasted “Bigosek” from fish
Trout meat was arranged on crispy halves of tubes. Interestingly, these delicacies were served on freeze-dried sauerkraut, which we tried and it was really tasty. 4 eggplants.
Warm brioche snail with herring roe. 4 eggplants.
Fish in piggy. The trout liver pate is hidden in apple slices. 3 eggplants.
Recipes inspired by a cookbook from 1825
Asparagus with sauce
Beautifully composed both from a visual perspective and the taste one. An asparagus grid hid crab meat. The whole dish was decorated with crab sauce and topped with wonderful sturgeon caviar. We give the dish the Happy Eggplant badge with appreciation. 5 eggplants.
Snails cooked and toasted
Crunchy and fluffy snails in black coating with snail caviar. They were so perfect that I couldn’t refuse myself and I awarded them with the Happy Eggplant order. 4 eggplants.
Snails chopped for stuffing
Another version of snails. This time as a stuffing for dumplings floating in tomato consommé. 3 eggplants.
Recipes inspired by a cookbook from 1901
Sugar peas in pods
Tartlets with young peas. 4 eggplants.
Chopped chops/peas with cream
Tartare steak aged in bee wax lamb. Garnished with peas and creme fraiche on top. 4 eggplants.
Fish sauce with dumplings
In addition to the dumplings, tapioca , Quinoa, sea trout roe and chives were also putted in the fish sauce. Perfectly balanced dish with various structures. 5 eggplants.
Potatoes in shell
This dish was served in the kitchen, where we could admire the work of the whole team and learn a little more about it. The kitchen looks amazing, it is something to admire. Each of us got a cone made of potato peel and filled with tasty white asparagus ice cream with a green strawberry flower. 4 eggplants.
Recipes inspired by a cookbook from 1926
Boiled turbot with sauces
Boiled turbot with excellent smoked white asparagus with asparagus sauce, wild asparagus and currant assiette. The currant brilliantly matched the turbot and asparagus, and everything was complemented with smoked taste. For this reason I need to award it with the Happy Eggplant badge. 5 eggplants.
Pike with horseradish sauce
Japanese Hamachi fish served with Polish original wasabi sauce. With Kimchi from wasabi leaves and a shot of water from marinated wasabi. 4 eggplants.
This recipe has been modified for one of our Degustujące Istoty who is not a fish fan.
Vol-au-vent from poultry
Patties with foie gras and guinea fowl meat garnished with chives. Interestingly, the corn on which the patties lay was edible and really good. 4 eggplants.
Guinea fowl or pantarki
One more dish that deserved the order of Happy Eggplant. It was Perfect! Morchella, Mousseline with guinea fowl and wild garlic leaf. 5 eggplants.
Recipes inspired by a cookbook from 1682
I rarely appreciate desserts because they are generally too sweet. This one was excellent. The sweetness of white chocolate was broken with sour cream, lime pebbles and sorrel sorbet. I am happy to award the dessert the Happy Eggplant badge. 5 eggplants.
The rhubarb Melchmus(legumin) with pieces of rhubarb and a beautiful spinach cake from a siphon. Incredibly fluffy and decorated with flowers. To this dish yogurt sorbet was added. 4 eggplants.
At the end of the dinner there are still small sweets. Polish macaroon, mini opera cake, fermented raspberry praline, raspberry jelly, cake with salty caramel. I liked the cake and the praline the most. Interestingly, Wety were served not all for every person. We needed to split them, as Chef Marcin said, to feel not fully satisfied and come back again for more. 3 eggplants.
After assessing the dishes and the number of badges awarded to them, you can already guess that it was the best dinner we had the pleasure to test. Apart from the fact that it was delicious, beautiful and at a high level, it was simply a pleasant evening, nice and fun. We felt really welcome. It may be strange, but with a stiff classic Fine Dining it’s difficult to maintain professionalism and elegance, and at the same time be nice and free. In the Epoka it succeeded. It was indeed the Fun Dining, but it was no worse than the Fine Dining.
In addition, because I informed during booking that one person does not eat some products, other versions of the recipes have been prepared. What was very nice, they were not poorer versions, but equally laborious and of similar value as the original dishes on the menu. Of course, the Order of the Happy Eggplant is well deserved for this wonderful tasting dinner.
Chef Marcin Przybysz eagerly talked about dishes and how the restaurant was created, about the contribution to its creation, about his inspiration from the old recipes of Polish cuisine (to which the tasting menu referred that evening). Thanks to the kindness of the Chef, we were able to admire the work of the whole team and what is happening in the kitchen. Amazing experience. It was difficult to focus on food, seeing with what precision dishes are prepared, how efficiently and with commitment the whole team works.
The desserts made by sous-chef @rafpastrychef were like a fairy tale and even someone that is not a fan of sweets, could enjoy them. In addition, Chef Rafał Gajownik in a wonderful way told us about them.
I will just mention a very innovative approach to photos in @restauracjaepoka. As you can see, some photos are made in the so-called light box. This is a specially constructed box with the perfect light for taking photos of dishes. Just ask for them and you can freely professionally photograph these small works of art created by Epoka’s team.
Downsides? I have not found one. Maybe that we would like even more recipes, or that I don’t live in Warsaw.
Link to the restaurant Epoka
Address: ul. Ossolińskich 3, Warsaw
Title picture: Stuffed wafers