Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Ancora

Polish cuisine abounds in numerous tempting mysteries which are revealed by Chef Adam Chrząstowski at Ancora, in Krakow.  Having returned to Poland, the chef whose dishes had once bewitched gourmets in Shanghai decided to open his signature restaurant and put it as a landmark on the culinary map of Poland. His creative and unique approach to cooking makes all visitors to Ancora return there time and time again, longing for more flavor and pleasure.  Ancora offers a modern twist on traditional Polish cuisine.

We stumbled upon Ancora by chance, after being turned away by another restaurant for not having reservations.  I was a little worried, that perhaps reservations were the norm in Krakow, but we were seated in Ancora without a problem.  The interior design was very modern and clean, with neutral stone walls and white linen table clothes.  To get us in the mood, we ordered a bottle of 2011 Riesling from Alsace - my most favorite variety.  It was bright and refreshing, and paired well with the rest of our meal.


We began with a Selection of Seasonal Polish Snacks including house smoked herring with prune and apple; goat cheese with marinated beetroots; and a mini omelet with oyster mushrooms and chives.  The herring was surprisingly not too fishy, but had nice salt flavor that married well with the sweet prunes and apples.  The beets and goat cheese were a classic combination that I've enjoyed before, whereas the omelette was very savory and full of umami from the mushrooms.


Next, we shared a Chilled Kohlrabi Soup with Tiger Prawns.  The texture was smooth and the coolness revitalizing after a long day of sightseeing.  The tiger prawns were salted expertly to add another dimension to the root vegetable soup.


As an intermezzo, Keith ordered us each a 'shot' of Lemon Sorbet with Vodka.  The vodka was strong, but citrus and mint combination helped cleanse my palate.


For my main dish, I chose the Sea Bream that was lightly pan-fried and served with mashed potatoes, Spring vegetables, and creamy sauce made from leeks that I absolutely loved.  The fish was crispy and simply seasoned with salt and pepper.  The vegetables were grilled to bring out their natural flavor.  Overall, I really enjoyed my dish and it rivaled those of other five-star restaurants.

Keith ordered the Duck Breast served with asparagus and a sweet cherry-strawberry reduction.  The duck was cooked medium-rare and just to Keith's liking.  He was impressed with the meat and also appreciated the fresh seasonal asparagus.

In the end, we were extremely happy with our meal at Ancora and pleased with the fair bill.  The ingredients used, the service of the staff, and the presentation of plates were all top-notch and provided us an incredible first dinner experience in Krakow.

Total Rating: 4.75
Food: 5, Price: 5, Service: 4, Ambience: 3.5, Accessibility: 5
What Micky Eats...

What I ate:
Selection of Seasonal Polish Snacks
Home smoked herring with prune and apple;
Goat cheese with marinated beetroots
Mini omelet with oyster mushrooms and chive

Chilled Kohlrabi Soup
with Tiger Prawns

Lemon Sorbet with Vodka

Sea Bream
with mashed potatoes, Spring vegetables, and Cream of Leeks

Plus Keith ate:
Duck Breast
with asparagus served with cherry-strawberry reduction

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