Ratuszova, Poznan

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Ratuszova, Poznan

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Review of "Ratuszova, Poznan"

published 27/05/2017 | RICHADA
Member since : 20/06/2004
Reviews : 368
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About me :
If my reviews entertain, amuse or brighten your moment in any way, then my task is done! ++ I will return, but my current workload keeps me away currently. ++
Excellent
Pro Cutlery. Food. Menu. Quality. Value.
Cons None.
exceptional
Value for Money
Standard of Menu
Atmosphere
Standard of Service
Cleanliness

"AN EXPERIENCE AT RATUSZOVA IN POZNAN"

It may look like any other eatery in any historic city in Poland, but this one is all but ordinary.

It may look like any other eatery in any historic city in Poland, but this one is all but ordinary.

WHERE IN THE WORLD?

For this review we are in the Polish city of Poznan, located about two and a half hours drive due east of Berlin by motorway route E30. Poznan is home to Poland’s equivalent of the National Exhibition Centre – ironically, a concert at which had drawn us to this historic city.

It would not be appropriate here to go into the complexities of Polish history and the various border changes over the centuries, save to say here that, like Wroclaw to the south, Poznan is a rather “Germanised” city and has a different character to places such as Krakow and Warsaw, this is reflected partly in its architecture, but more so in its people and the style of service and hospitality offered, which offers the best of both worlds; German efficiency and Polish warmth.

WHY DID WE CHOOSE THE RESTAURACJA RATUSZOVA IN POZNAN?

Any visitor to Poznan (or most other historic, Polish, cities) would share our dilemma when visiting the Stary Rynek – old market square – at the heart of this large city, in that the prospective diner is simply spoiled for choice as far as eating places are concerned. On the face of it, without inspecting all of their menus in minutia, they all look the same – historic frontages, identical in size, if decorated differently and with tables and chairs set out on the square in front under umbrellas / parasols.

Apologetically, we appear to be turning into those very smartphone touting tourists that in the past I have so ridiculed, the Trip Advisor app on my phone being increasingly used both at home and abroad. This was our second night in Poznan, on the first, ‘slightly’ tired after a 25 hour day, we had taken the easy option and eaten in the perfectly acceptable Saporito Italian Restaurant in our hotel, now we were looking for something a little more traditional Polish, less Mediterranean in style and flavour. Trip Advisor in hand, we made a start at the most highly recommended restaurant in the city.

Not wishing in any way to pre-empt the conclusion of this review, over the following two days we did not get any further down Trip Advisors list! Whilst that may not sound very adventurous on our part, and my own contribution to that esteemed site only served to boost Restauracja Ratuszova’s standing, we were determined to try as many of their dishes as possible – just to attempt to prove Trip Advisor wrong you understand……..

LOCATION & ACCESSIBILITY: 14 / 15

Ratusz is Polish for town hall and appropriately enough on the southern side of the large town square, with an oblique view of that very building, you will find Ratuszova.

The square is level, although the part cobbled surface is hardly conducive to the mobility of the less able bodied, should the weather be less obliging than during our visit there are tables upstairs, just inside the door, although the main restaurant is located down stairs along with the toilets – an almost standard arrangement in historic Polish cities. On the whole, less able bodied members of society are rather better cared for in public places in the UK.

Unlike in the UK however, parking in the location is cheap and convenient, whilst the square itself is, nominally, pedestrianised (you may still get mown down by a police patrol or tradesmans’ vehicle) we were surprised how close we could park to the square, never more than a two or three minute walk away from Ratuszova in the “Old Town” centre.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS / AMBIANCE: 15 / 15

Out on the square, you could almost be eating in any city in Poland, brewery sponsored parasols and neatly presented tables lined up in rows laid for couples, the waiters simply joining as many tables as are required for your party.

However, Ratuszova is contained within a very historic building, originating in the mid-13th century and occupied during the winter of 1657/58 by King John Casimir, this fact being recorded on a plaque on the wall outside. As with most Polish cities it was almost entirely destroyed in 1945, the above ground part of this building as you see it now being a reconstruction finished in 1952. It is however inside that you need to go to experience the extraordinary ambiance, maybe not for the claustrophobic, but if eating outside on the square, do make sure you visit the (excellent) toilets as in doing so you will step back hundreds of years into Polish history along the way as the main part of the restaurant, along with the bar and toilets are located in underground, gothic, vaults.

Ratuszova has been here operating continuously as a wine bar then restaurant since 1954, in my experience quite extraordinary in this ever changing country.

Enough of the history! You came here to sample the food……

THE MENU: 15 / 15

In Poland there are two types of menu, an impressively long one that goes to about ten pages of A4 paper offering every conceivable cuisine cooked just about any way you can think of, the second, as here at Ratuszova, a deceptively simple one with maybe half a dozen each starters and main courses and even fewer sweets to consider. From sixteen years’ experience out here now, I have come to the realisation that restaurants presenting the latter type of menu invariably have the best food as they are not attempting to be all things to all men.

That is most certainly the case at Ratuszova, which in London, Manchester or Paris would probably carry off a couple of Michelin Stars.

The menu varies seasonally, so I would refer you to ratuszova.pl/en/ for an unusually good (by Polish standards) English translation of it, rather than listing it here. A simple lunchtime, main course is offered at an extraordinarily reasonable 19PLN (currently £4) and our waiter was actually positively recommending the particular chicken dish of the day over the 35PLN Chicken Supreme dish on the menu. Whilst chicken is always highly recommendable in Poland – tasting nothing like UK sourced chicken, sadly I tend to vere towards the more exotic items on the menu, yes, RICHADA has expensive taste when it comes to food.

As well as a three salad option, there are three cooked main course vegetarian dishes, should you be a non-meat eater Ratuszova will not, unlike many restaurants in Poland, make you feel like a second class citizen – indeed, even for carnivores such as myself, the vegetarian menu options look very attractive.

As is common in Poland, fish dishes are notable by their scarcity, although here there is at least a starter and main course offering.

Desserts may leave you feeling short of choice as there are just three of them – two in my case as coconut (in a white chocolate mousse) is one of very few substances abhorrent to my taste buds!

THE PRICES: 15 / 15

In the case of this particular restaurant, the prices section here should follow the conclusion - or food – rather than the menu section.

Many casual tourists looking at the menus outside restaurants in the Stary Rynek in Poznan will go for cheaper options, and I can understand that. However, there is cheap and then there is value for money and, on the latter judgement, I defy anyone to find me a restaurant anywhere in Europe offering finer value for money than this one.

Yes, I have expensive culinary taste and yet am very critical of over-priced restaurants, here however it was a pleasure paying for the food as it was faultless, all of it.

In hard cash terms, budget for around £25 to £30 per head, including drinks, and you will not be far off. In France, Germany, Italy or England though, I am convinced that you would pay twice that for food and service of this standard.

THE SERVICE: 15 / 15

In my experience you can tell that you are somewhere a little special when served immacculately clean, monogrammed silver cutlery wrapped in starched white serviettes. You may also take this as a sign that things are very much done properly here and so that turned out to be.

The waiting staff are the equal of the standards set by the cutlery and food here. Bi-lingual, well informed and educated as far as the dishes are concerned, they were friendly, enthusiastic and professional.

THE DRINKS: 10 / 10

We refrained from dipping into the separate wine menu, it was pleasantly warm eating outdoors and we quite happily supped beer on draft and bottled water along with excellent coffee following the meal.

THE FOOD: 15 / 15

I am above fiddling my own system here, but the food would deserve a 20 on this score – hand on heart, I can say that I have never experienced better food, anywhere.

With such a simple menu, between the four of us, in three days we managed pretty much to work our way all the way through it, there were no standout dishes and even the lowest priced options were outstanding.

Several dishes I will remember for life, one, extraordinarily, being the very simplest and most traditional Polish soup dish; Traditional Polish Sour Soup served in a loaf of bread. Sixteen years ago, on my very first meal out in Mielec I had this dish and thought it novel in concept but revolting in execution. Here it was the best Sour soup (no heavy vinegar hit) I have ever tasted – although not served IN bread, it is a regular dish at home with Mrs R – and the huge bread roll that it was served in was light and crispy. Delicious, filling and cheap (19PLN), on one evening my father-in-law had this as his sole dish, having admired mine – as a starter – the previous evening.

Steak Tartare, always our favourite starter in Poland, again was the world’s best here, beautiful presentation adding to the superb taste experience of this love it or loathe it dish.

One that I did not get to order, but courtesy of my mother in law did get to taste, was the spinach leaves, mushroom, and sun dried tomato starter. Whilst maybe not sharing the artistic merit of the steak tartare or amazing smoked trout, the flavour of that spinach fried in gorgeous Polish butter made me wish that I could have had a fourth meal at Ratuszova – and nobody could ever accuse me of being a vegetarian!

Mrs R had long wanted to try Foie Gras and Ratuszova provided her with the opportunity. Another highly artistic dish, in this case served with pear, rhubarb and a vanilla jus, with a separate plate containing two superb brioche slices. At 49PLN (£10) not cheap, but worth every penny – and yes, I did get to taste this rather controversial delicacy.

Moving onto the main course(s), at 85PLN the Traditional Polish Duck may have been regarded as an extravagance, in reality, never had £17.70 been better spent! A half duck, served with two, light, yeast buns with apple, red cabbage and cranberry – beautifully cooked and presented, never have I eaten such succulent or tasty duck.

Equally outstanding – as all the main course dishes were – was my “Milk Veal / Veal tongue, celery, carrot potato dumpling, spring onion and veal sauce dish. Eyebrows may well be raised in England regarding veal, and, in truth, I rarely eat it there, in Poland calves meat is far more commonly available and tastes wonderful. I have never before tasted calves tongue and this was an outstanding delicacy, again, one that will long be remembered after this particular visit to Poznan.

Also sampled over the three nights were the Seabass and Pork Chop dishes, the first proving that Ratuszova not only majors on traditional Polish dishes, the second proving that when as well cooked and presented as this, traditional Polish cuisine is the equal of the word’s best!

THE CONCLUSION 99 / 100

With a 99% score, I am not expecting Ratuszova to ever be beaten, we being highly unlikely to find a restaurant anywhere in the world that serves better food, or more importantly, food better matched to our taste.

Ratuszova provided us with the opportunity to sample several dishes that would simply be regarded as too exotic, expensive, or ethically unacceptable to eat in the UK, and for that I can only thank them.

Putting that score in perspective, here is a comparison with other eating places rated on the same scoring system:

RESTAURACJA RATUSZOVA – POZNAN – POLAND – 99%

(Lunch, Dinner x 2)

Benedicts of Belfast – 96% (Dinner x 2)
Marrocco’s – Hove – 95% (Lunch, Dinner, Tea & Ice Cream!)
Boston Tea Party – Honiton – 95%
Restauracja Akropolis – Wroclaw, Poland – 94% (Dinner x 3)
Bettys – Harrogate – 94% (Tea and Lunch)
Osso Buco – Weybridge – 94% (Dinner)
Donatello – Brighton – 88% (Lunch and Dinner)
Karczma Polska – Mielec, Poland – (Lunch) – 87%
Restauracja Oranzeria – Rzeszow, Poland – 84% (Lunch)
Breakfast Club – Brighton – 70% (Breakfast)
P&O Brasserie – Spirit of Britain – Dover to Calais Ferry – 50% (Dinner x 3)
Stanmer House – Brighton – 44% (Lunch Only)

OPENING TIMES:

Monday to Saturday 12.00 – 23.00
Sunday 12.00 – 21.00

CONTACT & FIND:

Restauracja Ratuszova
Stary Rynek 55
Poznan
Poland

Tel: +48 6185 10513

Website: www.ratuszova.pl

Email: info@ratuszova.pl

© RICHADA / CIAO 27,05.2017

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Comments on this review

  • LiveMusicLoverLyn published 16/06/2017
    Great!
  • Mistee-Dreamz published 07/06/2017
    Another E!
  • jb0077 published 06/06/2017
    E from me
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Product Information : Ratuszova, Poznan

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Listed on Ciao since: 19/05/2017