Nestled between modern glass office buildings in Warsaw’s south, Bocca Bistro & Bar is a hidden gem.
A swipe of the curtain draped over the entrance takes you to a world far removed from the office blocks outside – a relaxed sanctuary of sorts, the lounge-like vibe is emphasized through the generous use of comfortable armchairs, warm lighting, plush fabrics and so forth. And with a fireplace and pool table also present, everything about this place screams, “leave work outside!” Devised by the owners Dagna Preis- Przepiórska and Robert Przepiórski along with Studio 370 – who have become one of the most influential forces in domestic restaurant design – it’s a space that takes people away from everyday life and transports them somewhere special.
Cooking for you is Kamil Kędzierski, a face you’ll already be familiar with on the off-chance you follow the bundle of food shows on Polish TV. Appearing on Top Chef last year, Kędzierski was one of the more controversial characters to appear on the program. Having since joined Bocca Bistro & Bar, craft beer fiends are also likely to know him as the chap who once fronted the kitchen at the Old Town’s highly-rated Maryensztadt bar.
There are those who use Bocca Bistro & Bar as… a bar. And there’s nothing wrong in doing so yourself. The drinks here won’t let you down, whether it’s a craft beer you’re after or something more elegant – house cocktails, for instance, like Tommy’s Margarita or Hemingway’s Daquiri. But overlooking the food when there’s someone of the caliber of Kamil Kędzierski prowling the kitchen is an offense that should be made punishable by death – or, at the very least, a good strong word.
Demonstrating a palette that’s as adventurous as it is sophisticated, this is cooking that screams of talent: respectful of a product yet also with enough dash and daring to make it stand out. It would be no exaggeration to say that the WBJ ordered up around fifteen dishes, and each stood proud as something to remember – thymus with caviar, a pickled-cabbage soup with horseradish mash and chunks of beef shank that melt in the mouth, and a tomato consommé sprinkled with flakes of Bursztyn cheese.
And that’s just the starters. Moving on, duck breast and duck leg win praise for the different ways they are treated, whilst guineafowl is made all the better for a side of rich blackberry chutney. Polished in presentation and big in its tastes, its food that is ambitious, bold and keen to impress – and this it goes.
That Kędzierski is a clever cook is, at this stage, abundantly apparent, but were there any doubt then it was instantly dispelled with the arrival of dessert. Loosening the belts, we tucked into a brownie whose decadent flavors are offset by the welcome neutrality of a beer ice cream, before cracking into a goat’s cheesecake and raspberry mousse. Immensely satisfying.
Bocca Bistro & Bar
ulica Postępu 14, boccabar.pl