The capital of Greater Poland has long been represented by an impressive range of regional foods – ‘gzik’ with potatoes, St. Martin’s croissants, yeast rolls with icing, or a traditional potato soup – that have become as indispensable to the local landscape as billy goats, Lech Poznań fans, and the already legendary frugality. But we all know that, don’t we? In PURO MAG, we explore paths less travelled. That’s why in our September issue we are taking you on a culinary trip across Asia without leaving Poznań.
China. A red-hot heart in the center of Poznań
Azalia restaurant, ul. Święty Marcin 34
25 years ago, Yanli and Dianmeng Liu opened a traditional Chinese restaurant in one of the main arteries of the city. What do we know about Azalia? Well, we know it’s captivatingly competent: elegant interior design and music form a valid background for food prepared by Chinese chefs. Back in China, a stove is the heart of every restaurant. Just like in Poznań, for Mr. and Mrs. Liu brought a stove straight from their homeland (the only one of this kind in Poznań!) to make sure vegetables are always crisp and meat blissfully delicate. The popularity of Azalia among the Chinese who live in or visit Poznań speak for the climate of the place and the authenticity of food. After all, who can judge Chinese cuisine better than the Chinese themselves? Holding Kuaizi (Chinese chopsticks) we can treat ourselves to such delicacies as Gongbao jiding – spicy chicken with nuts, Mapo Doufu – spicy tofu with chicken or Kou Rou – steamed bacon served in a special marinade. For dessert we recommend you try … a Chinese massage in a Yanli studio next door – ask a waiter, they will know what to do.
India. Where the elephant brings luck, happiness, and success
Hatti restaurant, ul. Woźna 13
The vast lands of India are home to people speaking more than 3000 dialects and an extraordinarily diverse cuisine, with dishes no one could possibly count. Thanks to its variety, Indian cuisine is believed to be one of the most interesting and distinctive cuisines in the world. What does India taste like in Poznań? In Hatti restaurant, Nepali chef Dipesh Ghimire promotes dishes typical of Northern India. What’s worth trying during our first visit? For starter, we’d recommend Samosas – Indian dumplings with vegetable or meat filling; Chicken Tikka Masala – chicken grilled in a tandoor oven, served with a spicy, onion-tomato sauce and traditional Indian bread or Basmati rice – is one of the best options as far as the main dish is concerned. To top it all we think it’s worth trying Gulab Jamun – Indian doughnuts in a sweet syrup, and Mango Lassi – a yoghurt, Mango-flavored beverage.
Japan. Minimalism on a plate
TOKYO TEY- ul. Półwiejska 22
Fancy eating something fast? Enthusiastic about the country of cherry blossoms? If so, we’ve found a perfect place, whose very name suggests you can expect the unexpected. Tokyo Tey is a unique project – both modern and affordable. If you choose to enter its minimalist interior located in the main pedestrian street of the city, you’ll satisfy your hunger faster than it takes to place an order in any place serving well-known kebabs or spaghettis. With Hashi (Japanese chopsticks) in your hand, you may choose between Sushi Boxes (pioneers in Poznań), Onigiris – Japanese sandwiches, or hand rolls. Feel like trying a real, Japanese soup? No problem! Try miso or Gyu Curry, accompanied by a glass of refreshing yoghurt with mango.
Vietnam. The one with the crown
Thanh Ha, ul. Szamarzewskiego 11
The oldest Vietnamese restaurant in Poznań, Thanh Ha, has been managed by Thanh Ha Nguyen and Manh Hung Nguyen for more that 15 years. The marks of success? The first prize in one of the nationwide restaurant competitions – hence the crown – and a group of devoted enthusiasts of oriental cuisine. If you feel like tasting original food prepared by a Vietnamese chef, you don’t have to embark on a long and exhausting journey. You just need to visit one of Poznań’s most famous districts – Jeżyce! During our visit, we were welcomed with a custom menu proposed by the chef himself: For starter I’d obviously recommend spring rolls. Main dish – a bowl of famous Pho, broth made with beef with rice noodles and a hint of coriander. If you don’t want soup, you should try our Vietnamese-style beef with lemon grass or tofu with tomato sauce. For dessert – fried bananas or pineapples sprinkled with honey and coconut shreds. Heaven!
Thailand. The ambassadors of Thai taste
Why Thai, ul. Kramarska 7
Is there a more convincing recommendation than a certificate granted to a Thai restaurant by Thailand itself? Thai Select is awarded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Thailand for a food spot with the most authentic cuisine and exceptional hospitality. If you add a top location – the vicinity of the Old Market Square – you’ll see why Why Thai is perfect for business lunches, meetings with friends, or your significant other. A Polish-Thai chef duo prepares original dishes with a whole range of flavors, making sure that the taste of such Thai classics as Pad Thai or Curry lives up to your expectations. Contemporary interior design of the place and a meticulously compiled wine menu make it a must-visit spot for everyone. It would feel bad to visit Poznań and miss Thailand, wouldn’t it?
text: Adi Kaniewski
photo: courtesy of restaurants' owners