Very Sexy Fish
Pod Lososiem translates as Under the Salmon. We decline the 40 percent proof Goldwasser liqueur or we’ll be Under the Table. The building began life in 1598 as an inn and distillery called Der Lachs (The Salmon). It was founded by Ambroży Vermollen. The fishy angle is a salmon sculpture over the door on the salmon coloured façade. Hence the name. Geddit. Not as abstract as it sounds. George Bush Senior, Margaret Thatcher and Princess Anne have all dined here (not at the same time). Two other guests (not together), Pope John Paul II and the Duchess of Cambridge, have pierogi (dumplings) named after them. Such an honour!
The restaurant has been owned by the Robakowski family since its reconstruction in 1976. Established by Gerard, it is now run by his son Mieczyslaw and grandson Damian. Today, the elder is sommelier; the younger, waiter. Pod Lososiem is not without its admirers, famous or otherwise. Saturday lunch is fully booked (at least) seven months in advance. So Sunday lunch is the alternative. First impressions are this isn’t for the faint hearted. It’s a bastion of full blooded exuberance. And that’s just the rococo entrance hall plastered and stuccoed and burnished and furnished to within a square inch of its life.
The food lives up to the wallpaper, so to speak. Chef Janusz Małyszko’s mighty fish selection served with crayfish (well, if it’s good enough for Catherine…) is maximalism on a plate. Soon stuffed to the gills, there’s always room for cinnamon crème brûlée. The two tiered dining room is awash with a nautical theme from enormous fish tiles to a boat suspended from the ceiling. A bounty’s worth of silver glimmers from a glass cabinet.