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Summer eatery by Miss Mullberry – part 1. The Pearl of Podlachia

whipped chocolate ganache cake with lemon curd
Whipped Chocolate Ganache Cake with Lemon Curd
June 15, 2017
Summer eatery by Miss Mullberry – part 2. Elblag
July 24, 2017

As you may know I’m on holidays in Poland right now, and I decided to take a short break from writing new recipes on my blog. Instead, I decided to start a new series, where I highlight my favorite summer restaurants. I hope you will enjoy reading!

F or the last few days I’ve been staying at my grandma in Bialystok. Bialystok is the largest city in northeastern Poland, and a capital of the Podlachia voivodship. I’ve always had a large sentiment to this city, as a child, I have been spending every summer here. My grandma used to live in a lovely countryside just at the outskirts, which now transformed into a luxurious neighborhood for people looking for an escape from the city. I have also been studying IT here, before I decided to quit everything and move to Denmark.

Podlachia (or Podlasie) is a historic region of Poland. It means “by the woods”, and the name couldn’t describe it better. Even now the whole region is covered by wilderness, forests, and definitely the spirit of old days. The city of Bialystok has always been a multicultural spot on the map of Poland. Especially the eastern folklore can be found here, between the charming streets of the town. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for, when searching for the place to eat today. And there is one place that matches my preferences 100%: the restaurant “Babka”.

Babka is a lovely restaurant serving traditional dishes from Eastern Borderlines. You can find here reginal meals from Podlasie, Russia, Latvia, Ukraine, Belarus and Jewish cuisine.

The first thing that you see after entering, is really cozy interior, which reminds of folk, traditional patterns and colors. The whole place isn’t very spacious, but the ropes attached to the ceiling create sort of paravian, which separates you from other guests. I found myself a little corner by the window (yes, I needed a good lightning for the pictures), with comfortable pillows. What also grabbed my attention, is that the staff is wearing uniforms, stylized to the reginal clothes. This gives really nice touch to an overall impression.

I got my card very fast, and noticed that unfortunately some positions were missing from the list, but I it didn’t really affect the quantity of other dishes. The card was divided to sections, where you could find the cuisines from the region that interest you. I also really liked that they used the traditional names for the dishes, and add the explanation next to it. It offered a wide selection of dishes, targeted for meat eaters (well you can expect that if you want the traditional dishes from that region). I decided to go for Czebureki, as an appetizer, which are deep fried dumplings with lamb served with yogurt-mint sauce and salad. Next, I took Draniki, which apparently are potato pancakes (kinda hash browns), served with pork in creamy sauce and salad. As a drink, I took a fruit compot with ginger.

As I was waiting for my order, I could take a closer look around, even though I was there around 14, the place was already quite packed. I noticed that many guests come from Eastern European countries, which brought even more authenticity to this place.

My orders came pretty fast, even though it was written on the card, that I might take around 1h to prepare the orders. The portions were really big! Good I was hungry, because you can totally eat yourself full by just the appetizers. I really like the way the meals were served, looked like the chefs did a little food styling, instead of just putting everything on the plate. I really enjoyed the flavors of each dish, I think they were well balanced, not over salty, and very, very unique in taste. My absolute favorite was Czebureki, as I’m a dumpling freak, so they really satisfied my taste buds. The fruit compot was a good complementary drink to my meal, not too sweet, a bit bitter, just how I like it, reminded me of the compots my granny used to make.

As people say “the devil is in the detail”, I was positively surprised, that they even decided to take the check serving to the whole new level: they brought it in Matrioszka! It was an absolute cherry on top, to the whole experience! I will definitely come back to Babka in the future!

Even though I was full after living the restaurant, there’s always a place for dessert! Just a few meters away, there is my favorite café: Wedel Chocolate Lounge.

I’ve been there many times before, and always enjoyed the experience, and seasonally changing menu. I decided to sit outside, as the weather cleared out. I could enjoy the whole summer terrace, with a stunning view to the Town Hall, just for myself. I took some specialties from the summer menu: Cold White Chocolate drink with passion fruit and lemon sorbet, and a caramel Fruit Tartelette with raspberries.

Wedel is the oldest chocolate factory in Poland, producing chocolate-based sweets for the markets as well. The Chocolate Lounge is a chain of franchise, that can be found across the whole country. And I think that’s why the standard is so high. The guests can expect nothing, but the best, also by being seated in a retro café.

As there were not so many customers, my orders came very quick. I loved both, but my heart got stolen by the drinking chocolate. I loved the flavor combination, as it wasn’t too sweet, or leaving a weird film on your throat (that happens when you chew on chocolate). The drink was very refreshing and summery. Just ideal to complete my day.

After the dessert, I took a quick walk down the Old Town, and head to the Branicki Palace. It’s a historical edifice in Bialystok, developed by Jan Klemens Branicki, a wealthy hetman, whose ambition was to become a king of Poland.

The whole complex, with a very impressive garden, was also referred to as Versailles of Poland. The Palace is an undoubtable landmark of Bialystok, as it’s truly magnificent, especially in the summer, when the garden flowers are blooming. The visitors can walk around the aisles, surrounded by the sculptures of the mythological characters, rest in patio, and even take a look inside, during the certain times. Its’ worth mentioning, that the Medical University is also housed in the Palace.

I hope you enjoyed the first part of my Summer Eateries! I would love to hear what you think, so don’t hesitate to leave a comment.