Gessler at Daquise
Gessler at Daquise
20 Thurloe St South Kensington
(020) 7589 6117
Following a recommendation from a Polish colleague who confided to us that this restaurant serves the best Polish food in London, we made our way to Gessler at Daquise. Their flagship restaurant in Warsaw had been awarded Bib Gourmand status by Guide Michelin, so we had high expectations.
Situated in a trendy eating precinct of South Kensington, it stood out as the pearl amongst the familiar upmarket franchised restaurants that neighboured it. Perhaps it was the old-fashioned exterior and interior that charmed us. Gordo and I were welcomed by the friendly wait staff who gave us free choice of where to sit. The patrons were mainly speaking Polish, and to my pleasure I noticed the waitstaff responding in Polish, and that we were the few in the restaurant that were speaking English.
Gordo and I decided to do a massive order to sample what was on offer. For entrée we ordered Polish style stuffed eggs (Jajka faszerowane, £5) and Hunter’s stew (Bigos, £8). What was interesting was that the chefs come out to serve both entrees and mains for the guests. The chefs didn’t seem to happy-chappy when we took to our rapid-fire photo shoot as he served, but hey, not many Londoners smile anyway for that matter. The eggs were very fragrant and flavoursome. The Hunter’s stew made for excellent accompaniment with the bread, so flavoursome and tender was the meat.
For mains we tried 3 dishes between us. Firstly we had the tender chicken in pot, served in a slow cooked broth served with home made noodles, lemon sauce and broth vegetables (Kura w rosole, £15). The chicken was certainly quite dry and rough, and the sauce was nothing to rave about but the soup I found quite balanced and soothing.
The second main was the roasted duck stuffed with apples served with potatoes and red cabbage with prunes (Kaczka pieczona, £20). They certainly did not skimp on the mains, as they were all large servings, and the half a duck was the serving size. The duck skin could have been texturally more interesting as it was only slightly crispy, but points were given for the tenderness of the meat. The apples and red cabbage with prunes was the highlight of that dish as it went well with the roasted duck.
Our third main was cabbage stuffed with veal and rice stewed in a traditional sauce (Golabki, £13). This cabbage dish was the one I was most looking forward to having tried the one at Borsch Vodka and Tears in Melbourne, and yes it was equally well executed, but I think the sauce at BVT was more flavoursome. After all the dishes, Gordo and I were full to the brim, and wished we cycled harder today at Hyde Park to burn those excess kilojoules that we didn’t think we’d gain.
We were quite impressed overall with the service, décor, and the entrée. The mains were good, but certainly other restaurants would excel in this department. Londoners do not seem to dine in the same restaurant more than once as there are so many options, but this restaurant I would certainly be more than happy to return to. Service 8/10, food 8/10, ambience 8.5/10, overall 8/10.