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55 Prince's Gate, Exhibition Road
“Food from my heritage!” purrs one Polish reader, but Ognisko also has much to offer those who aren’t part of the capital’s expat community. Its al fresco terrace (a marquee-framed space backing onto Prince’s Gardens) is one of London’s “undiscovered gems” and the vodka bar (with its long list of home-made flavours) is a riot, while the high-ceilinged former townhouse transforms into a wonderfully romantic spot at night. “Good-sized portions” of traditional Polish nosh offer “excellent value” and bags of choice. Start with zupa wisniowa (chilled cherry soup with nalesniki noodles) or a hot-smoked salmon salad with beetroot and horseradish dressing. The big flavours can start to stack up, so we’d recommend keeping things light where possible – perhaps caviar-loaded blinis or grilled sea bass with fennel, apple and caper salad followed by pulkownik (sorbet with a shot of frozen vodka). “Five-star treatment” and some top-end wines back everything up.
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55 Prince's Gate, Exhibition Road
South Kensington Tube Station 558m
Knightsbridge Tube Station 963m
The Science Museum 264m
Royal Geographical Society 265m
Mon-Sun 12N-3pm 5.30-11.15pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
What a lovely evening, after a visit to an exhibition at the Science Museum, we called in for drinks here in the bar followed by a hearty supper on the terrace outside. Not being familiar with Polish food, all four of us tried different dishes. Dumplings feature several times on the menu, and the Roast quail with spiced spaetzle dumplings, chestnuts and pomegranate, and the Pelmeni dumplings filled with veal and pork were said to be very good - these looked rather like ravioli; I had the Plaki potato pancake with spiced sauteed chicken livers and dried cherries , the crispy round the edges pancake topped with soft savoury livers, really good and very substantial. There are lighter options, and the Grilled artichoke and braised radicchio salad with broad beans and lemon was good. Main courses included Pork Schnitzel with potatoes and capers, and pot roast Guinea fowl with spring vegetables served in the broth, all very generous. There was no need for dessert at all, but intrigued by the menu we had 4 desserts to share between us and tried Sernik – vanilla & white chocolate cheesecake, roast peaches with yogurt, sticky lemon cake, and warm apple strudel. Nothing was left. Altogether a fine evening surrounded by others enjoying themselves, and a great place to go after some serious museum visiting.
Overall great food, with good size portions. Excellent value for this style of restaurant.
Couple of negatives though - I expected the staff to be far more attentive and my desert which was supposed to be a Rhum Baba was disappointing.
A group of 3 of us ate lunch at Ognisko. For a Monday it was busy when we arrived at 1.15, with a few family groups as well as a scattering of more antique people of Polish extraction, at a guess. We had a light lunch from an adventurous menu, so missed the meat-based mains, though those served around us looked appetising. 2 starters were Barszcz, or beetroot soup (which the Russian Borstch copied, not the other way round, of course), and hot smoked Salmon salad; both good. Light second courses (several allow small or larger servings) were sautéed chicken livers, Gravadlax on plaki pancakes and Kaszanka pancakes (oops, forgotten the main ingredient).
Service was efficient and helpful with some of the food items.
We ate in 1hr 20mins and got out for £55, which was about right for 3, without drinks.
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