As our temporarily absent holiday reporter Decoy wrote a while back, there’s no knowing whether a new restaurant is going to stay open long enough to establish itself or not.
The picture is a shot from my office window down to the latest example of here-today-gone-tomorrowness in the culinary sector of Warsaw. The brown boarded up windows were, for perhaps a month or two at the most, the appetisingly titled “Cafe Bar Restauracyjny A P Foods”, located at the bottom of a block of flats opposite the PKiN on Emilii Plater.
Despite having a food court and numerous restaurants inside Zlote T as well as various options in the surrounding area, the workers here still find themselves short of options and are always keen to try out something new. Mainly what we are short of is good food for a sensible price. At the lunacy end of the spectrum you can spend about 35 zeds in Coffee Heaven for a nothing special sandwich, muffin and drink, while at the other end you can go to the “hole-in-the-wall cafe” and get rosół plus kotlet schabowy and all the bits for 12 zeds.
Asian food is slowly becoming more popular but all of the options inside ZT are going to set you back around 30 zeds or more, Thai Wok in the foodcourt being my favourite. The now boarded up place set out to provide a filling (gigantic in fact) portion of Asian food for less than 20 zeds and might well have proved to be very busy.
It’s a mystery as to what happened. It opened, we tried it out with noodle dishes and decided that whilst it could have been tastier it was pretty good value. A little eccentric perhaps. Obviously genuine Asian staff doing to cooking but with a manager/owner who looked a little out of place, more used to being seen exposing herself on Pudelek or having her life examined in Viva or Gala than wandering around a cheap cafe. We tried it once more when I went for the “7 litre – meal in a soup” option. Have to say I started to worry when the majority of pieces of meat in the soup were hard to pin down to a known species, certainly didn’t look like any chicken parts I had previously encountered but the Chinese clients were tucking in nicely so perhaps it was just me?
Next thing we knew it was closed with paper covering the windows and a note about a remont. We assumed they’d decided it was working and were tarting it up or adding more seats. It reopened for about a day looking no different, then closed again this time with boarded up windows and no note about what was going on. It’s been that way now for a couple of months at least.
We’re hoping it does reopen (after having found better meat suppliers), or something similar takes its place but the circumstances are strange enough to suggest that perhaps this will not be the case. We certainly don’t need another high-end grocery store or overpriced coffee shop but with Złota 44 right next door and one day to fill with Warsaw’s rich and famous (ROTFL), the pressure to be “posh” might be overwhelming.
What I can’t quite get my head around with things like this is why people go to some fairly considerable effort to create something that is clearly a flawed enterprise? They had to rent the place, create a business, make and install a sign, find some Asian cooks, fit-out the kitchen and restaurant, buy ingredients……..etc. A lot of work and cost only for it to close after a month or two? What the hell?