At Wroclaw Uncut, we have always maintained that those who refuse to venture out of the city centre are missing out big time. Why? Because they won't come across venues like Od Koochni, a recently opened eatery that's well and truly raised the bar of this city's gastronomy.
Located just a few minutes walk from Pl. Bema, Od Koochni's food just doesn't just taste great – it's very easy on the eye too (check their Facebook gallery for proof). Offering one vegetarian and meat dish each day, along with a daily soup, salad, cake and quiche, Od Koochni are striving to look for new tastes and flavours. You won't find the same dishes re-hashed day after day here – it really is a haven for lovers of creative cuisine.
Needless to say then, this new venue is already popular with locals, and it can be difficult to grab a seat in this small but cozy restaurant. Keen to pack in the punters, Od Koochni have made use of the available space by having a tightly knit seating arrangement, much like a milk bar or canteen. That might seem strange in a place that's aiming at a different clientele, but what it does do is bring people closer together. It in effect facilitates conversation and makes eating a more social event – something we like, and think is completely intentional.
Other than the seating layout however, there is little to remind you of Poland's humble milk bars. The decor is warm and welcoming, and tells you in no uncertain terms that the place has a passion for food. The first thing you notice when you walk in is the open kitchen, which is a bit of a rarity in Wrocław. You can literally see everything; the freshly baked cakes being taken out of the oven, the vegetables being chopped, the chef making the final finishing touches to your plate – it's all there.
Onto the food then. We plumped for a plate of their 'Barszcz biały' soup (8zl), which was every bit as good as what you'll find on the Rynek, if not better. The sausage was top notch, unlike the typical kabanos that get chucked in at most cheap Polish restaurants. The potato was soft and delicately cooked, while the broth was packed with flavour. Full marks for the starter then.
Next up was our vegetarian main course (16zl) which was a beautiful mash of various hearty vegetables served with a white cheese sauce. As you can see from the picture above, it was quite simply a work of art. Thankfully the meal's taste matched that of its great looks – the texture of the vegetables was spot on, and you could even be forgiven for thinking you were eating a light cake. The rich cheese sauce complimented the veg perfectly, and rounded off what was a thoroughly satisfying meal.
Little fault can be the found with food then, and the same can be said for the service – which was swift and done with a smile. Every place has its Achilles heel however, and Od Koochni is no different. They don't as of yet have an alcohol licence, so anyone looking to have a glass of fine wine with their meal may be disappointed. The place also lacks a designated customer toilet, so If you need to do your business, you have to pop through the kitchen to get to the staff one.
Nevertheless, the advantages of this great little venue completely overweigh the drawbacks, and Od Koochni is without doubt one of the best places to eat in the city. If you prefer eating at home, you can order and pick up your food over the counter too.
Over the last few years a string of alternative venues have opened up shop in the Wrocław, no doubt influenced by Europe's many cosmopolitan cities. Unfortunately however, a few of them are more style than substance and would probably go to the wall if they opened in the likes of Berlin. Od Koochni on the other hand, could operate successfully just about anywhere, and offers a truly genuine dining experience with quality food at decent prices. Wrocław's failing restaurateurs could certainly learn a thing or two from this place.
Od Koochni, ul. Olesnicka 7A
Tel: 603886398, odkoochni.pl