Pierogarnia Momos is an interesting but sadly flawed attempt to turn the humble pierogarnia into something a little more sophisticated.
As well all know, a plate of pierogi is such a simple, tasty and yet versatile dish with all a manner of possibilities. So it does come somewhat as a surprise that nobody has yet come up with a pierogarnia that uses some of the great ingredients the world has to offer, in turn creating a fusion food that both foreigners and Poles can relate to.
Nonetheless it does appear that Pierogarnia Momos, which has stuffings such as goats cheese with sun-dried tomato, is planning to tap into this idea. Sadly though a mixture of high prices, naff decor, disappointing produce and lame music all mean that Pierogarnia Momos fails to come up trumps.
There are some good ideas at Momos, but regrettably few of them have had the desired effect. Embracing the trend for more transparency in the kitchen, Pierogarnia Momos have an open-kitchen behind the bar where diners can see the staff hard at work preparing pierogi dough.
The same trick has borne fruit on many occasions with pizzerias, so it should in theory work here too. Only it doesn't. Unlike the fluid motion of the tireless pizza dough spinners at the likes of Niezły Dym and Piec Na Szewskiej, the staff in the open kitchen at Momos looked depressed and uninterested in what they were doing. In fact, it wouldn't be overly unfair to say the kitchen staff's negative body language made the open workspace feel like an exhibition of slavery than an expression of culinary exuberance.
Another problem at Momos is its somewhat confusing identity. The restaurant's shabby chic furniture, menu, prices and table service all point towards Momos tailoring to a more hipster or at least more formal crowd. Yet the waiting staff have to wear cringe-worthingly cheesy outfits along with needless bowler-hats, the latter of which also strangely hang from the walls.
Meanwhile, tacky pop music spurts out of the speakers thanks to the commercial radio station that is used as the venue's soundtrack. This type of atmosphere is fine when you are in a milk bar paying 5-9zl for a plate of 8 pierogi, but feels out of place when you have to fork out 17zl for a mere 5. Those with tight budgets will sneer at the prices, while others who can splash the cash may find the restaurant's tackiness less than inspiring.
When it comes to the food, the peculiarities continue. The baked pierogi that I ordered, stuffed with goats cheese, coriander and sun-dried tomato, did admittedly look great on paper. However the dish proved to be a massive let down; the goats cheese tasted more like favita, while there were merely a few shards of sun dried tomato and dried coriander present to add further flavour. The average side salad, served in an ice cream bowl, was another odd touch.
All in all it comes as a disappointment to see Momos not turn out as good as it could (and should) be. There really is a space on Wroclaw's culinary map for a pierogarnia that tries out unconventional fillings in a cool atmosphere. Given that Momos have failed in that respect, that opportunity is still there to be had by any budding restraunteur.
Pierogarnia Momos, Świętego Mikołaja 16/17
Telephone: 880 786 009, Website