Krakow’s dining scene has been through several stages of evolution. Some time ago, it was all about sophistication and high-end cuisine – today, the big growth is in fast and ‘street’ food.
Kazimierz in particular now teems with quick food outlets, ranging from gourmet burger bars to esoteric Middle Eastern offerings. It was only a matter of time before that super heavy weight of fast food tradition joined them – British fish and chips.
Chunky and delicious fish and chips at Dorsche
Dorsche, Krakow’s first fish and chip restaurant, opened its doors way back in August 2013, but underwent a refit over the winter and is now rapidly gaining ground as the latest drop in food hot spot.
Tucked away on the corner of ul. Miodowa and ul. Jakuba, Dorsche is slightly off the beaten track for regulars of the Pl. Nowy bar circuit, but easy enough to find with its big, bold ‘Fish and Chips’ sign over the entrance.
The cosy interior includes a cute and clean courtyard, which will be open air in the summer, and a very snug, cabin-like dining room at the back.
Any Brit will recognise and appreciate the decoration – kitschy sailing paraphernalia, seashells, pebbles and porthole designs are just enough to evoke a touch of the British seaside resort in deepest Kazimierz.
Traditional seaside decor
The Dorsche’s owner, Maciej Pietraszak (a man I will personally be recommending to Her Majesty for a knighthood), came to the fish and chip business after having established successful catering company Pan Bułeczka.
Like any number of young Poles, Maciej has spent time living and working on the Islands – an experience that left him with a love of fish and chips. “I really wanted to establish the habit of eating fresh fish in Poland,” he told me, “Something delicious that Poles can enjoy, not just feel they have to eat on Fridays.”
I questioned how you get fresh fish 600km from the sea, but Maciej assured me none of their stock goes near a freezer: “We don’t even have one. These days, it’s completely possible to pick up the phone and get a delivery of fresh Atlantic cod the next day.”
However that cod gets here, the resulting fish and chips are superb. For 18 zł, you get two substantial chunks of gorgeously moist and flaky fish encased in, literally, melt-in-the-mouth batter. The chips are chunky, a beautiful brown and exactly the right size for splashing in vinegar. You also get a little tub of homemade mushy peas, and another of tartare sauce – a seriously solid meal for the price.
Dorsche dining room
I asked Maciej what the secret of his recipe was, expecting to hear of ancient wisdom passed on from an old fish fryer in Falmouth. “There isn’t one,” he said, “You can find out how to make fish and chips on Google – it’s not complicated. What makes it good is using fresh ingredients, and making sure you’re serving fish covered in batter, not a huge chunk of batter with a bit of fish inside.”
Despite the name, Dorsche serves a lot more than cod and fried potatoes. I’m assured the English breakfast is the best in Krakow (no real sausages, sadly, but the bacon is said to be crispily authentic) and there are all sorts of burgers and sandwiches on offer too.
Fast (I’ve never waited more than five minutes for fish and chips), fresh and delicious, Dorsche is well worth getting to know and adding to your mental map of places to drop in for a satisfying bite.
Dorsche Fish and Chips
ul. Miodowa 31