Review of 'Tatra Restaurant'

The Shepherd's Bush area is a small hub of Polish activity in London. Just across the road and down the way from Tatra is the Patio Restaurant (also Polish) as well as numerous Polish grocery stores and delicatessens. My companion had previously visited Patio so was interested to see how this would compare…not entirely favorably, unfortunately.

Tatra is the slightly more up-market version of Patio with a cool black interior, plain wood floors, and modern art on the walls. Early on a Saturday night the place was empty when we first arrived with only a couple other diners when we left an hour or so later. The menu is filled with Polish classics including dumplings, stews and other simple “comfort food”.

I decided to go quite starchy with a starter of “Pierogi Dumplings filled with Sauerkraut and Wild Mushrooms” (£6.50) and a main of “Zbójnicki - Large Potato Pancake with Beef Goulash” (£13.90). My companion joined me in my starter by having the Russian version of “Pierogi” filled with “Cottage Cheese and Potatoes served with Braised Onion and Bacon” (£6.50). We found the pierogis wonderfully light compared to others we have had with the only complaint being a slight pool of oil on the plate under the small starter serving of 4 pierogis. Delicious flavour and thin pastry. The pierogis are a favourite of ours and we were delighted to see them also available as a main…though we tried something different! My potato pancake was nice with a sauce that was of a similar consistency to what you would almost expect in a Chinese dish - A thick vegetable-based sauce with beef throughout - I could not really call it a stew but the beef was wonderfully tender. When first served the potato pancake - served folded over in the middle of the plate with the stew poured over it - it was wonderfully crunchy but this soon gave way to being soggy - Still good but would have been better crunchy! My companion had “Bigos - Polish Hunters' Stew” (£11.40) which was good but lacking a lot of flavour.

With both our starters and mains we were pleasantly surprised that the portions were not enormous (certainly compared to Patio) so we were not stuffed to the gills!

Our dinner deal that we were using included desserts so we looked over the somewhat boring selection on offer. The only interesting items (“Naleśnik - Crepe filled with Cream Cheese, Rum, Raisins and Almonds” - £5.50 and “Vodka Marinated Sour Cherries Creme Brule” - £5.50) were so steeped in alcohol that we decided to give them a miss. So, I had the “ice cream of the day” (£5) which was vanilla and tasted very much like something that had come out of a supermarket freezer - No tell-tale signs of the flecks of vanilla and the flavour was quite chemically. Not great. My companion had the “White Chocolate Cheesecake” (£5.50) which was also disappointing - A thin sliver of cake with a soggy bottom - Never a good sign. It also tasted as if it come out of the freezer section.

Very disappointing end to quite a good meal. Not full of very exciting flavours but the portion sizes were very good - Not too big and yet not too small. Not quite fine dining, despite the interior (though appearances can be deceiving as we noticed the Ikea label on the bottom of our glasses). The staff were courteous if not entirely friendly (not helped by confusion about a reservation that we were told was not required when we called earlier in the day to be told when we arrive that it actually was…).

As far as the Patio comparison is concerned, I am told from my companion that Patio is like eating in someone's home with similar prices to Tatra but monstrous portions and much tastier.

So, unfortunately, I would pick Patio over Tatra. Not bad, just not great.


Review Date: 2013-08-04

Cuisine: Polish

Address: 24 Goldhawk Road, Shepherds Bush, London W12 8DH

Location: London (England) - Shepherd's Bush


Telephone: +44 (0) 208 749 8193