Dumpling Festival: Platzki’s popular Pierogi Festival is back at Deansgate for 2023. The annual festival takes place on Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th September from 17:00 until, well, everything has sold out. In other words, get down early to enjoy some of the best East European dumplings around.
These perfect filled dumplings will be available with a variety of fillings, including savoury options such as the ‘Kaczka’ – full of perfectly slow-cooked duck accompanied by fresh plum, or the ‘Karkowka’ stuffed with delicately roasted pork and roasted vegetables.
There are vegan and vegetarian options too, including the ‘Fasolka’, which is packed with crushed butter beans, roasted tomatoes and roasted peppers. Or try a unique twist on the Polish staple with the ‘Slodkie’, a temptingly sweet Pierogi loaded with cottage cheese, vanilla sugar and juicy blueberries.
Feel free to eat in or take out. There’s no need to book a table, simply show up with your Pierogi-loving pals and enjoy a dumpling feast at Platzki, or grab a takeaway with Pierogi to go, and enjoy from home.
Full review: Polish restaurant Platzki is one of Manchester’s most inspiring dining destinations. Based in the ever-growing Great Northern Warehouse, it dances on that thin line between fine dining and home cooking – and does both brilliantly. But even before we get to the food, there’s plenty to praise about this unique restaurant.
The owners have a progressive outlook, very much in tune with the city at large, with an LGBT+ friendly outlook and hands-on support for victims of the war in Ukraine, even hiring those affected to work in the restaurant. They also design the menu, starting from scratch every six weeks or so, with new ideas to showcase the exciting range of flavours found in East European food. Best of all, the vegan and vegetarian options on the menu are far from an afterthought and are often the standout dishes.
Walking in feels like being invited into someone’s home, albeit a very stylish, beautifully laid-out home with dozens of chairs and tables. The team who work here are a delight, fiercely proud of their heritage and with a deep love for Manchester. They’re full of stories and friendly recommendations, and if you want the full experience, let them choose your dishes (the menu even states ‘We have a lot of ideas so ask staff’). In brief, it feels like going round your best mate’s house for tea, if your best mate’s mum and dad are Michelin star chefs.
The drinks are a high point. Whether it’s one of the carefully-crafted cocktails, a rich red wine or a wooden board of multi-coloured vodkas, the quality is high and the taste impossibly smooth.
Start with the pierogi. These chunky Polish dumplings come decorated with light salad leaves and berries, coated with a mouthwatering plum sauce. They’re also incredibly moreish, so don’t scoff the lot, save some room. Zupa, Polish tomato soup is a hearty option, rich, full of flavour and topped off with some enormous crunchy croutons, plus a healthy amount of fresh basil, for good measure.
The beetroot dish is one of the most eye-opening starters, for all the right reasons. It’s a big plate of candied beetroot carpaccio, hosting an artfully-arranged tangle of salad leaves, raspberries, mustard marinade and the most potent smoked cheese you’ll ever taste. The flavours work wonders together and whether you’re vegetarian or not, this is a must-try.
Pan-fried sea bream is another huge portion (spot a pattern?), and it’s flawless. It has that all-important crisped-up skin, soft white meat and a pitch-perfect combination of heritage tomatoes, capers, olives and dill dressing. If you’re looking for the ultimate summer dish, a mouthful of Platzki’s sea bream, olives and capers is up there with the best.
But the standout dish, and the one you’ll keep going back to again and again for ‘just one more bite’ is the karkowa. It’s a gloriously rich roasted pepper stew, heavy on the paprika, garlic and rosemary, plus some of the softest, most addictive chunks of slow-cooked pork neck you’ll find anywhere in the North. It’s listed as coming with spinach egg noodles but these noodles aren’t spaghetti-style long noodles, they’re rustic dumpling-shaped chunks that match well with the rich sauce.
Then there’s the herring. This is possibly the ultimate summertime Platzki dish, an aesthetic triumph that teams sweet berries with two thick fillets of salty, freshly-prepared vivid-red fish.
And finally, because the Platzki staff will insist on making sure you leave happy and content, finish things off with a sweet, custard-based cake, topped with fruit and a sprig of mint. The perfect palate cleanser for an exceptional meal.
Platzki has been doing its thing for a few years now in the city, steadily moving to bigger premises, expanding the menu and earning the kind of word-of-mouth recommendations most places would die for. If you’re looking to treat someone to some of the best and most original food in Manchester, waited on by a team of people who genuinely care, in more ways than one, make Platzki your next stop on your food journey.