Platzki, Deansgate Mews, Great Northern, 255 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4EN – Visit Now
Arise from the jolly push and shove of Deansgate via some discrete stairs and you arrive at Deansgate Mews, a plaza full of interesting places. One of them is independent Polish restaurant Platzki. Inside the place is done up in homely Central European style but with a contemporary and cool vibe mixed in. There are candles and flowers everywhere, creating a strong sense of hospitality. Even before we get to the great food, people looking for a cuppa after work or on a lunch break should be aware of their full menu of speciality teas.
As I worked my way through the bowl I began to feel healthier and fresher than I had in a long time
On to the food. I began with the Soup of the Day, which was leek, potato and mushroom. This was well presented with a selection of breads. The vegetables were chunky and generous and as I worked my way through the bowl I began to feel healthier and fresher than I had in a long time.
Mention must also be made of the herbs. All of the food served here makes full use of herbs, as a key feature rather than an accent. Being more of an eater than a cooker, I honestly couldn’t tell you which herbs these were – the point is that there is a language of herbs, a sort of interplay of flavours, which all these dishes use to perfection.
The main course was Pierogi, something I had never had before. Let me try to describe them. They are in principle similar to Chinese dim sum or Italian tortellini, being a fine pastry parcel with a filling, except that what you get is a uniquely Polish version that is totally different to either of those. They came with tangy sauerkraut and pickled gherkin.
There is a language of herbs, a sort of interplay of flavours, which all these dishes use to perfection
Half of the Pierogi were pork, leek and onion strewn with red leaves and the other half were cottage cheese and courgette, these strewn with green leaves. They were also packed with herbs and a great deal of chopping and mincing had happened to the contents. You get layers of earthy tones from the herbs, meat and cheese, offset by the pickled vegetables, and the flour parcel is really like a present, a charming little gift, of flavour. The Pierogi were quite honestly a highlight of my culinary year and I urge you all to go and try them. The ingredients are seasonal so expect many variations.
The next thing was some plum vodka served in an iced shot glass. That’s the other thing: if you like vodka, Platzki has a vast range of flavoured vodkas to try, and they’re the real thing, not the sickly sweet supermarket effort. My plum variation was ‘friendly’ which is something you can only say about real vodka. There is a shots game available for the brave to play.
I had visions of everything being cabbage, and am very glad to have been corrected
We finished with a Polish cheesecake, loaded with cherries and strawberries and blackberries and chocolate sauce. This was quite the pudding.
I came away from my meal wondering why I’d never thought of trying Polish cuisine before. I think I had visions of everything being cabbage, and am very glad to have been corrected. Platzki scores at the top end of the cafe scale generally, and for a sit-down meal, the Pierogi in particular simply cannot be beaten.