Tony Johor Kaki Travels for Food 路 Heritage 路 Culture 路 History

Travel, people & food storyteller with 63 million+ reads since 2012 馃嚫馃嚞 johorkaki@gmail

Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary from Warsaw through Lodz and Torun to Gdansk

Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020

My first trip to Poland opened my eyes and mind to a whole new world of good food, great people, culture and heritage.

Day 1 Arrive in Warsaw from Singapore 馃洭



You will noticed that Warsaw is charming, but doesn't have as many ancient or medieval architecture as some European cities. That's because Warsaw and Poland had been ravaged by invaders for a large part of its history.






The Royal Castle. Photo credit: Wikipedia

In revenge for the valiant but futile Warsaw Uprising of 1944, Hitler ordered Warsaw be razed to the ground and its people exterminated. Hitler's generals executed the order with their usual efficiency. After the fall of Hitler, the Big Three (USA, UK and USSR) consigned Poland to the Soviet Union. Reconstruction of Warsaw took on the characteristics of stoic, grey Soviet architecture. Following the end of Soviet dominance in the 1990s, concerted attempts began to bring back Polish built heritage while contemporary steel and glass towers sprout in modern Warsaw.








We went to popular Mototowska 69 restaurant in Warsaw for our first dinner in Poland. For my main course, I chose Masurian Catfish as I was keen to try a local fish. This catfish came from Poland's northwest Mansuria Lake District which boasts over 2,000 lakes. 馃悷 The large, thick slab of grilled catfish was set on a creamy white mound of mildly spicy horseradish risotto. The fish meat browned outside was white, flaky, tender and moist inside. It tasted savoury (from seasoning) with slight earthiness and underlying sweetness. The sweet risotto grains were tender with subtle nuttiness and the rice mound was held together by the creamy zesty horseradish sauce. 馃崕 A couple of crunchy balls carved from Polish Paradise apple complete the dish. 馃嚨馃嚤馃嵈 It was a great start to my first Polish culinary adventure. #polandtastesgood 馃構
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Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020



Mokotowska 69 restaurant Warsaw



Day 2 Warsaw 馃殞 Lodz 馃殞 Wloclawek

Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020

After breakfast at the hotel, we proceeded west to the city of Lodz in central Poland.

Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020

艁贸d藕 is Poland's 3rd largest city and former industrial hub with a population of 682,679 (2019). 艁贸d藕 first appeared in written records in around the 14th century. After Poland regained its independence in 1918, 艁贸d藕 grew to be one of the largest Polish cities and one of the most multicultural and industrial centres in Europe. After the German invasion of Poland in 1939, the city's large Jewish population was sent to concentration camps (shutting down most of its industries and commerce). The city sustained little physical damage during the Second World War.





Culinary workshop by chef Ma艂gorzata Pindych in Baccaro studio.




Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020

Lodz was a thriving texture manufacturing and commercial centre since the 1820s until the Second World War put an end to it. Many of Lodz's citizens were Jewish and they were sent to concentration camps during the War. Only the factory buildings remain, today repurposed as a vibrant dining, entertainment, and shopping hub known as ManuFaktura.

In our packed schedule, we had the opportunity for an hour of shopping. I dashed to buy myself a wool hat and a pair of wool gloves because the weather was colder than I expect (around -1 to -3℃). I soon realised that prices in Poland are very competitive and it is a shopper's paradise. Shopping is a good reason to return to Poland 馃槃

Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020

From Lodz, we headed north to Gozdawa Palace in Wloclawek.



Flamboyant masterchef Piotr Lenart showed us how he prepares a huge Polish goose and how he uses every part for different dishes.








Day 3 Wloclawek  馃殞 Toru艅

Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020

From Wloclawek, we headed north to the city of Toru艅 in north-central Poland (by the Vistula River).

Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020

Torun has a population of slightly over 202,000 (in 2018). It is one of Poland's oldest cities, first settled around the 8th century and later expanded in the 13th century by the Teutonic Knights. The city's diverse architecture range from Brick Gothic to Mannerism and Baroque.

Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020

Unlike many Polish cities (e.g. Warsaw), Torun was spared destruction during the Second World War. This allowed the Old Town to be fully preserved including its iconic central marketplace.

Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020

Considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, the medieval part of Torun was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site (in 1997).

Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020

We visited the Nicolaus Copernicus House - the man who made the Earth orbit around the Sun was born here in Torun in 1473.

Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary from Warsaw through Lodz and Torun to Gdansk

Though he lived most of his adult life outside of his hometown, the astronomer signed off his groundbreaking works as by Nicolai Copernici of Torun (much to the pride and delight of townsfolk to this day).

Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020

Gingerbread was first made in Torun in the 14th century. Famed for their spice flavours, aromas, and attractive designs, Torun became famous as the gingerbread capital of the world. We learned how to make gingerbread at The Museum of Torun Gingerbread which is located in a 19th century gingerbread factory.

Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020

Polish gingerbread man is full of flavours.



My very own gingerbread Johor Kaki 馃槃



We had lunch at 4 Pory Roku (4 Seasons) restaurant.

Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020






From Torun, we travelled further north to the historic Baltic Sea city of Gdansk.

Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary from Warsaw through Lodz and Torun to Gdansk

Gda艅sk is a city on the Baltic coast of northern Poland. With a population of 468,158, it is Poland's 4th largest city. In the late Middle Ages, Gdansk was an important seaport and shipbuilding town. Gdansk was the wealthiest and the largest city of Poland, before it was eclipsed by the 18th century rapid growth of Warsaw. Together with the adjacent port of Gdynia, Gda艅sk is a notable industrial centre.



At the Brovarnia Gda艅sk micro brewery.




Dinner at the Brovarnia restaurant in Hotel Gdansk housed in an over 500 year old granary.

Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020
 






Day 4  Gda艅sk 馃殞 Moraq 馃殞 Stare Jablonki

Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020

Lunch in the historic restaurant "Pod 艁ososiem" in Gdansk, founded in the 18th century. Herring is an important fish in Polish life. For centuries, it is eaten before religious fasting. The herring fish is a popular starter, savoured along with a glass of chilled Polish vodka. Poles prepare and enjoy herring in a thousand ways.

At "Pod 艁ososiem", we sampled herring fish prepared in four different ways. Clockwise from top left, traditional herring smothered in sour cream; owner's heirloom recipe salad of herring with onion, butter, and eggs; herring in Thai inspired savoury sauce with spicy and zesty sourish notes; herring with tomato sauce. My favourite is the heirloom salad as I like its blend of gentle savoury sweet eggy flavours.

Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020

Main course was a slab of pan seared zander fish (pike perch) on dill sauce.

Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020



Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020



Leaving Gdansk, we headed south to visit Kozia Farma goat farm near Moraq producing dairy products.



Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020

We visited an agritourist farm in Stare Jablonki, which specialises in smoking fish and meat, as well as in pickling cucumbers and cabbage.



Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020

Dinner at an agritourist farm of local Masurian cuisine - smoked fishes, pickles, organic vegetables and fruit.




Day 5 Stare Jablonki 馃殞 Jab艂onna 馃殞 Warsaw

Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020

Visit to the Association of Beekeeping Enthusiasts ‘NASZE PSZCZO艁Y’ in Jab艂onna.



Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020

Well, well, well... mead (honey liquor) brings joy to many people 馃槃



Lunch at Karczma Pod Strzecha.

Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020





Visit the Polish Vodka Museum in Warsaw.

Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020




This is the only vodka museum in the world. It has a large collection of historic artefacts, vintage vodka as well as interactive galleries to make learning about the history of Polish vodka fun.


Our farewell dinner was at Zoni (in the same historic building as Polish Vodka Museum) which is considered by many as one of the most beautiful restaurants in Poland.  

Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020



Day 6

Depart Warsaw for Singapore 馃洬

Poland Tastes Good. Food & Sightseeing Itinerary 2020

馃憤 This was my first trip to Poland. I came home with so many fond memories that I feel certain that I will be back many more times in the future. There are still many places I want to see, food I want to taste and things I want to experience in Poland. The country is beautiful, food is great, people are friendly, and cost of living is affordable (so I don't have to sell a kidney to come back).

This itinerary is only an overview, just a sneak peek. Follow Johor Kaki on Facebook and Instagram for details on the places we visited.

10 restaurants to try in Poland 馃憟 click

10 Must-try Food in Poland 馃憟 click




Date: 1 - 5 Dec 2019

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