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Monday, 9 February 2015

MAMALYGA - NOT A Romanian Restaurant

Dear friends,

Everyone from back home, from Romania, who read the title of the article will look funny at me... When we say mamaliga, that means in Romanian language, we think of a typical Romanian dish. It is a porridge made out of yellow maize flour, traditional in Romania, Moldova, and Western Ukraine. We consume it as much as much and as often as Polish people eat potatoes. Historically it was a peasant food. It was often used as a substitute for bread or even as a staple food in the poor rural areas. However, in the last decades it has emerged as an upscale dish available in the finest restaurants.
Traditionally, mămăliga is cooked by boiling water, salt and cornmeal in a special-shaped cast iron pot called ceaun or tuci. When cooked peasant-style and used as a bread substitute, mămăliga is supposed to be much thicker than the regular Italian polenta to the point that it can be cut in slices, like bread. When cooked for other purposes, mămăligă can be much softer, sometimes almost to the consistency of porridge. Because mămăligă sticks to metal surfaces, a piece of sewing thread can be used to cut it into slices instead of a knife; it can then be eaten by holding it with the hand, just like bread. (via Wikipedia)
I very much like to cook it at home with livers and onion ;) and I really think you should try my recipe as my husband is a big fan. It is easy to do but if the flour you use is not good it might not end up well. I always use flour from home - my parents and friends always bring me some when they visit! Also, my little secret on mamaliga is the fact that I boil the flour in milk not water ;)
But let me come back to the subject of the day: Restauracja Mamalyga is NOT a Romanian Restaurant. It is a restaurant in Krakow, typical Polish, with homemade food at low prices. Located on ul. Podwale 2, very close to the University and Main Square - Old Town, it is perfect for the new students of the city. They have regular menus and also the "Dish of the day". They accept card and cash. There are also loyalty cards for the students that provide 10% discount on all dishes on the menu. They also have a few interesting functionalities (listed also on their Web Page):

  • for children
  • for people with disabilities
  • delivery for the orders of more than 20 dishes
  • free wi-fi
  • organization of special events
The inside view :)
The bathroom entrance
The entrance room
The secondary room - much more cozy!
I very much like the fact that their Web Page is both in Polish and English :) They update the page almost weekly and their opening hours are everyday from 9 am to 8 pm, except Friday to Sunday when they stay open until the last client. Their rooms can seat up to 60 people. The entrance room + the secondary room (that we chose and it was very cozy!) + the hallway + the serving area = 60 seats.
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It was our first time there - me and my dear Romanian friends - so we went with the easy option for lunch: Meal Of The Day = Soup + Main Course + Compot = 11 zloty. The soup we could choose but as we are huge fan of Zurek (traditional Polish soup with sausage, potatoes and eggs; quite creamy consistency) we all 4 went with the same option ;))) The Main Course that day was risotto. The Zurek was not quite what I expected and was not creamy enough but had a nice taste. The risotto has a very nice cream mushroom sauce - but too few to my taste. The chicken breast with the risotto was well done but I found yet another minus on the rice, which - again to my taste - was a bit undercooked. 
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Overall it was a decent experience. The place is very cozy and well centered for the fresh students and I know it can get crowded during university season! I would not place it on my top 3 homemade food places but it's worth a shot. I think of coming back and trying something else... just to give it another go! And that just because of the compot + the risotto sauce which was great! Anyway, you can also check their Facebook page and see what else is new there ;) They don't have pictures with food there, so I consider that a great minus! It would be just a few snaps away and maybe attract more people? Food for thought ;) 

P.S. If I would rate this Restauracja out of 5 point I would give it a 2 for location, nice ambient, smiling people who take your order, how quick the food is prepared + the risotto sauce and compot :) But I am being just nice...

P.S.S. In the secondary room there is a warm cozy fireplace and also a really cute wardrobe, quite old, in which you can find the silver for your breakfast/lunch/dinner :) 

** This post was made out of love for good food. I was not repayed in any way and all the opinions are my very own, straight from the heart! **

Yours truly, 
A LadyBug Who Likes To Pick On Small Details