If we get a craving, it’s usually for Asian food… We feel like eating pad thai like in Bangkok, delicate dumplings dipped in hot sauce, too spicy Chinese or aromatic Indian food. In the mornings, Łukasz feels like eating Phở that he eats like they do it in Vietnam – for breakfast. I feel like eating fried noodles with beef, thick Japanese noodles in aromatic soup or, most recently, Thai yellow curry with tofu.
We eat Asian food in Warsaw at least 2-3 times a week and it’s never enough. We constantly miss all these flavors, we dream of going back to Asia and eating all these beauts. We recall colorful Chinatown in Bangkok (you need to watch our video HERE), pad thai eaten at the stall or sweet mango sticky rice, which never tastes as good as in Thailand, crispy Vietnamese spring rolls and toooons of dumplings that come in various shapes and flavours, that we ate so much in Hongkong, we would almost lose our consciousness. We recall Singapore’s huge food courts and the best soup with tofu in masterful Din Tai Fung. Our Asia is always with us in our memories, but we also love it when it’s on our plates. What’s more – Maks, our 5 year old son, loves Asian food as well. If you ask him what he wants to eat, he will usually say… pad thai or sushi. And once he gets fried rice with shrimps of chicken in a Chinese restaurant, he doesn’t let anyone close to his plate so that there’s enough food for him.
Where do we usually go in search of Asian flavours in Warsaw? Where can you find the most authentic dishes, where can you taste Asia and fall in love with it if you’ve never been there?
Right HERE! The order is random – I couldn’t even choose what to start with 🙂
ASIAN CUISINE IN WARSAW – 12 PLACES YOU SHOULD KNOW!
1) CHINA TOWN – Al. Lotników 28 Street
China Town on Aleja Lotników Street is almost legendary. It’s existed for years now and huge crowds still go there. Last year they made their place bigger and there are even more people now. It doesn’t matter if it’s a weekend or a work day – you will always see huge groups of Chinese people there. We’ve been going there for years. The first time Łukasz went there was when he was still a student. The menu is big, we’ve already tried a lot of dishes they offer, and our favorites are great spicy and sour soup, tofu mapo, gong bao chicken and, of course, rice fried with shrimps and ham (Maks says it’s his favorite!). Lately we’ve been eating fried beef with black beans. You should also try fish flavoured eggplant, pork tenderloins coated with rice vinegar and various dishes with tofu. China Town has 3 restaurants in Warsaw (Aleje Jerozolimskie 87 Street and Aleje Jerozolimskie 148 Street), but I think the one on al. Lotników Street is the most climatic one 🙂
2) PARNIK – Wolska 50 Street, al. KEN 84 Street and other localizations
Parnik is the first place in Warsaw specializing in Chinese dumplings. That was when we jumped up and down out of joy because we had eaten the dumplings in a Chinese neighbourhood in Bangkok and other places. We would eat them for breakfast, straight from bamboo baskets and we wanted to have them somewhere close to our house. Parnik made that dream come true! Their dumplings have delicate dough, delicious stuffing and aromatic sauce. Since January 2014, when we went to their restaurant in Wola for the first time, they have opened more of them – now there are 4 – and you can find the full list HERE. We also order Parnik’s dumplings to our house.
3) TOAN PHO – Chmielna 5/7 Street
It’s a classic that doesn’t need to be introduced to anybody. Toan Pho on Chmielna Street is where you have to go if you love Vietnamese phở, bun bo nam bo noodles or cripshy nem spring rolls. It’s a small place, almost always crowded. There was a time when Łukasz would go there twice a day. It’s also perfect after an exhausting night. Besides phở with beef, you should try bun bo nam bo salad with thin rice noodles, fried beef and roasted nuts (and, of course, a lot of herbs!) or bun nem – rice noodles served with spring rolls (nem), sprouts, salad, herbs and fish sauce in which we dip the rest.
In the beginning of 2016, when Bonjour Vietnam on Chmielna Street where we would eat Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches obsessively closed, we were really sad. What now? What about or favorite baguettes with tofu and a lot of spicy Sriracha sauce??? Luckily, Viet Street Food food truck was born a little later. Their banh mi are great!!!:) Besides, they serve phở and other Vietnamese beauts too – like banh gio, which is a rice cake in banana tree’s leaf, steamed with meat stuffing and mun mushrooms. Menu changes, so it’s best to check it out on their Facebook page, just like places where they quarter. They can often be seen at Nocny Market which I wrote about HERE.
5) WI – TAJ – Constitution Square 4
The newest place on our list and I must admit that, as opposed to other ones, we’ve only been there once, but I think it’s really good. Wi-Taj combines Vietnamese and Thai cuisine. We focused on the Vietnamese part – fried spring rolls, fresh goi cuon, bun bo nam bo and classic bun cha. Everything tastes great and made us feel like we were in Hanoi.
6) UKI UKI – Krucza 23/31 Street
Unlike other cuisines (Thai, Vietnamese or Chinese), we’ve never had a chance to get to know Japanese cuisine at its source. We’ve never been to Japan and it’s definitely one of our dream destinations! It doesn’t change the fact that we love sushi and I also fell in love with Uki Uki – their thick udon noodles, aromatic broths and delicate tempura. Ebi Gozen – udon noodles in fish broth with tempura made of shrimps, shitake mushrooms, eggplant and sweet potatoes – it tastes delicious! Maks also asked for “noodles in Uki Uki” and the only reason why we’re not there as often as we’d like is that it’s really crowded.
7) BASIL & LIME – Puławska 27 Street
I have no doubts this is where we go most often. We love Thai food and we love Thai food in Basil & Lime, especially when the chef is cooking (luckily he does it often!). We know the menu by heart and we usually choose our favorite classics. For Łukasz it’s always Kha Gai, for Maks – pad thai with chicken, and for me – perfect Pad Kee Mao, which is fried noodles with beef. It’s fabulous! I also like their crispy tofu, curry, satays and great Lime Ice Tea, which (just like other dishes)… tastes just like in Thailand!
8) AROY AROY – Królowej Aldony 5/2 Street
I wrote that Wi-Taj is the newest place on our list, but I was wrong – the newest one is this small, Thai restaurant in Saska Kępa called Aroy Aroy. Garden, tables outside, hippie atmosphere and a Polish man cooking Thai food. What’s surprising is that he does it well! I fell in love with their yellow curry with tofu, I like their green curry as well, pad thai and spicy laarb gai. They get a huge plus for the possibility to order cooled coconut to lunch! It costs way more in Thailand, but it’s still worth it!
9) THAISTY – Bankowy Square 4
We were a little hesitant about adding Thaisty to our list… We liked their flavours and the fact that you can find cool, unique offers there (for example: fish rolls plah joh or pink Yenta soup), and menu changes, but our last visits haven’t been that good. We felt like huge crowds in Thaisty turned the place into a mass restaurant where quality doesn’t matter that much.. But when we went to Thaisty Street Food by Vistula one night, their soup with chicken was amazing when it came to its taste and aroma.. just like their duck soup! We’re keeping our fingers crossed that their popularity doesn’t influence their food’s and service’s quiality and that’s why we put it on our list. They’re about to open another restaurant in Żoliborz – we’re waiting!
10) BAKALARSKA MARKET
This is not a restaurant. Market on Bakalarska Street is a place of phenomenons and folklore that Warsaw lacks. You can go there in the morning to eat phở soup, you can order good tofu or ask for what Vietnamese people ask for in one of the bars. For me the best dish you can eat there is rice pancakes banh cuon in Aromat Viet bar. They’re really difficult to get in Warsaw!!! Once you’re full, you can walk around the neighbourhood and buy a cold coconut or Vietnamese dessert from a Vietnamese woman in a characteristic hat. You can feel like you’re in Asia! 🙂
11) CURRY HOUSE – Żeromskiego 81 Street
The only place with Indian cuisine on our list. I was a little hesitant about putting Indian food on our Asian list because usually when we want Asia, we think of Thai, Vietnamese or Chinese food, but Curry House deserved to be on our list. Unobtrusive barrack in Bielany, but it’s a cult place for everyone who loves Indian cuisine. Aromatic, delicious, authentic. It’s worth it!
12) NAAM THAI – Saska 16 Street
Classic, huh? If you don’t know Naam, don’t even say it out loud! 🙂 We went there for the first time over two years ago. We go back there from time to time, they have their ups and downs (mainly when it comes to the service), but it’s one of the most important places with Thai food in Warsaw anyway. You have to eat their duck soup! 🙂 I’ve heard they will open another restaurant soon, somewhere on Burakowska Street! We’re waiting for that as well! 🙂
These are the places we go to whenever we feel like we want some Asia in Poland. We’re always happy that there are more places with Asian food in Warsaw with every day. Nocny Market on Towarowa Street is another good idea to enjoy Asian food because this is what they offer in majority. And if you feel like drinking something typically Asian, you can always go to Bubbleology. Bubble tea is from Taiwan, but you can also drink it on Bangkok’s streets, in Singapore’s food courts and in Bubbleology 🙂
P.S. we didn’t put sushi on our list on purpose – we feel like it’s a different category, even though it’s Asian too 🙂