Eastern European

Location: 

M’Archers
Strēlnieku iela 1A, LV-1010
Riga
Latvia

M’archers is a restaurant, deli and bakery on Strelnieku street in Riga, in the quiet centre of Riga. It is the second restaurant by the celebrity chef Martins Ritins, and in contrast to his flagship restaurant Vincents, which is located close to M’Archers, M’Archers is a more casual restaurant. When you first enter the restaurant you see a wide range of freshly baked bread and pastries, a little deli shop that has amazing cuts of beef (the sort of cuts I can see at my butcher in London and have not seen in Riga before, including Australian wagyu beef), expensive chocolate, olives, pasta, fresh vegetables (including beautiful coloured tomatoes) as well as salads and cakes. Martins Ritins has done an incredible job sourcing all these ingredients and producing all these cakes and breads and I have not seen it anywhere in Latvia before, and it looks like a deli you could find in Knightsbridge in London.

Maija rated: 

4.50

Location: 

Fischer’s
50 Marylebone High Street W1U 5HN
London
United Kingdom

Fischer’s is now one of my favourite Marylebone restaurants. It recently opened on the premises that an Italian restaurant Cotidie used to occupy before it closed down. Fischer’s is a sister restaurant to Wolseley, The Delaunay and Brasserie Zedel and the style and interior is done in the same last century central European style. Just like the Delaunay, Fischer’s focuses on Austrian food, but in contrast to the Delaunay it is a much smaller restaurant which makes it more intimate.

 

Maija rated: 

4.00

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Location: 

Ognisko
55 Exhibition Road SW7 2PN
London
United Kingdom

Ognisko is a Central and Eastern European restaurant (mainly focusing on Polish food) located in South Kensington (on Exhibition road). I went to Ognisko for dinner on a Saturday evening as my friend Nika had booked this for us and as I like eastern European food and have not yet found a good place in London where to get it. 
 

Maija rated: 

3.00

Location: 

Innocent Cafe
Blaumaņa iela 34-1a, LV-1011
Riga
Latvia

My friend Guna loves this brunch restaurant and both of us have been there many times, as Guna says they do great brunch, have the best coffee in Riga and also have wonderful looking men serving you coffee and food (the men are alternative and cool looking and I do agree a lot of them are great looking and it is just so nice to have brunch whilst having eye candy around you). The interior is pleasant and welcoming with various sized and shaped tables and chairs all around the room, as well as tables outside if you want to sit in fresh air, which when it is very hot in Riga, is very pleasant.

The best thing about Innocent Café is the coffee and people like Guna that like coffee and know and recognize good coffee say this is the best coffee place in Riga. They use Illy coffee, special Illy cups (which they say keep coffee at the perfect temperature), world class coffee machines and many of their barristas (the good looking men that I mentioned) have won special awards.

Maija rated: 

3.00

Location: 

Bodo's Schloss
2a Kensington High Street, W8 4RE
London
United Kingdom

Bodo's Schloss is a restaurant, bar and a club on High Street Kensington right next to the Royal Garden Hotel. I first read about it a few months ago as one of the newspapers was talking about a new trend in London, where après-ski type of bars/restaurants were opening in the centre of London that belonged more in Verbier, Courchevel or another ski resort. Bodo's Schloss is this type of restaurant, the inside looks like a ski chalet, the waitresses are dressed in lederhosen, typical German/ Austrian outfit, and they serve Austrian food and just like in après-ski bars in the Alps you can drink drinks from a ski slope, a ski boot and other interesting things. I had to pick a place for dinner to go with my 3 beautiful girl friends and I thought this would be fun, especially as all my young and party loving colleagues love this place and say this is great fun.

Maija rated: 

3.00

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Location: 

Koya
Str.Andrejostas 4
Riga
Latvia

There is one thing that I would never do when eating in Latvian restaurants - book a table, as you could always just turn up and there will be space for you, that is before Koya came along. Koya is a restaurant that looks bizarre from the outside, like a black painted shed, but it is these days the coolest place in Riga where you always have to book a table especially if you want to go there for brunch on a weekend. Brunch never used to be very popular in Latvia and this is a trend that has very slowly been introduced to Riga and brunch at Koya is what the locals love these days. 

 

Maija rated: 

3.00

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Location: 

Restauracja Polska Rozana
Chocimska 7
Warsaw
Poland

Rozana is the number 1 ranked restaurant in Poland on Trip Advisor website, and I think this is because it serves delicious and presentable Polish food that Poles themselves can enjoy when they want to have traditional food in a more upscale way and also this is a perfect place to take foreigners to as they will be able to try Polish typical food in a pleasant and traditional Polish environment.

 

Maija rated: 

3.50

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Location: 

Essensia
Nebovidská 3, 118 00
Prague
Czech Republic

Essensia restaurant is located in the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Prague, and I was staying in the Mandarin Oriental and me and my dinner buddy Ulle were feeling a bit tired to have dinner anywhere else outside of the hotel, so we decided to take it easy and just go to the convenient Essensia restaurant. The same space acts as a restaurant in the evening and in the morning it is a breakfast venue, but apart from the dark lighting in the evening it is the same in terms of interior both morning and evening. The place has square type of tables and straight tallish ornamented with golden leaves dark red chairs.

Maija rated: 

2.00

Location: 

The Delaunay
55 Aldwych WC2B 4BB
London
United Kingdom

I had been to The Delaunay in January last year when it first opened and absolutely loved it, and now I came for the second time for brunch. The Delaunay is a sister restaurant of the Wolseley, and calls itself a “Grand European Café, Restaurant” so it has that amazing aura when you enter the restaurant, with high ceilings, beautiful slightly old feel furniture, very nicely dressed staff. They also have super cool heavy silver cutlery, the nice champagne glasses from the 1950s and old clock so it feels like you could be in Vienna in the middle of the last century. The Delaunay is located on the Strand and serves Austrian/ Eastern European food and last time I came here last January I had borsch (traditional beetroot soup from Russia/ Eastern Europe) which I liked and remember being vegetarian (usually it has meat in it) as well as Chicken Kiev, and I had a great meal.

Maija rated: 

3.50

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Location: 

SamarQand
18 Thayer Street, UK W1U
London
United Kingdom

Samarqand restaurant is named after the second largest city in Uzbekistan and serves Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan food as well as food influenced from the neighbouring countries Russia, China and Mongolia and is located on the trendy Marylebone High Street. Mainly Russian speaking people go there (and mainly people in their early 20s that also enjoying drinking some vodka before going out after dinner) and I have seen very few foreigners the few times I have been there. The place also has some private rooms each equipped with flat screen TVs and DVD players, Karaoke machines and games consoles, as well as an inbuilt sound systems, things to make your party better in case you want to stay here. 

 

Maija rated: 

3.00
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