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Wodka

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by Kat Parr Mackintosh (subscribe)
Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
Published January 3rd 2011
It's not a stretch for most people to learn that 'Wodka' is the Polish word for vodka. From which point it's an equally small stretch to learn that Wodka, the Polish restaurant in Kensington, serves over 40 different kinds of the stuff. Which is one of the reasons people seek out this tiny eatery on a suburban street -'cause this isn't the kinda joint you run into.

Vodka is an unusual spirit to be a connoisseur of. A lot of people who think of themselves as sophisticated will admit to not being able to taste the difference between one vodka and the next (and vodkas aren't even all made from fermenting the same grain or vegetable, Wodka have vodkas made from grain, rye, spelt and potatoes.). But most people haven't ever really experimented with the drink in its more complex form it packs a punch of flavour, not just alcohol as it's a drink that adsorbs and enhances lots of different flavours that are added to it. And proving that there are many flavours complimented and enhanced by vodka, one of the vodkas at Wodka even has tiny flecks of gold in it, which might be an opportunity to see what gold might taste like?

But the drinks are, naturally just for starters. And possibly for after wards. For Wodka offers the opportunity for Londoners to try Polish food as well as drink. The menu promises home-made delights of the sort your grandma would have made if she were Polish. Now, I have it on good authority that this is not always the case, and sometimes corners are cut using traditional Polish deli type brands but the only reason I know this is that I've been taken here by a friend who has a Polish granny (she's Polish also), and my friend says that the corners cut are the kind that her Mum cuts, not wanting to spend her whole life in front of a stove boiling cabbage down to the perfect jus.

Inside knowledge aside, most reviews agree that the food is good, if portioned for the more gourmet plate, rather than the Polish granny served sized portion you might have hoped for. With a good selection of unusual dishes by London standards. You might have trouble pronouncing the names of some: zurek, barszcz and pierogi for example , but you should definitely try the pierogi for starters. And possibly the beef and pepper goulash for your main.

Don't come here if you're shy of a bit of protein or a potato or two even things you might not expect to will have dumplings in them... But how else are can you be expected to soak up their selection of vodkas?
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Why? Something a bit different
When: Opens at about 6 Monday to Sunday and for lunch, Wednesday to Saturday
Where: 12 St Alban's Grove London W8 5PN, nearest station High Street Kensington
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