THIS Polish restaurant sprung up in South Ealing about a month ago and my father and his old boys' crew couldn't wait to sample the dishes of this upmarket venue in an otherwise tired-looking street.
Kuznia Smaku - a slight variation to the traditional word of kuchnia, meaning kitchen, translates to blacksmith's taste and is a new addition to South Ealing Road, but I warn you now, the reasonable prices are deceptive once you add up the cost of the necessary main dish accompaniments.
We were warmly welcomed by the manager on Saturday evening and wasted no time ordering our starters costing £4-£7 as we took in the stylish yet simple décor.
I ordered the sour soup Polish style served with egg and sausage, Zurek - a bitter weed-like herb but the sourness was masked by the smoky meat flavours of the pork.
My father ordered the cold meat board with roast pork, pork loin and bacon roulade which he said was uninspiring but well presented with cranberry sauce, horseradish and walnuts. Our friend opted for the chicken liver with onion and apple which was flavoursome and slightly crispy which was to his liking.
We shared the Polish herring which came in three flavours, spiced tomato onion, onions on their own and onions in soured cream which was beautifully presented but not for the faint-hearted.
We had some trouble with the main dishes as after ordering, we were told they come on their own and we could order vegetables and rice and potato dishes on the side.
The seemingly reasonable prices of the mains - around £8 - soon peaked when we added beetroot, sauerkraut, potatoes and buckwheat.
I plumped for the baked pork with cheese and mushroom and although a little difficult to cut, was pleasant and encased in a crispy fried batter.
The dish came to around £12 once I had selected the staple 'meat and two veg'.
My father ordered golonka, a knuckle of pork which was a generous serving with an aromatic garlic and rosemary kick. Our friend ordered pork chop highland robber style but was massively underwhelmed as it was more like pork slices with vegetables in a tiny floured roll.
On its own, it would have looked like an attempt at nouveau cuisine but to the restaurant's credit, our request for miseria (thinly chopped cucumber in sour cream) which wasn't on the menu, was made for us.
A friend joined us later for an impromptu meal and with two bottles of wine, four starters, four mains, one pudding and coffees, our bill came to £107 - slightly on the pricey side.
The food was homely, well-prepared and presented but the menu needs to be re-thought if this restaurant is to stay.