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Restaurant review: Panorama restaurant at Hotel HP Park Poznan

Restaurant review: Panorama restaurant at Hotel HP Park Poznan

As a wedding gift we were invited to dine at the Panorama restaurant in Hotel HP Park on the shore of Lake Malta in Poznan. We were promised the chef would take good care of us. 🙂 That was not understated; he sure did!

For those of you who don’t know this restaurant; it is located at a great location in Poznan, Poland. The (artificial) lake next to it is mainly used for big rowing contests. The area is a popular place to walk, run, play with kids at the (several) playgrounds, sun in summer and do other leisure activities (there is also a ski slope, sledding track, swimming pool and zoo on the opposite side).

location

location

The photos are from the HP Park Facebook page HPParkPoznan and show a building at a perfect location. I have to say I was never inclined to take a look inside as it looks a bit old fashioned for my taste. But I’ll have to say that the terrace does look mighty appealing for a sun drenched lunch or dinner at sunset in summer.

Friends I’ve asked about their experiences with HP Park are not to positive; they call it a retirement home and forgotten glory… But none of them ever ate there, except for party bites. I did meet the chef briefly before at the ‘Poznanscy Kucharze Razem’ event and always wanted to eat at his former restaurant and hotel Enjoy Restaurant. So I was keen on experiencing his kitchen skills at Panorama restaurant. Chef Dominik Brodziak has worked at the HP Park restaurant for 16 years before moving to Enjoy Restaurant (where he worked for 5 years). Now he’s back on the nest since 3 months. The kitchen team sure looks like a nice bunch of people and a good reason to come back perhaps? It happens to be that we know one of the sous chefs (Pawel). We found out that evening 🙂

chef Dominik with his kitchen squad

chef Dominik with his kitchen squad (he posted this photo on his own FB page)

Walking into the hotel (paid parking at front) we were greeted by a man in a pilot style jacket (stripes on his arms) taking our coats. The lobby seemed OK and modern. The restaurant is entered through glass doors. And than I understood the remarks friends made; it really is like a sanatorium… All lights were turned on as if there would be a business presentation in 5 minutes. So the first impression wasn’t good… Thankfully the second made up for a lot!

Onno at the table about to toast with me

Onno at the table about to toast with me

We were escorted to our table where we found a personalized menu for a 7 course tasting menu and received a glass of Prosecco. The menu was such a nice touch and a big surprise. Chef Dominik came out of the kitchen to greet us as well. We were definitely feeling the special attention 🙂 And the menu already looked great just reading it.

the special tasting menu

the special tasting menu

What a great menu!

We started with a chicken liver mousse with apricot and plum jam. I am never a fan of organ meat so this was no exception but I did appreciate the smooth texture and combination with the good bread and jams. Onno finished my portion and enjoyed it. Than it was time for a glass of freshly squeezed cucumber and apple juice to clean the palette. Nice and fresh.

chicken liver mousse

chicken liver mousse

I think we were the biggest fan of the second dish; a piece of soused (pickled) herring with organic potatoes and a chive emulsion.

soused herring

soused herring

The, low temperature (62 degrees) cooked, egg with garlic croutons and a sauce hollandaise was really good as well. Oozing egg with a sourish sauce, mjam!

low temp boiled egg

low temp boiled egg

After the egg came a spicy pumpkin soup with Bursztyn blue cheese and pumpkin seeds. Full of flavour. The only negative I could say is the stringy cheese feels like a bit like your eating an onion soup 🙂

Dish number five from the seven was a piece of beautifully cooked cod with orange, cardamon and carrot. A beautiful and tasty dish.

And for the meatdish we had a piece of Polish beef with spinach, oyster mushrooms and demi glace sauce with dark chocolate. Nothing wrong with this.

The dessert was a silky smooth creme caramel with a cookie tower. Accompanied with a cup of coffee (why is it so hard to get a cup of warm/hot coffee in restaurants? please adjust your coffee machines people!).

A lovely menu and a great evening with my husband. Although the latter is mainly because we had a lot of fun criticizing everything and thinking of ways to improve the restaurant decor. I have to say, that is always a hobby of ours when going out to dinner. And yes, it is always a lot easier to see mistakes and improvements when it’s not your own business.

Thank you so much Agnieszka and Jakub for this great night out!! And thanks to chef Dominik Brodziak and his kitchen crew for taking good care of us and cooking a delicious menu!

My overall thoughts on Panorama restaurant 

the decor 

  • old fashioned hotel from the outside, they did make an effort to modernize on the inside but did miss the beat somewhat
  • beautiful location in summer on the terrace
  • nice wall photography of rowers; very suiting for the environment
  • no atmosphere for a nice dinner with friends or loved one; what’s up with the harsh lighting?!
  • has the feeling of a swimming pool
  • fine as breakfast and lunch restaurant
  • there is enough to build on but they definitely need help with a few, very essential, touch-ups
  • I will mention one thing; blue tiles and carpet on the floor!!!
blue tiles and bright lights; the table is ready to carry a coffin...

blue tiles and bright lights; where is the swimming pool? 

the food

  • Dominik Brodziak is a great chef; such a pity he’s working in a restaurant most guests only visit when staying in the hotel (lucky for them though)
  • wonderful and delicious dishes; many being a modern take on Polish cuisine
  • only criticism that probably has more to do with the waiters; there were often fingerprints on our plates

personnel 

  • friendly waitstaff but a pity they don’t speak English (we could manage with limited Polish and German though)
  • old school waiters (also older staff), with dito uniforms but they pay attention to the guests
  • definitely a no no; preparing the room for breakfast service and getting a table ready for a party the next day; makes you feel like you have to move

Would I recommend this restaurant

The food is terrific, really really good! And I would love people to try it… But such a shame of the decor. That is the only reason I would not recommend anyone going for dinner at Panorama restaurant at HP Park. If you want to host a party, especially in spring or summer, I would say it could be an option.

I have a few, very easy to improve, points of criticism that I won’t mention here. The basics are there but they need some help if they want guests (who are not staying in the hotel) to come for lunch/dinner.

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note; our friends from whom we received this wonderful gift know and agreed on me writing a review (unknowing of what I would write ofcourse) 🙂

2 thoughts on “Restaurant review: Panorama restaurant at Hotel HP Park Poznan

  1. I really enjoyed this review – I think its hard but sounds fair – very well written particularly considering english is not your first language – I have to say lighting is something so many places do not get right – too bright is just awful – you have to create ambiance and your review of the food was very good – so many times I have been in Polish restaurants where everything is great to be blasted out of it with lights – lets hope they see your observation as something that can really help business. looking forward to further reviews.


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