You don’t need to step too far back in time to remember when Próżna looked like it was going to come tumbling down: flanked by disintegrating tenements precariously propped up by wooden scaffolds, it was the street that time forgot. In many ways, its gentrification has been a little too rapid, but no-one can fault the quality of the restoration work: in a nutshell, it’s beautiful.
But with the renovation work nearly complete, along comes the task of filling the street’s ground floor units. Bistros and brasseries have been the popular choice, but for the last year or so we’ve also had a Thai plugging away quietly making a name for themselves.
The Place: positioned inside a glass-fronted oblong room, it feels chic and smart with just the right amount of Asian masks and decoys to remind you that, yes, you will be eating Thai. Upmarket but never intimidating, the interiors strike a perfect balance.
Drinks: hardly the longest cocktail list you’ll ever see, but by God it works. Pictured above, that’s the Mango Magic – and yes, it really is. Pretty much all restaurants offer cocktails of some description, not many nail them in the same manner as San. Top marks!
Starters: pork spring rolls and steamed pork dumplings – dainty, delicate, delicious.
Mains: beef tenderloin so soft and flawless you can cut with a chopstick. Sensational, melt-in-the-mouth stuff.
The disappointment: enter the beef stir-fry. It’s certainly competent and definitely tasty, just lacking the special Factor X you seek from Thai.
Low on heat and dazzle, it’s the sort of thing you’d happily eat on the sofa, but not the knock-out plate you want from a restaurant.
Dessert: fried banana with ice cream – though missing big, shrieking fireworks, it’s a simple dish done well. It’s unlikely you’ll leave anything other than an empty plate.
Overall: certainly scope for tweaks and improvements but, nonetheless, it’s the kind of spot that makes Próżna feel that bit more complete. You can judge a restaurant on two criteria: was it enjoyable and would you return? In the case of San, a big yes to both.
ul. Próżna 10, restauracjasanthai.pl
(Words & Photos: AW)