Here’s your challenge for the day: seek out as many Poles as you can and then ask them to define American food. Chances are the answers will range from burgers and stretch all the way to more burgers – in a nutshell, it’s a long shot that you’ll hear much else. But that’s exactly why the menu at Koko & Roy reads like such a pleasure: if you’re expecting Warsaw’s latest American joint to be a mundane repeat of what’s gone before then you’re in for a jolt.
Of course, there is a burger concealed amid the choices, but it’s strikingly overshadowed by alternative options that immediately catch the eye. Take the Odds & Ends, item No. 1 on what’s a moderately sized menu.
As an opening gambit, its bold, unexpected and utterly delicious: a heap of deep fried pigs tails and chicken hearts tumbled into a big bowl and served with pickled red onions and a lash of garlic / sriracha aioli. All crunch and crackle, its a dish best enjoyed with a pint of craft ale.
Spotlighting ‘New American Cuisine’, the thrust here is on comfort food, albeit several steps beyond what you’d rustle up at home: salad means roasted beetroot, burnt orange slices, pickled cherries and walnuts served among glistening fresh greens. Much like the colors, the tastes are as vivid and vibrant as a crisp autumn day. To go alongside, there’s a pork chop drizzled with an anchovy vinaigrette – such is the flavor you finish gnawing on the bone and clearing the plate. And then there’s dessert, a final grand salvo that sees the entry of a lump of chocolate pudding the size of a baseball: screw the calorie count and eat to enjoy.
And enjoy it you will. The work of an American / Polish husband and wife, Koko & Roy feels fun, innovative and pleasingly casual – a bit like visiting friends who really know how to cook. Much like visiting friends, alcohol too also plays its part: in this case, generous cocktails made to New York specifications. The bottom line? Here’s an America you want to get to know.
Koko & Roy
ul. Wilcza 43, kokoandroywarsaw.com