The old town in Krakow is always alive with tourists buzzing around taking in the history and sights. Krakow offers visitors many ways to discover this city, from Segway tours to horse and cart rides. Street stalls and boutique stores are happily selling their merchandise to happy shoppers. With the many restaurants offering a wide range of local and international cuisines.
Food vendors are everywhere throughout the city. You can try some traditional Polish cuisine, or visit a food stall in the main square barbecuing massive amounts of meat. There’s fast food franchises, if that takes your fancy, or the many fine dining choices supplying foods from around the world. With so many choices we select the Italian inspired La Grande Mamma.
Located on one of the corners of the main square, La Grande Mamma is an Italian inspired fine dining restaurant that offers decent quality food. Upon entry into this old building you immediately enter the heart of the restaurant where all the action occurs. Here, there is a central preparation bench with one of the kitchen staff preparing assorted menu items.
Once greeted by the waiting staff, we are directed into one of the quieter side rooms and seated at a lovely table overlooking the square.
The restaurant has a decent range of wines available by the glass or bottle and their food menu is full of modern and traditional Italian cuisine. On this occasion, we selected a basic Margherita pizza, a Calzone farcito and their Filetto di maiale for our main meals. And followed that up with Creme brulee and a Meringa con mascarpone for dessert.
The Margherita pizza was just a plain tomato puree on a thin base with cheese. It was approximately 30 cm in circumference, so quite large for one person, but I feel it was missing that fresh basil that garnishes most Margherita pizzas.
Our Calzone farcito contained tomato puree, mozzarella cheese, ham, salami and champignon mushrooms, encased in a folded and sealed pizza base. When cracked open the heat and fragrances were wonderful. A well cooked dish, but rather plain-looking with a sprinkling of dry herbs.
The next plate was the Filetto di maiale, which is pistachio covered pork loin. It is served on a bed of potato puree, zucchini and red wine sauce. Beautifully cooked, the Filetto di maiale would be my pick of the dishes. Superbly balanced flavours but once again the presentation of the dish could be improved.
After the main meals were completed the efficient and friendly waiting staff cleared our plates and prepared the table for our upcoming desserts. The first dish to arrive was the Creme Brulee. Now, Creme Brulee’s would possibly be MacKenzie’s and my most favourite dessert, as we do tend to compare them against each other. When La Grande Mamma’s Creme Brulee arrived, we were quite excited to see how it stacked up against the ones we’ve had elsewhere.
Although small in size the presentation of the Creme Brulee was better to that of the main meals. That was due to the contrasting colours used in the dish. The hard caramel cover was well done, but the actual custard base was a little grainy in texture, not that smooth consistence that is required. The flavour was okay, but not a show stopper.
Our next dessert was the Meringa con mascarpone and from when the waitress placed the plate on our table, we knew we had a winner. The meringue, covered with mascarpone cream and fresh fruit was an instantaneous success. Nicely presented and delicious, it was hard not going back for more!
There are many places to eat in Krakow’s old town and the catchy named La Grande Mamma is situated in a part of the square that isn’t overrun by other tourists and street sellers. The interior is decorated well and the Italian cuisine has good flavour, but lacks the presentation. I do believe that we get the best out of a meal when they satisfy all our senses. La Grande Mamma, ticks most of those boxes, but the main meal presentation could use a little flair.
Overall, La Grande Mamma was a comfortable restaurant to attend, with a good honest food. The price is a little inflated, but all the restaurants are the same in the main tourist area of Old Town Krakow. Make sure you tip the waiting staff. Service charges are not included in the prices and it is expected if they’ve provided good service. Ten percent of the final cheque is the going rate, so if you are on a budget make sure you account for this extra expense. If you are in Krakow, visit La Grande Mamma tonight and tell them Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you!
Additional Information for La Grande Mamma
Rynek Główny 26, 33-332 Kraków, Poland
Ph: +48 12 430 64 58
Breakfast Prices Range 19.00 PLN – 68.00 PLN (AUD$6.60 – $23)