- Location: Tatra, 24 Goldhawk Road, Shepherd’s Bush, London, W12 8DH (nearest tube station is Goldhawk Road)
- Date of Visit: Saturday 4th May
- Time of Table: 5.00pm
- Deal Bought From: Wowcher
- Deal Price: £29 for Two
- Dinner Companion: Twin sister, Jess
Getting More for your Money?
This dinner deal includes:
- Two Starters
- Two Main Courses
- Two Desserts
- Two Flavoured Vodka Shots
- For Two People
What we ate…
- Starter: Siberian Pelmeni – Veal and Pork Dumplings
- Main: Leczo – Beef Goulash with Smoked Pork Sausage, Peppers and Dumplings
- Side: Mizeria (not included)
- Dessert: Apple and Rhubarb Crumble with Ice Cream
- Starter: Russian Pierogi – Dumplings filled with Cottage Cheese and Potatoes, served with Braised Onion and Bacon
- Main: Kaczka – Roast Duck with Red Cabbage and Dumplings
- Side: Mizeria (not included)
- Dessert: Vodka Marinated Sour Cherries Crème Brulee
What we drank…
- Caramel Vodka Shot
- Blackcurrant Vodka Shot
- Rhubarb Vodka Shot (not included)
- Cranberry Vodka Shot (not included)
- Two Monabubbles – Sparkling Wine, Raspberry Syrup and MonaVie (not included)
- Two Mon Armour – White Rum, Raspberry Syrup, Fresh Lime Juice, Lemonade, MonaVie (not included)
What did we think?
Coming out of Goldhawk Road tube station to a flurry of luridly neon tacky textile shops, you can’t help but wonder if this is really the home to sophisticated and elegant eatery Tatra, run by husband and wife duo Robert and Sylvia. Since opening its doors in October 2008, the couple have proudly produced an exciting array of Polish and East European foods, with their speciality of home-made flavoured vodkas giving this modern restaurant a punchy little twist.
Situated on a corner down Goldhawk Road, the first thing that strikes you about this venue are the Grecian style white columns framing the windows, creating quite an atmospheric exterior, the main entrance topped with bold red lettering exalting the restaurant’s name. Juxtaposed with this rather classic and imposing outside, is the perfectly chilled out and stylish interior, that has a vibe of kicked back chic, with mushroom coloured walls, paper hearts hanging from ceiling lights and square black wooden tables with matching chairs of unbelievable squidgability. Although not incredibly vast, the space was very well dressed, and felt quite roomy, with a stocked up bar near the main door.
The atmosphere was so comfortable, we visibly slumped down into our seats, and it would definitely be the ideal venue for a casual meal with your mates, offering elegant and stylish décor, an undercurrent of fun and frivolity in the air and the enticing promise of a delicious meal as scents from the kitchen wafted temptingly past our nostrils.
In my mind, this voucher in particular was a fantastic bargain, offering us the full three courses to be chosen from the A La Carte menu, as well as a trademark vodka shot each from their intriguing array of home brewed flavours, including the more unusual options such as beetroot, black pepper and chilli. The table was simply dressed with just the basics of cutlery, napkin and wine glass, the simplicity a contrast to the vibrant mix of flavours that were bursting from the menu.
Starting with the drinks menu, we chose our shots first – I opted for a caramel, one of my favourite flavours in pretty much anything, while Jess went all fruity with blackcurrant. We were presented with large shot glasses, and I instantly loved the sweet, smooth and strong swirl of caramel with the vodka. Jess’s blackcurrant was a lot thicker than the caramel, and almost had the consistency of a puree, which we also discovered was true for the rhubarb and cranberry shots we sampled later on. The blackcurrant had the traditional forest fruit feel with a deep and juicy flavour, yet running down the throat like a smoothie. The cranberry shot we had later in the evening was a post box red in colour with a trademark tang and a grainy texture. To be honest, the rhubarb one I just found plain weird. It was by far the strongest regarding alcoholic punch and on the whole it just tasted a bit funky. Despite this, I thoroughly enjoyed our shot sampling session, as the unusual flavours add an extra element to the meal and offer that little bit something different that on the whole will help to make this venue stand out amongst its rivals. The fact that they are home-made also means that they could taste different each time, and this variability adds excitement to any meal.
To go with our starters, we had the pale pink Monabubbles, one of their cocktails using Acia Fruit for a super boost. It didn’t really have much of a taste to it; it was just faintly flavoured sparkling wine to be honest, but added a nice bit of fizz to the start of our meal. To kick the food off, we both settled on a different variety of dumplings – me going meaty with veal and pork, while Jess went for a cottage cheese stuffed option, lathered in onion and bacon. I was so impressed with starters, the food was simply divine. What had us intrigued was that we both ordered dumplings, but our dishes came up entirely differently, much to our delight. My dumplings were more like ravioli, pasta like pliable shells encasing small balls of veal and pork. It was served in a fantastically refreshing butter dressing with slices of spring onion, so that it was wonderfully light to eat. A really classy dish with well thought out flavour combinations. Jess’s version of dumplings were equally spellbinding and we tucked into them with just as much fervour. They were larger and provided a crispier, pastry like shell, crimped at the edges. Filled with a cottage cheese and potato stuffing, these dumplings had a creamy taste that went really well with the juicy and crunchy bacon and onions lounging on top of the dumplings. Earthy and full of flavour, once again the tastes combined created a beautiful dish that we literally gobbled up in no time at all.
Blown away by starters, we were so excited to get stuck into our main courses. Here, I had chosen a classic beef goulash, and when it arrived in front of me, I couldn’t wait to dive in. Beautifully presented with a dash of sour cream and chives adding an accent in the centre of the plentiful and rich tomato sauce, I loved the deep meaty flavours booming throughout the dish with a hearty gusto. The beef was cooked to perfection and was tender to eat as well as fantastic with the sauce, which I mopped up with slices of white Polish bread. As well as chunky cubes of beef, large lumps of spicy sausage cut diagonally added a different texture element, as did the fat and long slug shaped squidgy dumplings that were lovely and soft, soaking up the sauce. Green peppers and mushrooms also made an appearance, once again enhancing the red meat flavours that predominated the dish. The ingredients were expertly combined and the goulash was simply bursting with deliciousness at every turn, each mouthful containing a thoughtful mix of textures as well as taste.
As I oohed and ahhed my way through the goulash, Jess was equally impressed with her roast duck. The portion sizes were perfect and larger than most classy restaurants which we liked! Duck usually comes up very small, and most places just serve the one leg or breast as it is also a more expensive option. However Tatra provide a generous service, and Jess was provided with two duck legs, sitting atop a colourful mound of red cabbage, framed by more of the speciality dumplings that feature heavily throughout the menu (and I can see why – they are quite simply, amazing).
Paired with our mains, we decided to try a Polish speciality, as recommended by our waitress, the Mizeria, which turned out to be the most vibrant and refreshingly cleansing thing I have possibly ever eaten. Wafer thin slices of cucumber, spring onion and I think sour cream combined to completely lift the palette and provide a great contrast to the heavier red meat flavours of our main dishes. I’m not usually a fan of cucumber, and I normally avoid it at all costs, but I’m glad we trusted the talkative and welcoming staff to try this enlightening side salad.
Full to the brim and impressed beyond belief, we once again turned our attention to the delectable cocktail menu, this time going for a Mon Armour which sounded wonderfully boozy yet fresh with both rum and lime. Another pale pink beverage, yet this one was a lot stronger than the Monabubbles (which we liked) and tasted a bit like a Cosmo without the orange hints. Armed with alcohol, it was time for round three and to peruse the dessert menu, which once again held an interesting array of options. I went for something a bit more basic this time, with an apple and rhubarb crumble served with vanilla ice cream.
The presentation was lovely, the crumble served in a ramekin, a perfect single scoop dish next to it with an individual round of ice cream. A decorative pattern of strawberry sauce starred across the rest of the plate. The crumble topping was delicious, with large caramelised pieces of varying sizes that had a fantastic crunch factor. However the fruit underneath had all been pureed, and to honest, I would have preferred the fruit to be more natural with some juicy chunks and pieces to get my teeth into, although the flavours were still very pleasant with a tasty tang from the rhubarb paired with the classic apple.
Jess went for the crème brulee, which Tatra had spiced up with vodka marinated cherries. Hers was also really tasty, the cherries not too overpowering, but providing that extra pow among the gelatinous custard of the brulee.
Making a second reservation? Most definitely yes, if I was in this area of London. It’s a shame that this venue is so tucked away, as I honestly feel that it is a sparkler of a hidden gem. It is evident that a lot of thought and preparation had gone into creating a menu that was different and offered customers an unusual eating experience with a unique insight into Polish and European foods. I loved the intriguing sounding items on the menu, the flavour combinations making my taste buds water and there was plenty of choice, and therefore something for everyone, with an impressive array of starters, mains and desserts. They stuck to their guns and their menu was consistently Polish themed throughout, which I really enjoyed as this is an area of cuisine that I have never explored before and now because of Tatra, I would definitely sample Polish food again.
Granted, we went a bit overboard with drinks and spent a bit more than maybe we would have liked. We paid £29 originally for three courses and a shot of vodka, which price wise, is extremely reasonable and a great bargain when you consider the quality of the food that we were presented with. We spent an additional £39 in the restaurant, on four cocktails, two shots and our side salad, not including service, which worked out at £20 each to pay, which isn’t too bad really.
The staff were wonderful – they were open and warm from the minute we put one well-heeled foot in the door, and at no point were we made to feel less valued because we were voucher customers. They were conscientious, knowledgeable about the menu and flitted about the place with a helpful demeanour. On the whole, the food was absolutely divine and real treat to devour, the atmosphere completely relaxing and calm and the flavoured vodkas adding a twist on the traditional. I would really recommend checking this place out if you happen to be wondering around Shepherd’s Bush.
The Dinner Dates Opinion:
“Tatra impressed me, the decor was nice, the staff were so friendly and the food was great! And on top of all that it was a two minute walk from the station (albeit a station that is quite far away from home). This deal was good in that we were able to get all three courses from the a la carte menu (which had so much choice) and we got a shot of their home made vodka (which came in a variety of flavours) which instantly made this an eye catching deal. All courses were delicious, it was all so flavourful, thought out and nicely presented. Although I am a little confused over what a dumpling is as it seemed to come in many forms! The portion sizes were also good; I think that this is the first voucher meal where I have gone out and actually started feeling full in the main course. Since I’ve never had Polish food before I wasn’t sure what to expect, but if this is an accurate representation, I will be wanting a lot more of it!”