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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » January 16, 2008
Restaurant review
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Menu With Music
January 16, 2008 By Magda Kuszewska   
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Few jazz clubs can boast a menu as impressive as the Akwarium. "We offer guests something they will not find elsewhere on the market: exquisite dinner with a quality music concert," said Mariusz Adamiak, jazz promoter and Akwarium manager. "We want to defy the common belief that you don't eat at jazz clubs." The Akwarium serves international cuisine, which is a broad term. Most of the dishes call to mind the Mediterranean with a touch of the Orient.

You may be surprised by the selection of desserts, as the Akwarium has renounced cakes and pies in favor of light mousse. The jazz duo (zl.15) is a combination of two kinds of mousse made of white and dark chocolate. The rhubarb bar (zl.10) comprises natural yogurt with rhubarb and ginger.

Before you get to the dessert, however, treat your palate to a dish like the tuna carpaccio with artichoke and Parmesan (zl.35). The soup selection includes crayfish soup (zl.18) with boletes and saffron and Hungarian style goulash soup (zl.9). You can then proceed to the "hot delicacies" section offering dishes such as the Williams pear baked with gorgonzola cheese and served with romaine lettuce and raspberry sauce (zl.19). Some of the most remarkable main courses at the Akwarium include Szechuan gnocchi (zl.35) baked with mozzarella cheese and served with vegetables, or a marinated saddle of venison (zl.70) with buckwheat pancakes, celery and cranberries. Between noon and 3:30 p.m. on weekdays, the Akwarium serves lunch for zl.25.

The Akwarium is a club with a rich history. Poland's first jazz club hosted such international stars as Pat Metheny, Betty Carter, Phill Woods, James Carter and many more. The present Akwarium was reopened last summer after many years, near its previous location.

"When we had to close the Akwarium down in 2000, the club was in the height of its prosperity. It held daily concerts and weekly jam sessions," said Adamiak. Despite many protests, the place was closed down due to plans to build a skyscraper on the site. "I was so upset that over the next couple of years I did not plan to reopen the club," Adamiak added. The idea reemerged when Adamiak saw the blueprint for the new Złote Tarasy shopping mall. "This is a brand-new place, but it restores the previous traditions of concerts every night and the best jazz music," Adamiak said. "We want artists from around the world to play here, the more the better. Following the example of the best clubs in London, such as the Ronnie Scott club, a megastar will play here for five consecutive nights."

What is left of the former Akwarium is a piano and vintage concert posters. New furnishings include wooden furniture and large red sofas that surprisingly blend with modern, transparent chairs. The whole is completed with a semicircular bar. The stage remains the focal point of the Akwarium.

Akwarium club and restaurant, 59 Złota St., Złote Tarasy shopping mall, level -1.
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