60 Second Interview: Zapiecek by Mark Bixter
I visited Kriss Wonjnick chef and owner of Zapiecek Polish restaurant on Greyhound Lane. Zapiecek is the realisation of Kriss’ dreams and it was a pleasure to chat to him and learn a bit more about him and his restaurant. Here is what he had to say:
What is special about “Zapiecek”? Why should people come here?
Kriss: I am the owner and the chef so I take care of every detail from making sure the meat and vegetables are top quality, to dealing with the drinks suppliers, this means I look after everything for the customers.
Prices are very competitive both for the area and during a recession and I hope that would make people come.
Everyone loves the food when they come, I think that’s because it is all homemade and just like your mother would make.
I am about to introduce a delivery service too so soon people won’t even need to come, I can get the food to them.
What is your signature dish?
Kriss: I think I would have to say my hunter stew, that would be in first place.But I get great feedback about the potato pancakes and beef stew – I have a customer who keeps coming back to just have that. If I was cooking at home though I tend not to eat Polish food as I have it everyday in the restaurant.
How long has Zapiecek been open?
Kriss: It has been open 5 months now.
What Challenges did you face opening a Polish Restaurant in Streatham?
Kriss: There is a strong Polish community nearby but I really want to try and reach out to English diners. English people are very adventurous in their eating, they try many different cuisines and I want them to try Polish food. Everyone who has been has enjoyed it so hopefully I can keep appealing to new diners as well as the Polish community.
If you were a dish at Zapicek what would you be and why?
Kris: Hmmm… I think I’d be the pork ribs baked in cabbage. Why is harder… well it is delicious and has two elements with the soft meat and then the cabbage and when everything comes together it is amazing!
What is your hidden gem in Streatham?
Kriss: I think the common is very good. It is lovely for relaxing and going for a nice walk, it is also right by the restaurant so people can come here afterwards.
What would your last meal be?
Kriss: I’d have the pork knuckle with sides. It is a huge portion so you’d be very full. It has tasty crispy skin, soft meat and both mustard and horseradish on the side – delicious.
If someone who had never been to Streatham before asked what to do on a night out, what would you recommend?
Kriss: Well apart from coming here I wish I knew. I have a long journey to get here each day and don’t get the chance to explore much as I’m always in the restaurant.
What is your foodie guilty pleasure?
Kriss: I love the apple pie we have, it is served with whipping cream, vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce, so I’d definitely say it was that.
You can find Zapiecek on 114 Greyhound Lane or visit the website www.zapiecek.vpweb.co.uk there is no landline but you can call Kriss on 07988665332. Open Tuesday – Thursday 12pm-9pm and Friday – Sunday 12pm – 10pm.