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“Quite a disapointment” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Karczma

The Karczma
Ranked #22 of 2,187 Restaurants in Birmingham
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $3 - $26
Cuisines: Polish, European, Eastern European, Central European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Dining on a budget, Families with children, Large groups, Local cuisine, Romantic, Kids, Business meetings, Special occasions
Dining options: Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: The Karczma is a traditional Polish restaurant, bar and grill located in the heart of Birmingham, just 5min walk from both the Bull Ring Shopping Centre and Moor Street Rail Station. Restaurant is decorated in the style of an old Polish country cottage seating 85 people across 2 rooms. The menu is designed to reflect a homely, hearty and rustic food that's quintessentially Polish, and prepared using only the very best quality ingredients. The menu contains numerous Polish classics including Pierogi (stuffed dumplings), Berszcz (Beetroot soup), Pickled Herring, Zurek (Pickled Rye Flour Soup) served from a hollowed out loaf of bread, as well as a whole host of grilled meats and fish. We wish you a pleasant stay and Enjoy !!!
Birmingham
Level Contributor
25 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Quite a disapointment”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2013

I think the Karczma is the victim of its own success. Following the excellent review in the Guardian we have visited the restaurant again. What a disappointment. We have been to quite a few Polish restaurants but on this occasion everything was just mediocre. Maybe we just expected too much. Overall not so great. Definitely not No. 7 in Birmingham.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank t0mt0r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
the k, Owner at The Karczma, responded to this review, February 2, 2013
Thank you for taking the time and give an opinion on our restaurant. I read these reviews dozen times searching for the for details of our mistakes because I wanted to respond to this review and draw conclusions to strive to improve the quality of our services but sadly not know what to write off as hard to find in this review on what's really the problem. Very please contact us by phone or any because I wanted to know what caused that this opinion is wrong.
We really do not consider myself to be something special and the opinion of Mr. Jay Rayner was an expression of his feelings, and we did not have these opinions absolutely no impact outside of the restaurants that we like the best we can.
Sebastian
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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664 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    464
    147
    35
    11
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Korean first
  • Polish first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Worcester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
161 reviews
112 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Nice change from the usual city centre locations.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 27, 2013

Ate at this restaurant today after a recommendation from a friend and was very impressed. Thankfully I had already read the reviews on here before I tried to find the place so I knew I was looking for a place that didn't look so appetising from the outside.
The staff were pleasant and the food was good, portions were very large so best to go here with a healthy appetite!
Within an hour of leaving the restaurant I had bumped into a relative and recommended the place to them as they were looking for somewhere to eat and fancied something a bit different.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank PPPhil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
the k, Owner at The Karczma, responded to this review, June 21, 2013
Thank you very much for your expression of your opinion on our restaurant. We promise and we will do our best to maintain a higher standard served most desired and waiter service
Sebastian Meller
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
33 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Good home style cooking!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 25, 2013 via mobile

Comfort food at its best and very reasonably priced. Just what you need when it's cold and wet outside!

    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Marley196
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
the k, Owner at The Karczma, responded to this review, June 21, 2013
Thank you very much for your expression of your opinion on our restaurant. We promise and we will do our best to maintain a higher standard served most desired and waiter service
Sebastian Meller
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Amazing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2013

The Karczma is a wonderful restaurant! My partner took me here as a surprise for birthday and i have to say not only was it the highlight of my day but also the highlight of my christmas! Although the outside of the restaurant does not look like much once you step inside the restaurant it is like you have been transported into another world! The decor is superior with hand painted red flowers on the wall, mahogany tables and chairs and large thick white fur throws on the benches. All in all the restaurant has a truly wonderful, warm, cosy and friendly atmosphere, and throughout the whole meal I could not stop smiling.

When we arrived in the restaurant the waiter took our drinks order, a grape juice for my partner and a cherry vodka for myself. The alcohol list, although not extensive on the menu but extensive on the bar, is an absolute steal. I would highly recommend the cherry vodka which was flavoursome, warming but without the usual vodka burn. My partner and I decided that we would then take a look around the restaurant. When we arrived at the bar area we when then offered a free starter, cold pork fat, gherkins and bread which was delicious. The barman was extremely friendly and enjoyed a good banter with my partner about polish body builders.

The menu here is not too extensive and laid out very clearly. As it was our first time trying Polish cuisine we asked the waiter to recommend some dishes for us. For starters we shared the russian mix dumplings, consisting of a variety of 3 large dumplings, these were delicious but very staunchy, so could easily be shared around 3 diners, however, they tasty so good that me and partner quickly devoured them! For my mains the waiter recommend me the Polish beef stew, this was by far the best dish i have ever eaten in my life! The stew was presented folded in a Polish pancake (a little like english breakfast pancakes but not sweat) with a large garnish of salad, beetroot and carrot (which complimented the food wonderfully). If you go The Karczma you must order this dish. For my partner, the waiter recommnd the ham hock which was served with chips and salad. The ham hock was enormous! However, this does not mean the quality was not up to scratch, the meat was flavoursome, tender and fell straight off the bone. Unfortunately, me and my partner were too full to try a desert but the apple cake sounded delicious and i would definately try it next time.

All in all the meal cost around £30, for starters, 2 mains and 4 drinks, an absolute bargain for the quality of food. This is by far the best restaurant in Birmingham, a truly magical dining experience!

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Charlotte S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
the k, Owner at The Karczma, responded to this review, June 21, 2013
Thank you very much for your expression of your opinion on our restaurant. We promise and we will do our best to maintain a higher standard served most desired and waiter service
Sebastian Meller
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Good food and a good time all round”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2013

Last night was my second visit to The Karczma, a great Polish restaurant just around the corner from Moor Street station in Birmingham. This time, I came prepared: be warned that a couple of visits to this unique restaurant may be required in order to appreciate it properly! Last time I visited I ordered too much and ordered things that became too rich as I continued to eat: this time I selected sheep's cheese and bacon for starters (fantastic, I would recommend this to beginners, this or the cranberry sheep cheese starter) and the mince-filled dumplings (MUCH easier to cope with than the sweet cheese dumplings I had last time!). My other fellow diners ambitiously selected the ham hocks (wherein you get PLENTY for your money and will not leave hungry), however one of my friends ordered the cheese, chicken and mushroom kiev and was disappointed by the sheer number of mushrooms that he received - but was otherwise very happy. My friends were also more than pleased with the beers that they ordered, as well as the tripe soup that they shared for a starter. We were also offered a free starter of pork fat and bacon bits on fresh bread which was fantastic to try. The restaurant was not busy as we went mid-week which meant we had excellent and attentive service as a result. The deserts are also fantastic at The Karczma, with the pavlovas they offer being extremely tasty and not too big, either: you will appreciate this after your main courses!

I always look forward to this restaurant and the experience of trying new things every time I go: there will always be something on offer for you. However, I will warn any vegetarian diners out there that there is not much there for you: there are some friend potato pancakes for mains and a starter or two that is veggie but you will struggle to find something that you can eat as it is heavily meat-based. In fact, one (vegetarian) member of our group did not join us for the meal as he had previously visited, knew that there was little on offer for him to eat. Price-wise it is a mix: there are some expensive dishes, however these dishes come with a wide variety of food on your plate and plenty of it, making the price you pay worthwhile. For those on a budget there are plenty of cheaper options for you and you will not be disappointed. For the adventurous, try the vodka shots!

  • Visited January 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank LifesEagle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
the k, Owner at The Karczma, responded to this review, June 21, 2013
Thank you very much for your expression of your opinion on our restaurant. We promise and we will do our best to maintain a higher standard served most desired and waiter service
Sebastian Meller
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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