Chez Nicholas

 · 17 mins read

It started with planning a schedule of restaurants to visit on our July mini fine dining tour of Krakow. Kamila and Cezary (@finediningpl) recommended @cheznicholasresto to us but as the competition was strong we couldn’t decide. When I was about to book the restaurants I had a dream about a beautiful dark blue room with a painting of a golden pheasant. When I noticed in the story on Instagram, that this is exactly what Chef Nichola’s Bistro looks like, of course, I made a reservation. Thus began our addiction to Chez Nicholas restaurant. I won’t even try to hide that we fell in love with the place and the Chef himself. As I write this we are already after three brilliant dinners at Chef Nicholas and we are about to have another one.

Chef of Chez Nicholas is really called Yinliang Zhoulezi LU, and Nicholas is his nickname. He is from China and graduated from the renowned French culinary school Ferrandi in Paris (@ferrandiparis), after which he gained experience in several restaurants in France including those with @michelinguide stars. His charming, little bistro is absolutely unique. Tables brought from France, framed old French newspapers hang on the walls, and of course, a painting of a beautiful golden pheasant which Chef Nicholas asked to be painted especially for his boutique French restaurant, as a Chinese accent. Meals here are eaten with silver cutlery from the 18th and 19th centuries on paper tablecloths.

The restaurant’s menu is mainly French, but also includes Chinese recipes. Everything here is honest and authentic from the beginning to the end. The chef himself takes care of selecting the best products from markets and suppliers so that at Chez Nicholas we can eat fresh products of the highest quality. The menu changes every day depending on the product’s availability.

The chef himself takes care of selecting the best products from markets and suppliers so that at Chez Nicholas we can eat fresh products of the highest quality. The menu changes every day depending on the produce available.


Steamed buns / butter / Olive Oil

Instead of the traditional bread before our meal, we got steamed buns in a variety of flavors. The Chef served them again as soon as they ran out, which we really liked, because they were perfect for finishing the sauces. The sauces at Chef Nicholas are divine, it is a sin to leave them on a plate. The homemade buns were made using alkaline water, Julienas Beaujolais village red wine (Gamay Grape), spinach, and sorrel. For the buns we got Isigny Butter AOP from Normandy with black summer truffle Tuber Aestivum from Croatia and Taggiasche olives and Espelette peppers. Also there was an excellent olive oil from AOP Les Vallées de Baux de Provence. eggplants.

On a table covered with a white paper tablecloth a small bowl with coarse salt is placed. In another, flat, small bowl is a portion of paprika butter. Next to the bowls lies a flat, oval plate on which are two steamed buns, cut into four pieces. One is white, the other red. On the same plate, next to the buns lies a bowl of olive oil. In the last bowl is a small silver spoon. In the background you can see navy blue walls and a Painting depicting a golden pheasant.


An oval plate with three steamed buns, cut into four parts. The frontmost is a white bun, then a green bun and a red bun. In front of the plate with the buns is a tall, small bowl of coarse salt and to the right is a flat, small bowl of truffle butter.


Tuna Belly Tartare

Tartare of tuna belly part with homemade Ponzu, grapefruit, confit lemon zest, Limoncello and lemon juice, and yuzu, ginger confit in sake, mirin and Japanese whiskey. On top, portulaca leaves as a salad. A sensational tartare that gets the Happy Eggplant Badge from us. eggplants.

On a flat, white, large plate, a disk-shaped portion of thickly sliced raw tuna. A dark sauce is poured around the tuna. Two green purslane leaves and a grapefruit fillet are placed on top of the tartare.


Beef Tartare Tokyo Style

We ate the beef tartare at Chez Nicholas in two renditions and both deserved the Order of the Happy Eggplant.

The first was a super surprise as we got a double portion of tartare (a la carte). For lovers of this dish, it’s hard to find something better. Perfect, finely chopped beef with a sabayon of light mayo with Japanese chili powder, grapefruit, yuzu, crispy shiitake mushrooms (from Mr. Grela from Lublin) with mizuna cabbage, Japanese whiskey, and red wine glaze with anise, cinnamon, and black fruit purée. eggplants.

A huge portion of finely chopped beef tartare, arranged in a cuboid on a white plate. Slices of mushrooms are arranged on top of the tartare and pink and white beet posts on top. A portion of dark brown sauce is placed next to the tartare.


The second was also finely chopped, made with Black Angus beef and combined with green zebra tomato tartare. It came with shiitake mushrooms, grapefruit, gherkins, mustard and Cointreau liqueur. eggplants.

A portion of beef tartare, finely chopped arranged in the shape of a disc. A dark sauce is poured around it and the top of the tartare is garnished with a grapefruit fillet and slices of dark mushrooms.


Spider Crab from Roscoff

The Chef loves to serve this particular crab steamed and with different accompaniments. It is served in the shell of this particular crab, which looks very impressive. As with the tartare, both crabs were sensational and got orders from us. The Chef likes to serve this particular crab steamed and with different toppings.

In the first version, we got crab steamed and deboned, with black garlic mayonnaise and a collection of local bio veggies in salad including a steamed zucchini flower. eggplants.

On a white flat plate, a large, orange on the outside and beige on the inside of a crab shell. The photo is taken from the side of the shell. Inside the shell, you can see the gray mousse, lettuce, and a steamed zucchini flower sticking out of the edge of the shell.


A shot showing the crab shell from the front. You can see the beige porous interior with the mousetrap, lettuce and zucchini flower.


The second time, the crab was served accompanied with Ananas Noir tomatoes (literally, black pineapple), confit ginger, Japanese mustard herbs, a vinaigrette of five vinegars, and olive oil from Provence. eggplants.

A similar crab shell as before, also on a flat white plate. Inside the shell you can see sliced in half, green and purple small tomatoes, lettuces, pink and white beet sticks and gray mousse. Next to the plate lies a beautifully decorated silver fork.


Fine de claire oysters

Fine de Claire oysters from Oléron, France. I’m not a fan of oysters, but these were outstanding. Steamed in the oven served with rice Vermicelli, seasoned with salty sabayon with Garlic trilogy and oyster sauce. Topped with Green Zebra tomato tartare. We award the Order of the Happy Eggplant for these wonderfully delicious oysters. eggplants.

On a flat, oval plate you can see two oyster shells embedded in a portion of puree. Inside the shell is wrapped rice noodles in a light brown sauce on top of which is a green mousse.



Wonton with Black Tiger shrimp and lobster. Accompanied with a fantastic bisque. The bisque is mind-blowing. Chef Nicholas makes it with 11 different seafood and fish. This version had curry paste and coconut milk added. Steamed golden beans on the top. I cannot do otherwise like award another Order of the Happy Eggplant to the wonderful Wonton. eggplants.

In a white deep plate with a wide, In a white deep plate with a wide flat rim, three dumplings are placed and covered with a dark sauce. In the middle between the ravioli are yellow beans, also covered with sauce.


Gratin with forest mushrooms

Gratin with different mushrooms: chanterelles, boletus, boletus, boletus, canine, king oyster mushroom, with champagne béchamel, foie gras, anchovy paste, rum brioche and Gruyère cheese. I still remember the beautiful aroma, the creamy interior, and the harmony of mushroom and cheese flavors. The perfect autumn dish, which receives from us the Order of the Happy Eggplant. eggplants.

A small, black, cast iron casserole pot, which is covered on top with a browned layer of cheese.


Saffron seafood risotto

The perfect risotto with prawns and scallop sautéed with chanterelle mushrooms, roasted zucchini flower, bisque (that divine bisque), herbes de Provence, white wine, light red curry, and crème fraîche from Normandy. Fabulous! Once again, top note and the Order! eggplants.

A white plate full of shrimp, scallops and chanterelles. A hint of yellow rice can be seen underneath. A steamed zucchini flower is placed on top of the seafood.


Risotto with langoustine

Oven-roasted langoustine from France and the best bisque. The whole thing twisted up with curry, Espelette peppers, white wine and cognac. Delicate langoustine and a crisp, perfectly prepared risotto. The Eggplant Order for risotto flies again. eggplants.

In a deep white plate lies a portion of yellow rice and a piece of baked crawfish meat on it. A dark sauce is poured over the rice. A dark, purple lettuce leaf lies on top of the crawfish.


Duck breast

Duck breast marinated in Ponzu and flambéed with herb vodka. As a completion: French purée with olive oil, baked spaghetti beans, king oyster mushroom and chanterelles from Lublin, which were roasted in the oven with olive oil and duck fat. The Burek was also an interesting element of this dish. A crispy quasi-pancake with cheese in the middle. The whole dish was brought together beautifully by the Albufera sauce. This sauce was created by Marie-Antoine Carême in honor of Napoleon’s general, Louis-Gabriel Suchet, Duke of D’Albufera da Valencia. Chef Nicholas made it with chicken, duck, goose, foie gras and crème fraîche from Deux-Sèvres. The spiciness of the dish was added by Chef’s own dried Chili brought from Lecce, Italy. A perfect duck! And of course, the Order of the Happy Eggplant. eggplants.

On a flat, white, square plate, in the lower left corner of the plate, a dish is laid out. On top of the potato purée lie three slices of roasted duck fillet. Next to it is green asparagus, fried oyster mushrooms and chanterelles, rolled in a knot cooked long green beans. Between the purée portion and the edge of the plate, a light brown sauce is poured in the very corner. To the right of the plate lies a triangular piece of burek pastry.


Goose leg

A similar combination as in the dish above. In this version, we got a confit leg of goose with lime, kaffir, and tamarind. It is worth mentioning that for the main course we received a beautiful, original Laguiole knife. A wonderful dish and a wonderful rating and the Happy Eggplant Order. eggplants.

On a flat, white, square plate, in its lower left corner, a dish is arranged. A piece of meat from a goose is laid on top of a potato purée. Next to it lie fried oyster mushrooms and chanterelles and long green beans. Closer to the left edge of the plate, tucked into the purée is a triangular piece of burek pastry.


Goose stomachs

Here the Chef presented us an original Chinese dish of very thinly sliced goose stomachs, fried on beef lard and served with chili jam. A wonderful, spicy, and flavorful dish. We are pleased to award it with another Order. eggplants.

In a deep white plate with a wide, flat rim a portion of thinly sliced stomachs with vegetables in a dark sauce is placed. A green leaf lies on top.


Pan-fried foie gras

The a la carte dish we were so excited to try at Chez Nicholas. Perfectly cooked foie gras of the highest quality from Toulouse, pan-fried with Cointreau liqueur. Accompanied with a sauce - cherry reduction and a salad of a variety of tomatoes with a vanilla Sichuan pepper vinaigrette. As a side dish, beautiful eggplants, zucchini, and beans, grilled in the oven. A fantastic composition, full of flavors, textures, and aromas. The Order was awarded, of course. eggplants.

On a flat, white, square plate lies a portion of fried foie gras. Next to it is a portion of thick, dark sauce and various lettuces in a vinaigrette with chopped small tomatoes.


On a white, flat oval plate lie roasted vegetables: oblong eggplants, young oblong zucchini, zucchini flowers and long green beans.


The Three Treasures Of The Land

This is another original Chinese dish that Chef Nicholas learned from his mother. The fresh peppers and eggplants for this dish Chef Nicholas brought by himself from a trip to Greece. The peppers, eggplant, and potatoes were fried in a light tempura sweet and sour sauce with caramelized garlic flakes and rice vinegar aged for 3 years. A perfect, spicy, and tasty dish. The eggplant was incredibly tender and full of flavor. One would like to eat this dish every day. I miss it already and naturally award the Order of the Happy Eggplant. eggplants.

Sauteed, chopped vegetables in a sauce. You can see chunks of eggplant, peppers, garlic, potatoes and leafy greens.


Same vegetables as above in approximate.


Cherries à la Jubilée

I’m speechless. You have to taste it for yourself. Warm, ripe cherries in salted caramel, with Isigny Butter AOP from Normandy, with caramelized pistachios and cherry liqueur. This dessert was created for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee on June 20, 1887.

We ate this best dessert in the world in the aroma of rose water from Provence, with beautiful opera music and rose petals all around us. Magical! If I could I would give a hundred eggplant orders. eggplants.

White large plate with a deep center in which are large, black, shiny cherries in caramel. In the background, on a table covered with a paper white tablecloth you can see a silver bowl with still floating steam. Next to the bowl lies a red rose. Around it, rose petals lie on the tablecloth.


Close-up of cherries with pistachios in a white plate.


Crepe with fruit

Crispy French Crepe with orange blossoms. Topped with berries flambéed in Grand Marnier, salted caramel and house-made lemon cream. As usual, it was served spectacularly. eggplants.

Two white plates with a large crispy pancake molded in the shape of a bowl. Inside the pancake lies fried fruit and lemon cream. To the right of the plate in front, lies an ornate silver knife. To the right of the photo, on the table lies a silver bowl from which large amounts of steam are coming out, dribbling on the table.


Petit four

Cannelé de Bordeaux with Vermuth wine as [Petit four]. I love Cannelé, these wonderfully buttery and soft sweets are the perfect finale to a French tasting with a Chinese twist. They were made exactly as they should be. I adore them and of course, they get the Order of the Happy Eggplant. eggplants.

Eight Cannelé are arranged on a white oval plate. They are dark brown. In the background behind the Cannelé lies a red rose.


Perfect lactose-free coffee to Cannelé.

Coffee in a white cup on a rectangular saucer. A red rose in the background.



Each visit to Chez Nicholas restaurant has been unique and magical. It is fine dining at the highest level with luxurious products of excellent quality straight from France and beyond. Chef’s talent, skill and diligence can be seen at every step. Chef Nicholas himself served every dish and passionately told us about every detail we could think of. We literally could have talked to him like that for hours.

As you can see there was not a dish that we did not like. We have enjoyed the most: all the tartares, Bisque, Three Treasures of the Land, foie gras, gratin, duck, goose and those cherries… ah! Perfection. For these sensational dishes, for the commitment, talent and gigantic work of the Chef and his crew we wholeheartedly award the Happy Eggplant Badge and send huge thanks. See you soon.

Happy Eggplant Badge

Finally, an important note, if you want to go for this boutique French experience at Chez Nicholas take cash with you, because there is no card payment, but there is an ATM right next to the restaurant.

At the end we got a surprise from Chef Nicholas, when we visited his bistro with Jolka (@foodie_dreamka) and Kamil (@flairhousemk). It was a lovely evening with great company and brilliant food.

A red gold pen with gold writing Chez Nicholas is lying on the table and behind it in the background is a red rose and a plate of Cannelé.


Link to the restaurant Chez Nicholas

Address: ul. Lwowska 1/10 Kraków

The tasting dates: July, August, September 2021

Title picture: Cherries à la Jubilée