“ Jerozolimskie 42 / Warsaw /Poland / Tel: +48 (22) 8260750 „
Set on Ulica Jerozolimskie, this is incredibly central in the main shopping area within 5 minutes walk of the railway station and palace of science and culture as well as a large number of shops. Sphinx is a chain of restaurants throughout Poland, in fact I believe it is the largest chain, it's food is a mix of some Polish dishes but mainly food from the far east, on my visit I had Gyros (A kebab), this was very cheap at just under £5 and the food portions were typical Polish standard with a huge filling plate of food. The kebab was well cooked and seasoned with a decent presentation and lots of salad. There is a good selection of drinks with beer, wine, soft drinks and spirits on offer. The staff are efficient and attentive, all have their special Sphinx outfits which are actually quite amusing. All staff speak English but the odd please and thank you in Polish will put you in good stead with the staff. Overall I was impressed with what is technically a fast food restaurant, the place has a nice themed look, it is easily accessible, the menu is fairly varied with some good meat options and some nice salads and portion sizes are enough to keep you strong whilst traversing the snow and ice for the rest of the day. The chips and some of the garnishes are fairly average and to those anticipating a taste of Polish cuisine I would say try somewhere else, this place is cheap, fast food and it can be hit and miss but it is a filling mill in comparison to a KFC or McDonalds with table service, salad and a nice ambience. The chain also has restaurants in Krakow, Olsztyn and many other cities, they try to include a couple of local dishes as well as the gyros and chicken steaks and overall I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. The menu includes garlic bread, steak, fish, chicken, kebabs, there are a reasonable selection of desserts and the drinks are fine. The place has around 92 restaurants nationwide and nearly went into administration last year which is surprising as everywhere i've been you see locals queuing up for some Sphinx food I have been to other branches so knew what to expect and my colleagues weren't disappointed, they weren't overwhelmed either but then this popular joint is good value and decent food rather than the best in town.
If you are really hungry in Warsaw (or any major city in Poland) then this is the place you want to be heading. There's several in each city and quite a lot in the capital, they're normally fairly roomy and there are parts for non-smokers and smokers. Waiters are dressed in weird semi-traditional uniforms that generally makes them looks like tits but some people may appreciate it. Sphinx as you may have guessed, has a sort of Egyptian theme, generally with photos of Egypt and cheap Egyptian souvenirs and a Sphinx for it's logo. Not confined to an Egyptian theme, it also has a woodeny northern Europe feel to it inside and a relaxed street cafe feel to its outside sections during the summer. The food just about covers everything from pizzas to fish but focuses on meat dishes, shoarma in particular with huge portions of chips and vegetables (normally cabbage), bread and 3 dips (garlic, salsa and tomato ketchup/mayo mixed) comes complimentary. Drinks are cheap, whether they be alcoholic or soft drinks. Some vegetarian choices are also available. The portions are unbelievably enormous and always fill you up, I've never known anyone have a desert there but it is possible! Starters like Feta Salads are also fairly big, the large one is good enough as a meal in itself in fact! The sign on their chain outside says "best food by Tom Maltom", it's bothered me for years who Tom Maltom is, he's definitely not the chef in all the restaurants and must be the owner but I can't seem to find him. I realise that I've become rather sad when I've nothing better to do at 1 am than search for Tom Maltom! I've pictured him as an Ironside like character for some reason. The wide array of food, usually quick service and cheap prices make this a superb option as a feeding hole! It's also got a pleasant feel to it and the waiters are relaxed about you sitting there and having drinks afterwards. The food is tasty and I've never not enjoyed a meal there but it's not a place you want to visit on a regular basis as you'll notice that the dishes do tend to taste quite similar and as variety is the spice of life, its not ideal for day to day or week to week visits! English menus are available and staff always speak at least Polish and English, sometimes German too. Sphinx have branched out to Romania, Hungary and Czech Republic, looks like Tom's on to a winner. You can generally have a huge meal and a beer from 23zl (5.80), thats the way to go! Website: http://www.sphinx.pl/ (also available in English, top right hand corner)
This popular Arabic themed eatery chain has opened a branch in Warsaw and whilst it may not be one of the seven wonders of the world, enormous portions and a wide selection of dishes result in queues for a free table.