Pierogi boiled $15.90
Traditional Polish dumplings in creamy tomato and roasted capsicum sauce
Polish food is made for winter. This stodgy hearty fare is heavy with pork, pickles and potatoes.
My second encounter with Polish cuisine saw me head to Na Zdrowie (pronounced na-zdro-vee-ah) in Glebe, a cosy restaurant in a converted terrace that seats 35 at a pinch. Stained pine furnishings abound, one wall dominated by two massive arched doors, the kind that make me think knights on horseback could arrive any moment during dinner.
Pierogi fried $16.90
There are ten of us tonight, and together we've managed to cover much of the menu.
Zurek (white borsch) $9.90
Sour rye broth with potato and polish smoked sausage
Clear beetroot broth
A mixture of apples and onions fried in lard, served with rye bread
Pierogi are smooth and slippery, the pan-fried ones bringing me personal greater favour. The Polish ex-pat is a little disappointed with the borscht, but who can ever compete with Mum's real Polish cooking.
There was no way I could ever go past the smalec, the descriptive "apples and onions fried in lard" impossible to resist. It's indeed a rich and fatty spread, resplendent with the goodness of dripping, the type of indulgence one could imagine being justified in a depths of a bitter Polish winter.
Duck roasted in apples and served with carrot salad
and crispy baked potatoes
The roast duck is gushed over, the recipient of the prune-stuffed pork lamenting its dryness and wishing he'd ordered the duck instead.
My placki potato pancakes are deliciously crisp if a little oily, and the mushroom sauce does remind me more of cream of mushroom soup from a tin.
There are big expectations from the bigos, the national dish of Poland. The ex-pat is again disappointed, citing its muted flavours. Meantime, I'm too busy giggling at the plate-up of the Kielbasa which looks more like a tribute to all things phallic.
Smoked Polish sausage char-grilled and
served with mashed potatoes and pickles
A national Polish dish of smoked meat and hunters sauerkraut stew
served with mashed potatoes
Potato pancakes with wild mushroom sauce
Schab za Sliwkami $24.90
Pork loin stuffed with prunes
served with baked potatoes and cwikla
The hearty theme continues with our desserts. Homemade gingerbread cake is dense and gingery, although there's a strange faint aftertaste that we think is bicarbonate of soda. Berries abound on the vanilla ice cream sundae (which was set alight as promised and is faintly visible if you look carefully). There are also plenty of berries in the sweet pierogi.
My serve of Chopin cake is an impressive tower of white drizzled with chocolate sauce and topped with silver dragees. The white is not frozen ice cream but cream, its richness offset with the crunch of roast almonds.
Lard, fried potatoes and frozen cream. What more could a three-course meal ask for?
Kosciuszko's ice cream $9.50
Vanilla ice cream served with polish savories
and topped with a flaming dressing
Cake of the day: homemade gingerbread cake $9.50
Warm sweet pierogi filled with season fruits $12.60
served with vanilla ice cream and forest berry sauce
Chopin cake $9.50
Frozen dessert with oven-roasted almonds
topped with dark chocolate sauce
161 Glebe Point Road, Glebe, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9660 1242
Open 7 days 6pm - 10pm
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Glebe - Toxteth Hotel
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6/28/2008 10:39:00 p.m.