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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Na Zdrowie, Glebe


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


Borsch $9.90
Clear beetroot broth


Smalec $6.50
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.


Kaczka $27.90
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.


Kielbasa $18.90
Smoked Polish sausage char-grilled and
served with mashed potatoes and pickles


Bigos $19.60
A national Polish dish of smoked meat and hunters sauerkraut stew
served with mashed potatoes


Placki $17.90
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


Na Zdrowie
161 Glebe Point Road, Glebe, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9660 1242
Open 7 days 6pm - 10pm

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Polish - Restaurant Nadwislanska at Ashfield Polish Club

Glebe - Fair Trade Coffee Company
Glebe - Forest Lodge
Glebe - Osteria dei Poeti
Glebe - San Churro
Glebe - Toxteth Hotel
Glebe - Uni Thai

8 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 6/28/2008 10:39:00 pm


8 Comments:

  • At 6/29/2008 8:43 am, Blogger hazchem said…

    I LOVE this place. Been there a couple of times and always really enjoyed it.

    The smalec is a favourite, and I've had the bigos and really enjoyed it, but I can't speak for its authenticity. Like any national dish I imagine everyone does it a little differently.

    Borsch, Vodja & Tears in Melbourne is good too if you ever head down there.

     
  • At 6/29/2008 4:38 pm, Anonymous aptronym said…

    For the quantity, those Pierogi are pretty pricey!

     
  • At 7/01/2008 3:53 pm, Anonymous Howie said…

    this is great, it's also the first time I have seen a Polish restaurant. Adding this to do my to do list as it's something very different!

     
  • At 7/02/2008 9:12 am, Blogger Y said…

    Don't think I've ever had Polish food before, but any cuisine that has dumplings by the truckload, roast duck and something called a Chopin cake, must surely be worth trying :)

     
  • At 7/03/2008 5:48 pm, Anonymous Lorraine E said…

    LOL Kielbasa comment. True dat. We've driven past here and I've always meant to go but never have. It looks lovely and hearty. I wish I liked pierogi though, I love the idea of them but never the execution :( The meat dishes however look great. How was the duck? At Doma it was quite hard to get off the bone.

     
  • At 7/04/2008 9:17 pm, Anonymous foxy said…

    Mm, Ja and I meant to go there a while back but didn't and was meaning to go there one day. But after reading about it, I reckon it's just too pricey for its quality and authenticity (I've heard it was really good before but has been in decline since). And if an ex-pat complains, it's always worth noting. ^^

     
  • At 7/07/2008 12:49 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi hazchem - Ahh I remember your fondness for pierogi. The smalec is great but far too much for one person. We had it between four and still could only manage half of it. And ex-pats are perhaps the toughest clients, esp ones with good cooks for mothers!

    Hi aptronym There's one pierogi missing in the top pic :)

    Hi Howie - There's also a Polish restaurant at the Polish Club in Ashfield. Happy feasting :)

    Hi Y - I think you should :) It's definitely a winter cuisine for me - only when you're in the mood for pork, cabbage, carbs and stodge!

    Hi Lorraine - I think your pierogi sentiments echo my feelings about Eastern European cuisine in general: I really want to like it but usually end up going home a little disappointed. I think with the pierogi and the duck I tend to compare (and expect) a similar execution to Chinese-style. I find European duck very lean and drier than the Chinese roast duck I'm used to, but they do have more flavour. I'm really keen to try homemade pierogi to see if there's a big difference to what I've tried so far.

    Hi foxy - I think an ex-pat will always complain - any praise would be an extremely tough achievement indeed!

     
  • At 9/04/2012 1:46 am, Anonymous Miki said…

    Hi,

    I had the Chopin Cake over there and I have been mesmerized by it since. I went in early 2010 and I'm from Malaysia, and a Polish friend brought me there.

    I am just wondering if the Chopin Cake is a very Polish thing? Is there another name for it? I tried googling it but I can't find any recipe...

    Please help. I need to have another piece of this.
    And I won't be heading to Sydney anytime soon.

    Thanks!!

     

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