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Friday, August 26, 2011

Olka Polka Bakery & Deli, Campbelltown

It's a long journey on the train out to Campbelltown, but the trip is well worth it when there's freshly baked rye bread at the other end. For my latest column for Time Out Sydney I headed to Olka Polka, a Polish bakery and deli that's been a godsend for homesick ex-pats for almost a decade. 

The business has no relation to Sammy and Bella Jakubiak, the NSW sisters who used the same name for their home restaurant in the TV series My Kitchen Rules. The shop is a popular stop on local food tours - just make sure you get there early to nab a square of authentic cheesecake or a sugary jam-filled donut.

Sernik Polish baked cheesecake

Eat this...

Wherever you are in Poland, you'll always find sernik, the national dessert of baked cheesecake. The filling is rich with egg and sweet cheese curd, creating a light, fluffy topping.

Olka Polka in Campbelltown, a specialist in Polish food. Owner Andrzej Luczak trained in Poland as a baker. The shop started almost ten years ago as a bakery but has since expanded to include deli and grocery lines for homesick Poles. The shop is small but neat and clean, with baking down out the back. They have all kinds of sernik Polish cheesecake ($3 for a square), including plain, variations with peach or raisins, and a traditional version layered with a thick paste of ground poppy seeds and butter. The cheesecake squares come covered in a thin layer of icing or dusted with icing sugar.

Drozdzowka yeast cake $3 

You can get into all your Polish favourites here, like makowiec ($10), a sweet bread stuffed with poppy-seed paste and smothered in icing. If poppy seeds aren't your style, try the soft and spongy drozdzowka yeast cake ($3 for a slice, $7.50 for a slab) with a crumble topping. Paczek Polish donuts ($1.50) filled with a squirt of plum jam are the most popular, often sold out by mid-morning.

European smallgoods

The display cabinet is chock-full of Polish smallgoods, including black pudding ($15.60/kg), cold smoked hams ($24.90/kg) and the lightly smoked mysliwska Hunter's sausage ($24.50/kg), made with pork, pepper and juniper. Eat with a thick slice of their famous rye bread ($4.30 for a 900g loaf), sold under the Olka Polka label at a dozen Polish delis across Sydney. For a takeaway feed, they'll make up a bread roll with cheese, lettuce and your choice of meat for $3.80.

Meatloaf, sausages and black pudding

Mysliwska Hunter's sausage $24.50 per kg 

Bags of homemade pierogi dumplings ($8 for 16 pieces) will cover you for your next dinner party, available with potato and cheese, meat or cabbage and mushroom fillings. You can also pick up boxes of bigos hunter's stew ($8), golabki cabbage rolls ($8 for three) and flaki tripe soup ($9), generous with beef tripe, carrot and marjoram - all homemade by Hanna Luczak. Krokiet ($6 for 3) are deep-fried croquettes filled with minced meat and vermicelli noodles that make an easy, reheatable snack.

Rye bread 900g $4.30

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Olka Polka Bakery & Deli
Shop 4, 100 Queen Street, Campbelltown, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 4626 3726

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Friday 9am–5pm
Saturday 8am–1pm

This article appears in the August 2011 issue of Time Out Sydney in my monthly Food & Drink column Eat This!  [read online]

More Time Out Sydney reviews:
Akash Pacific Cuisine, Liverpool (Fiji Indian cuisine)

ATL Marantha, Kensington (Indonesian fried chicken with edible bones)
Balkan Oven, Rockdale (Macedonian burek)
Durban Dish, Baulkham Hills (South African cuisine)
Good Kitchen, Hurstville (Hong Kong cafe)
Hijazi's Falafel, Arncliffe (Lebanese breakfast)
Island Dreams Cafe, Lakemba (Christmas Islands cuisine)
Kambozza, Parramatta (Burmese cuisine)
La Paula, Fairfield (Chilean empanadas, lomitos and sweets)
Sea Sweet, Parramatta (Lebanese sweet kashta cheese burger)
Sizzling Fillo, Lidcombe (Filipino pork hock crackling)
Tehran, Granville (Persian cuisine)
Tuong Lai, Cabramatta (Vietnamese sugar cane prawns)
7 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 8/26/2011 12:16:00 am


  • At 8/26/2011 5:53 am, Blogger Miss T said…

    That cheesecake looks unbelievable! I will hunt out a polish joint down here, although I think the only one is at Queen Vic market - surely not? in any case, they wont sell that cheesecake!
    Go Campbelltown!
    T x

  • At 8/26/2011 6:01 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Helen you need a phone app. (including android). I can't keep all these places in my memory vault. Grab Your Fork app please!! :))

  • At 8/26/2011 9:56 am, Blogger Mel said…

    YUM - Poppy Seed Cheesecake! I want some.

  • At 8/26/2011 2:21 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    I actually just wriggled on my seat. Cheesecake and poppyseeds!! Cheesecake and poppyseeds!!


  • At 8/27/2011 5:45 am, Anonymous Denise Clearwater said…

    I just realized that Polish people sure are pretty adventurous with bread. Either way, whatever the taste as long as its bread, I'm so there! The sausages look yum and I need to stop myself from drooling over that Sernik cheesecake.

  • At 8/27/2011 10:05 pm, Anonymous sara (Belly Rumbles) said…

    I crave this food. Had no idea this place existed, thanks Helen.

  • At 8/29/2011 9:57 am, Anonymous Nic@diningwithastud said…

    I've never had polish food before. It looks delicious though. Oh actually wait, I made pierogi once which was nice but Im not sure it was very traditional :/ lol


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