When a couple we are friends with mentioned they'd like to take us to a Polish restaurant we were intrigued. My partner's heritage is Polish, and whilst we have eaten a lot of Eastern European food, we haven't actually dined in a Polish restaurant per say. So it was with a bottle of Wyborowa in hand and a skip in our step that we headed to Na Zdrowie in Glebe for dinner. I hadn't even intended to do a review, but the experience made me decide to.
We were met by our mates Naras and Carrol with Polish Beer in hand, completing the authentic experience in this quaint and convivial restaurant that attracts many Polish diners. I quite liked Polish beer, but in an even more recent experience at La Boheme, I have finally found the beer for me - one I would buy and drink as a preference (but more about that later)!
You can try Polish classics like Borsch ($9.90) and Pierogi ($15.90 entrée /$19.90 main). The dumplings come with a variety of fillings, and can be served fried or boiled. I started with them fried and filled with white cheese and potato - the were awesome, such a comfort food! It was nice to dine with someone else who finds potatoes the supreme carbohydrate too - I actually ordered three courses in common with Carrol who is now officially known as The Potato Queen! Later in the evening I sampled the boiled pierogi with meat with stewed onion and bacon too - they were also excellent.
My partner (and other adventurous diners into pig fat) couldn't go past the pot of Smalec ($6.50) – a mixture of apples and onions fried in lard that you smear on rye bread. Wasn't my thing, but I did like the rustic presentation.
For mains, The Potato Queen and I did another course of carbs for mains, enjoying the simpler pleasure of Placki ($19.90) or potato pancakes with mushroom sauce and a blob of sour cream. I thought they were slightly less successful than other versions of the same dish I have had, but I would still order them again.
Perhaps the best main I tried was the lovely Kaczka ($27.90) or duck roasted in apples, and served with carrot salad and crispy potatoes. It was a great dish, and a large serve - half a duck (my photo makes it look smaller by being an aerial view)!
I was more than a little tempted to try Pierogi filled with seasonal fruit for dessert too ($12.60), but luckily a flaming Kosciuszko ($9.50) made of vanilla ice-cream with Polish savouries (including chocolate coated ginger bread), went past the table at the critical moment. Note the flaming sugar cube balanced on the top!
They also had Polish donuts (with jam in the middle, though not enough jam). They tasted suspiciously like Krispy Kreme, though I am sure that they weren't...
I really liked this restaurant - it gave possibly the lightest look at Eastern European cuisine (which I generally find a bit stodgy). The staff were all Polish, and added to the atmosphere with their Polish accents, stripy shirts, and a welcoming attitude. Plus I loved being able to bring a bottle of Polish Vodka and have them not bat an eyelid - they simply stuck it in an ice bucket and gave us stemmed shot size glasses.
161 Glebe Point Road, Glebe
Ph: (02) 9660 1242