February 21st, 2008

Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

Exciting Products

In my column in The City Hub this month I raved about a few products I have stumbled across lately that were really good. If you're in the Kings Cross neighbourhood, drop into Yellow Bistro & Food Store to pick up a packet of plump Potato Gnocchi ($14.50). They're made by chef George Sinclair and they're seriously good! I agree that they're pretty darn expensive but you know, taste may win out for me on this one.

While you're there, pastry chef Lorraine Godsmark’s Bread and Butter Pudding ($11/eat in, $9/takeaway) is simply to die for. Take it home, cover it in foil and stick it in the oven to warm up, and taste sublime comfort.

We also tried some Polenta ($3.75), but it was not as successful in my opinion... perhaps it's just me - I keep wanting to like polenta, but rarely do, except in a restaurant.

Another exciting product (which will go nicely with the gnocchi) is the cheese at The Cheese Room in Alexandria. They are really focusing on Australian farmhouse cheeses, like Capparis (from Gloucester) and Fromart. He makes this awesome cheese called Fromart Mutschli ($49.95/kg) which was an amazing colour! I liked it both as an eating cheese, and as a melting cheese.

Beyond supporting artisan producers, The Cheese Room also has some tasty imports. I also enjoyed a few imported cheeses that both included ewes milk (a personal favourite in cheese). The first was a Collesardo au Sardo (from Sardinia).

I also liked the Queso de Oueja Viejo - it's Spanish.


While you're shopping for cheese, the The Cheese Room is also a cafe - I had a lovely Croque-Monsieur ($8.50). It's the benchmark for a decent ham and cheese sandwich in my world, though I hazard that Le Petit Creme may do it better, simply because of the bread they choose... I would have to go back and make sure though!

One product that I tried that didn't make it into my column is the Glace Sour Cherry and Passionfruit Sorbet ($13.80 / 750ml) . It's a great tasting product, but it has a high price tag and it went hard after a week of being in our freezer - this is despite it having an expiry date in July 2008.

Similar products from makers like Serendipity have not had this problem - hence them going in my column in preference. The products I have purchased from them went for weeks without hardening, and tasted great.

You can read about them in my column below if you like!

And of course, if you stumble across a sorbet that is better, or in fact any newly opened produce store or fabulous product (especially an Australia one), I'd love you to let me know about it!

Yellow Bistro & Food Store
57-59 Macleay St, Potts Point
Ph: (02) 9357 3400

The Cheese Room
34 Henderson Road, Alexandria
Ph: (02) 8394 9384

27 Marion St, Leichhardt
Ph: (02) 9569 3444


333-339 Enmore Rd, Marickville
Ph: (02) 9557 8986
Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

Review - Na Zdrowie

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.

Na Zdrowie
161 Glebe Point Road, Glebe
Ph: (02) 9660 1242

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