A Taste of Poland, 3/1B Bell Street, Sunshine West.
By Erika Jonsson
I’m a compulsive list-maker.
When I was in year 12 someone stole my study diary and wrote, “breathe in, breathe out” on every page, clearly amused by the idea I might not do it unless it was written on a list.
They weren’t far off the mark, really.
Most days I find myself creating a new list, from birthday present ideas a year out to playgrounds and cafes I’d like to visit.
Travel and lists go hand in hand for me – I have lists of places I’ve visited, countries I’d like to visit, cities I might otherwise forget to consider next time we are planning a holiday.
Travel and food also go well together in the western suburbs, where it’s possible to circumnavigate the globe without venturing far from home.
My family loves trying foods from previously unexplored cuisines, ticking off countries at every opportunity.
We’re racking up a pretty good tally – and we haven’t even made it to the Jamaican place in Yarraville yet.
So when my husband told me he was adding a new country to the list I was intrigued.
When he turned off Glengala Road in Sunshine West I was beyond curious.
Consider The Sauce has already documented my love of dumplings, so when we pulled up outside A Taste of Poland it’s fair to say I was thrilled.
It’s an unassuming café attached to a small Polish grocery stocking everything from large jars of dried porcini mushrooms and pickled vegetables to chocolates and sweets.
The menu is small and exceptionally well priced – the most expensive meal on the board is $13.
We ordered a plate of potato and cheese dumplings (which I felt certain would be a winner with my two sons), pork with salad and chips and Polish sausages with cabbage and bread.
The lovely lady at the helm asked me which salads I wanted from the array of jars – I chose red cabbage salad and also ended up with a mix of cabbage, carrot and capsicum.
The pork was tender and tasty, though nothing I couldn’t make at home.
The preserved salads were delicious and I added the cost of a couple of jars to our bill so I could enjoy them at home, too.
Five-year-old Joe and my husband both enjoyed the sausages, but the hands-down dish of the day was the dumplings.
No surprises there.
One-year-old Hugh especially loved the creamy, smooth filling.
The dough was easy to eat and not the slightest bit tough.
The dumplings are made fresh then frozen – you can buy them to take away from the freezer along with items such as croquettes and white borscht.
My coffee afterwards was quite satisfactory and my boys loved their jelly-centred chocolates as a treat.
Our three dishes plus a coffee, a juice and a soft drink came to about $35 and I also grabbed my jars of salad, pasta and dark chocolate to take home.
There is nothing fancy about A Taste of Poland but there doesn’t need to be, especially when you can feed four for less than $10 each.
I’ll certainly be returning for another dumpling fix soon.