dumplings

polishing off polish food

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Polish food is hearty but to us was not in a rich or creamy way. Everything we tried while in Poland was delicious and we never had trouble finishing anything off! Good food like this should never go to waste.

Let’s see what we tried…

BIGOS

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The word translates to “big mess’ so picture a stew that uses fresh and pickled cabbage, meat and sausage, onions and mushrooms. All the ingredients thrown together with peppercorns, bay leaves and some other herbs that we couldn’t identify. We are no food connoisseurs but the pickled cabbage (aka sauerkraut) blended well with the rest of the flavours. With each spoonful, there was a burst of flavour.

In one word: flavoursome

PIEROGI

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These are dumplings and can be found in any Polish restaurant. We were told that if a restaurant doesn’t have pierogi, it is not a real Polish restaurant. We tried fried pierogi filled with meat. The meat was not minced as we expected, it was meat floss and a lot of it. If you have tried meat floss, then you would know the texture is light, fluffy – the pierogi was just that but rather thick and dry.

In one word: dense

PLACKI

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Potato cakes, very similar to fritters, served with goulash on top. We tried wild boar goulash with it. The serving was very big and hearty. Plaki has been described as greasy and heavy but we disagree. Where we ate  this dish, the chef cooked them beautifully! There was enough crunch to the crispy shredded potato and the wild boar tasted much like beef. The meat was so tender (probably from being slow cooked).

In one word: hearty

 ZAPIEKANKA

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A half baguette (approximately 50 cm long) topped with mushrooms and cheese, toasted in an oven which can be topped with pickles, garlic sauce, tomato sauce, meat , cucumber, tomato and/or onions. A must try as it is considered the ultimate Cracovain drunk food. We bought ours from a kebab shop so it was topped with kebab meat – we chose lamb! Certainly tricky to eat, and you can’t eat it walking around although we saw people doing it. We sat on a door step and dug in with a fork as we couldn’t fit our mouths around the zapiekanka with all the filling.

In one word: filling

GULASZ

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If we said goulash instead, everyone would know exactly what we were talking about, right? We had pork goulash on buckwheat. When we ordered this, we had no idea of the size. We also didn’t realize it came with a pickled cucumber. This dish was full of texture; the fluffiness of buckwheat, the crunch and bite of the pickle and the warm, thick meat and gravy. The flavours worked wonderfully together.

In one word: synergistic

SUSZ

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This is actually a drink rather than a “food”. It is a dried fruit compote. It looks like tea and is served cold. The flavor is almost like a fruit-flavoured iced tea, the closest dried fruit that comes to mind to describe the taste is prune. We would say the first sip tastes a little unusual but subsequent gulps made the taste grow on us. Not entirely sure we would order it again as it was rather syrupy.

In one word: sweet

So, now we would like to know:

If you have tried Polish food, what is your favourite dish?

And if you haven’t, which one of these would you like to try?

Please leave us a comment here

a culinary trip to afghanistan

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We figured that we would not be able to try the cuisine in Afghanistan anytime soon, so we went for the next best thing: we ate at an Afghan Restaurant in Sydney.  And the food is simply scrumptious.

The flavours are influenced by countries close by, probably most notably India and there are elements of China, possibly due to connections via the Silk Road back in the day.

To start we ordered our drinks, one cherry lassi and one salted lassi. The salted lassi (also referred to as Doogh) is a savoury yoghurt drink with cucumber and mint tossed through it. It definitely has a unique yet refreshing taste and is less heavier than the typical mango lassi. The cherry lassi was sweet and tasted almost like a cherry juice but creamier.

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For entree, we ordered a mixed platter for two (it could easily have fed 4 people) – it included 2 meat and 2 vegetarian options.

(1) Afghani potato flat bread with chopped onion shallots, coriander and spices, served with yoghurt sauce

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(2) Vegetarian dumplings topped with a bolognese sauce – it felt almost like a Chinese dish fused with an Italian dish. There is an option that is a purely vegetarian (i.e. no bolognese sauce)

(3) Beef dumplings also served with a bolognese sauce.

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(4) Seekh kabab – lamb mince charcoal grilled, served with a spicy chutney.

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For our main, we shared a chicken dish, Chicken Karahi, which was ever so fragrant with spices, cooked in a tomato-base sauce with onion and capsicum. The sauce had some “kick” & we were glad to have ordered the lassi 🙂 With every mouthful, the chicken was so moist, tender and full of flavour.

Accompanying the chicken dish was naan bread. We ordered orange pallow rice as an addition. The rice had an orange flavour and the cardamom through it was very pronounced.

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The waiter (who we suspect is also the owner) is a very friendly man and is always obliging when we have eaten here. He will always advise if he thinks we have ordered too much or can recommend dishes worth trying, especially during your first visit.

We are by no means food critics nor are we turning into foodies but considering our blog is about our travels, this particular trip was a culinary one for our taste buds! We were pretty sure our attempts to avoid gluten, failed here as well as our attempts to cut back on meat…

Bamiyan Restaurant is located in Five Dock, about 10 km from Sydney centre. We would recommend anyone in Sydney or visiting Sydney should consider giving it a go 🙂

Disclaimer: This is our post and we were not sponsored for it. 

Have you tried Afghan cuisine before? What did you think?