Tucked down a nondescript road in an industrial part of Albion (just to the west of Sunshine) is the Polish Community and Recreation Club which houses a bistro serving up old-country favourites.
To order, one visits the cashier who produces a receipt to drop into the kitchen, which we duly hand over to a team of gorgeous old Polish ladies moving surprisingly swiftly as they dish up bowls of soup and plates of cabbage rolls.
Loving this classic chicken noodle soup. The broth was quite mild, very honest, with lots of perfect al dente noodles. A big grandmotherly-bosomed hug for $3!
Tripe soup, $6
Thick but not too rich tripe soup. Grandpa seemed to like this. I did taste a little of the broth and it was very soothing.
No, we have not skipped to coffee and cake - this was the beetroot soup! It actually tasted like warm beetroot juice, quite thin, with a lemony tinge as well as savoury undertones. The pate rolls it came with were like a drier-style sausage roll. Interesting!
Cabbage roll, $5
Insanely generous cabbage rolls for just five bucks each. Big leaves of pickled cabbage stuffed with rice and minced meat, probably pork. The sauce was somewhat like white sauce or cream of mushroom soup. The family loved these although I did find them quite rich. I would say half the patrons were tucking into these so they must be a particular favourite here at the Polish Club.
Polish sausage with cabbage, $7
This was the best sausage ever! Its skin pierced with a little pop as a smoky, meaty scent was released and juices spread across the plate. So yummy, rich, juicy and porky. The cabbage was really delicious, cooked perfectly, not at all soggy or bland.
Beef gulash with gnocchi, $11
Very tender beef chunks with pillowy gnocchi in a rich beef sauce. The execution was great but there's something about the paprika in gulash that I don't really like - it's a sweet paprika that is used, I believe, and to me it has the sickly sweet smell of bandaids. If you like gulash, I am sure you would enjoy this dish. The meat was certainly perfectly cooked and it complemented the well-cooked carrots and delicious cabbage well.
Go, go, go there now just to eat these pierogi dumplings! Al dente pastry with a tasty, lean meat and cabbage filling. They have a delicious, interesting minced meaty kind of sprinkle. MMMMMM! A dollop of sour cream would take them to the next level.
I was so surprised that I liked this. The herring was rich, pleasantly oily, like tuna turned up full blast. This would be so delicious thinly squashed on some great bread.
I loved our lunch here. It may not be the type of food I could eat every day but it was warm, hearty and delicious. I could quite happily eat a bowl of chicken noodle soup and a plate of pierogi...or two.
Polish Sport and Recreation Centre
Address: 19 Carrington Drive, Albion (map)
Phone: 9363 3941
Phone: 9363 3941