In what only feels like yesterday, our Meetup group capped off 2014 at the 10th annual Polish Christmas Festival.

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All of Sydney’s Polish community were out to play. In addition to a lively stage of Polish arts, there were a great variety of stalls – both sweet and savoury, including pierogi (Polish dumplings), kielbasa (sausage), placki (potato pancakes) and ciasta (cakes).

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Narel Smallgoods & Delicatessen on Urbanspoon

Word on the street is that Narel Smallgoods, a deli based in Botany (1351 Botany Road, Botany NSW) make killer house-smoked meats and sausages, so this was naturally first stop. As we arrived at the festival at 11am (their advertised start time), we were lucky to witness full trays of piping hot kransky, ready to be served with bigos (Polish hunters sauerkraut stew) and a bread roll ($10).

The kransky (also known as kranjska klobasa) was introduced by post-war immigrants from Slovenia in the 1940s and 1950s. Its rich flavour comes from a blend of garlic, paprika, bacon, pork and beef. I think we paid an extra $2 for the pickle but it well justified having the sourness to cut through the hearty flavours.

Also on the menu were golabki Polish cabbage rolls ($10), and seasoned pork neck kebab on a roll ($7).

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Kameralna Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Kameralina Restaurant, which used to occupy the space above Ashfield’s Polish Club had one of the longer queues with their ever-so popular pierogiz ($13). Pierogi are Polish dumplings made of unleavened dough. They’re typically filled with miesem (meat) or ruskie (white cheese with potato puree) and served either boiled or fried. The dumpling skin was slightly crispy with a bit of a chew; the dollop of sour cream, really elevating the humble dish.

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Well worth adding to your to-eat list if you’re ever in need of an authentic Polish home-style feed, the Polish Club now do Pierogi Sunday on the third Sunday of every month. For $15 per person, you’ll get a plate of six large handmade pierogi, garden salad, selection of Polish cakes, tea and coffee!

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Kameralna Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Meanwhile, at the Polish Club Bistro stall, festival goers indulged in golabki z salatka (cabbage rolls with salad, $10), kartoflane ipacki z bigosem (potato pancake & bigos, $10), and drozdzowe pierogi z miesem (yeast meat pierog & salad, $10).

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For dessert, cakes were an irresistible $3 a slice! I tried an apple strudel-like tart which was topped with a delicious meringue, and also had a cherry cake and a poppy seed slice. The latter were a bit dry but nothing a cuppa tea couldn’t solve!

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The rest of the afternoon was spent at the Polish Christmas Festival Beer Garden, with the group drinking their way through Polish beers; Okocim, Tyskie, Zywiec and Perla.

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However, in true I Ate My Way Through food crawl style, we ended up at N2 Extreme Gelato which was just the thing to combat the sweltering heat!

The 2014 Polish Christmas Festival was held on 7th December at Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour. For more information, visit the official website: polishchristmas.org.au

We always love to meet new people, so if you’d like to come along to the next event, you can join our Meetup group here or browse our events calendar. For corporate event enquiries or large group event planning, click to contact us about custom food crawl and food tour packages.

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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.