Friday, 1 May 2009

Review - Pani Solinska

Talk about an itinerant appetite, I set off for lunch with one of my regular chums, heading firmly in the direction of a new Korean restaurant that's opened in Edinburgh and we ended up in a Polish cafe. Not that there was anything wrong with the Korean joint, we just managed to walk past it, engrossed in gossip and were too hungry to head back.

Now I'm not a huge fan of the Polish food you tend to get in the UK, I normally find it too stodgy and with confusing flavours; certainly more suited to a winter's dinner than a spring lunch but chummy's blood sugar was dropping and that makes him grumpy, so hey ho...

No bad thing either.

Anyway, the cafe is a clean, modest but welcoming place which offers a range of dishes and sandwiches, mainly variations of protein on a theme, with a take away option as well. We opted for a tasting platter of Polish meats (£7.50) which came with a selection of homemade salads and a "Polish Soft Drink", a Pierogi - home made dumplings filled with sauerkraut and topped with fried onions and sour cream and a portion of sauteed potatoes with herbs and garlic.

The platter was nice with a decent selection of charcuterie and the salads were in reality some great pickles, the best was a sweet carrot and cabbage pickle which I've already tried to recreate. The dumplings were lighter than expected and had a nice balance and depth of flavour, the accompanying onions were slightly oily but nicely cooked. As for the sauteed potatoes, they were a bit dull and pasty, not parboiled therefore hard in the middle and the only discernible herb was dill which is, in my view, a bit dull.

Perhaps I'll leave the puns to someone else.

Anyway, the service was good and attentive with an authentically Polish waitress changing my mental image of Polish women to the better (much to the better).

The bill came to £21.45 for 2 mains, 1 side, 1 beer and 2 weird yet pleasant carrot and strawberry juices.

Not a bad place for lunch to be honest, though I'd have doubts about it as an evening venue. Do you want me to score it? i always think score are a bit trite, but if you want me to I will.

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