Sunday, October 12, 2008

2. Poland: Sami Swoi, Portslade, Hove

Sami Swoi
71 Boundary Road,
East Sussex
01273 420616

We found this small, family run Polish restaurant as it is near our favourite pet shop: Fishey Business, in Portslade. Having a penchant for perogies we ventured in and so enjoyed our experience, we returned with some Sussex Ethnic Eats reviewers in tow.

Sami Swoi translates to 'All Friends Here'; the atmosphere is business-like, courteous and pleasant but not over familliar. The decor is 'smart casual'- modern, clean and relaxed with some of the most comfortable restaurant chairs you'll find. A pleasant haven off busy Boundary Road.

We perused the extensive daytime ‘CafĂ©’ and evening ‘Polish’ menus with their tempting mixture of British favourites, some with a Polish twist, to traditional, hearty Polish dishes. The three vegetatians in our party were pleased with the selection from which they had to choose. They chose a traditional dish of perogies with cheese and onions, (pictured right) a hearty portion of eight for £6.00; a starter sized Krokiet, a pancake with mushrooms and cheese for £3.50 and Placki Ziemniaczane, potato fritters with mushrooms or sour cream for £6.00. All were very pleased with the quality and quantity of their dishes but found the fritters (pictured below) and pancake would have benefited from being drained a bit more before serving. The mushroom sauce with the potato fritters was a bit bland and uninspiring but the dish as a whole was tasty and “...good for a winter's day to keep you warm”. The roasted buckwheat with vegetables and polish sausage stew was extremely tasty, well seasoned and piquant and the buckwheat had a smoky flavour, lifting the taste of the grain.

Blim and I had Kotlet Mielony, beef and pork meatballs (pictured top), good portions at £6.00 each with pickled beet and your choice of four salads. We both thoroughly enjoyed these; they were well seasoned, lean and generous. The mashed potatoes, quaintly served in scooped portions, were fluffy and creamy. Blim had a classics Greek salad and was pleased with its freshness and overall taste. The Saltka Jarzynowa I chose, was a traditional salad of cooked carrots, potatoes, eggs, peas, sweet corn seasoned with gherkins, parsley and Polish mustard in a light mayonnaise. This was crunchy, well balanced and complimented the meatballs and mashed potato perfectly.

Those of us, who wisely left room for dessert, made choices from a tempting array of familiar and traditional home-made cakes and puddings, most priced at £2.00 for good-sized portions. Blim thought his coffee and walnut cake was: “ Fit for a king and all his servants!” K. commented that it was the best she had ever tasted. The icing sugar-dusted apple cake was very good with beautifully cooked, well-seasoned, shredded apple filling sandwiched between cakey layers that were reminiscent of scones or American biscuits. One of us commented that she would be happy drive over (from Lewes) just to have coffee and one of the cakes all by herself.

I finished with a special Polish hot chocolate that was frothy, medium dark, not too sweet and full of rich cocoa taste- one of the best hot chocolates I have ever had! The coffee, served with a little chocolatey wafer roll, is of a very good, consistent quality; even the decaf is good! Worth trying is the interesting array of soft drinks: juice blends and detox mixes- very healthy, refreshing and unusual. I especially like the apple and mint juice; the mint cuts the apple’s sweetness very well.

Though this is only the second of the Sussex Ethnic Eats reviews, Badgerman and I agree that it is fast becoming one of our favourite places to eat.

With soft drinks and coffees, the bill for lunch for six came to £55.50 plus tip.

Ambiance: 3
Service: 3
Food Presentation: 2
Food Quality :3
Value for Money: 4


Jon said...

The place is fantastic, staff are friendly and polite and the food is fresh and tasty.


franziska said...

i have had two tasty lunches and am looking forward to going back for an evening meal.tu