A couple of weeks ago, on a chilly Saturday night, M and I were trying to find somewhere to go for dinner when I thought I would use my Urbanspoon application and have a bit of a lucky dip. It came up with a place in Inglewood called Rembrandt and described it as Eastern European food. After reading some of the reviews we realised it was Polish food and decided to head down there and take our chances on getting a table for two.
After finding the restaurant (it is near Mondo’s the butcher) and finding a park, we went inside and found a dimly lit restaurant with a few people sitting down. We spoke to one of the waitresses but she told us we would have to come back another time as they were full tonight. BOO!
Fast forward to last Friday night when we were going through the usual process of discussing where we would go to dinner. M remembered about Rembrandt and booked a table for the two of us at 7:00pm. Success! I had never had Polish before but I love trying new things so was looking forward to the meal.
Upon entering the restaurant we saw it was quite empty but there were quite a few reserved markers on those empty tables. We were greeted by a friendly waitress who then took us to a table for two, near the rear of the restaurant. We were then handed two menus, including the drinks menu. This is probably a good time to mention that it is BYO alcohol so we ended up ordering a coke and ginger beer.
Looking around the dimly light restaurant it had quite simple décor. There were candles on each table which created a bit of ambience, along with paintings on the walls behind us and vodka bottles on the shelves in front of us.
We were then served a starter of a small dish filled with lard and pork pieces, with two pieces of bread on the side. Interesting. I sampled a small piece of the bread with a tiny amount on top but I realised immediately it wasn’t to my taste. It was simply fat with little pieces of bacon in it. M quite liked it though so he had my share and then the rest.
After perusing the menu for a while I had decided to order the Vegetarian Croquette ($9.50) for starters and then the Pierogi ($13.00) for main course. These are traditional Polish dumplings and I ordered some with meat and some with cheese and potato. I also spotted they had Polish doughnuts on the menu which I thought sounded quite interesting. M ordered the same entrée but the Hunters Stew ($12.00) as a main meal. This was on the menu as ‘traditional beef, pork and sauerkraut Polish stew with wild mushrooms red wine served with potatoes or rye bread.
The Croquette was quick to come out and I discovered that it was served with a cup of Borsch next to it. I had never had Borsch before and the reason for this is that I don’t really like beetroot. Anyway, I still tried it but only a sip. Definitely tasted like beetroot. The Croquette was different to how I expected it to be but it was very nice. It had a crispy outside and inside was soft and cheesy with little pieces of mushrooms inside. It also had a strong pepper flavour.
After finishing our entrée we didn’t have to wait long for our main meals to come out. My Pierogi came out first and my immediate reaction was to pick up the little dumplings and eat them with my fingers. Common sense prevailed and I used my knife and fork to spread the sour cream (which was on the plate along with a salad) over the dumplings.
M’s meal appeared soon after and his arrived inside the bread roll, in the middle of the plate. The top of the bread roll was cut off so you could take it off and eat the stew from the middle.
The dumplings were quite nice with my favourite of the two being the meat ones which had minced meat inside. The salad on the side acted more as decoration than a side salad. On the menu it did say that there were 7 dumplings that come with the meal but I had closer to 12! Needless to say, I got very full, very quickly! I tried M’s stew and it was ok but I was glad I didn’t order it. It was a very heavy meal with a lot of it too.
I was so full after a couple of the dumplings that I stopped eating them, especially as I wanted to order some of the Polish doughnuts. I then asked if I could take a ‘doggy bag’ home with the leftover dumplings and if we could see the dessert menu. Then after seeing the menu I realised the doughnuts were only available on the weekend. Devastated!
I was glad that we went to Rembrandt’s. As I mentioned before, I had never had Polish food before and I am glad I can mark it off the list of things to try. The waitresses were very nice and the service was great. The only reason I wouldn’t go back is because I don’t think the food was quite to my taste.