Polish restaurant Under the Eagle-Pod Orlem excels in cuisine, atmosphere in Newmarket
Stars and Stripes February 23, 2023
After living near RAF Mildenhall and two other bases hosting U.S. troops for nearly two years, I thought I had found most of the nearby restaurants worth visiting.
I’m happy to say I was wrong.
Under the Eagle-Pod Orlem has been serving Polish dishes in Newmarket for nearly 10 years and is in one of the busiest areas of town, but it’s a section I’d never checked out on foot.
The distinctive style makes the restaurant really stand out. The entryway and all the furniture are made of wood, giving the place the feel of a lake cabin in the forest.
I took my little girl on a daddy-daughter lunch date, and we both were amazed by the aesthetics and ambiance of the interior.
Our server, a native of Poland, was friendly and more than willing to answer my many questions, which I greatly appreciated, since it was my first time eating Polish food.
My daughter, who turns 5 soon, is a picky eater, so I wasn’t sure how the lunch would go. We began with the Polish board of snacks appetizer.
It came with assorted meats, smoked cheese and a few slices of herring in an onion sauce that was totally new to me.
The cheese was smoked only on the tips and could be peeled like a form of string cheese. My daughter loved it. The well-marinated herring was all for me, fortunately.
My daughter ordered dumplings with wild meat for her main dish, while I ordered potato pancakes with goulash.
Unfortunately, my daughter didn’t like the texture of the soft-wrapped dumpling. Some things are best left to adults.
The wild meat reminded me of what is normally found in a kibbeh, the Lebanese ground meat croquette, but with Polish style.
My goulash was fantastic. It was so good, in fact, that I started a conversation with another customer and his son, recommending that they order it. It turned out that was why they were there to begin with.
The best way I can describe the meal is it reminded me of a roast beef potato stew, but with a unique flavor profile.
There was a hint of spice, but it never hit the threshold of being too much.
Both the meat and the sauce were cooked perfectly, the former falling apart with just the slightest touch of my fork.
This meal had a surprise, however: a few dollops of cranberry jam and sour cream. This pairing lent a freshness to the deep, savory flavors of the stew.
The final piece of this delicious ensemble was the potato pancake, which was toasted and crunchy on the outside but soft enough in the middle.
For dessert, we ordered a Pavlova, which I had never eaten. But I remembered an obscure reference to it in one of my daughter’s favorite shows, “Bluey,” so I had heard of it.
If your experience with children’s animation is not as extensive as mine, Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert with whipped cream and fresh fruit on top. It’s a big deal in Australia.
Once my daughter heard me read the name out loud, she couldn’t help but get excited about the prospect of having the same dessert as a beloved cartoon character.
We both liked it and thought it was a lovely way to end such a heavy meal.
Under the Eagle-Pod Orlem
Address: 12b, 12c Crown Walk, Newmarket, England
Prices: Starters, soups and sides range between 6 and 13 pounds; main dishes and specialties range from 8 to 30 pounds
Hours: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday-Sunday, noon-10 p.m.; closed Wednesday
Information: Phone: 01638 664130; Online: facebook.com/UnderTheEagle.PodOrlem/menu; Reservations online at opentable.co.uk