Crackling roast pork belly $26.00
served with Granny Smith apple compote,
sauteed potatoes and red sauerkraut
Appearances can be very deceiving.
When our orders of crackling roast pork belly were first laid down at our table, I was already planning what I'd have for dessert. Veruca Salt and I were both starving. Ravenous. And it very much looked like a two-course dinner tonight.
"How do I cut it?" wailed Veruca, poking at the curved roof of crackling with a fork.
"Along the lines they've scored," I replied. "It's easy."
We both took different approaches. Whilst I carefully ate a mouthful of the pork (so moist, and juicy, and just-cooked so) followed by a carefully portioned sliver of crackling, Veruca Salt ate a few bits of crackling (with generous nodding and much mmmm'ing approval) before gently removing the entire piece and placing it to one side.
"Are you saving that for last?" I asked, with a knowing smile.
"Absoutely. I always save the best for last," she laughed.
Henkell Trocken Piccolo $2.00 on Thursdays 5pm-8pm
Rhine Valley, Germany
Our congenial moods had been buoyed by our rapidly empyting piccolos of sparkling.
"Just two dollars?" I'd asked with some incredulity when the waitress told us of the $2 Thursday special.
"Yes, two dollars... but um, very small glass," she'd warned, leading us both to anticipate shot glasses of sparkling wine.
But, no, a piccolo is what arrives, which fills more than a small glass, more than a champagne glass in fact. Perhaps our German-sounding waitress had thought we'd be expecting a stein.
If we'd known the pork belly arrived with red sauerkraut we wouldn't have placed a side order of extra sauerkraut (I must have sauerkraut, Veruca had insisted).
Perhaps it is this extra mound of cabbage that pushes us over the edge, but we're both soon exhaling in that familiar "oh boy am I full but by jove I'm still gonna finish this meal".
We make our way through both sauerkrauts, the roast potatoes (interspersed with bits of crunchy bacon pieces), and the chunky apple compote. The pork is definitely the star attraction though, the pale flesh covered with a generous layer of milky-hued fat. The crackling shell is salty (perhaps a little too much) but earth-shatteringly crisp and very satisfying.
"I don't think I should have saved all this for last," whispers Veruca. "It's a little too much goodness all at once."
The only quibble? It's very very noisy inside with the post-work crowd echoing loudly in a cavernous bier hall with no insulation.
I'm rubbing my stomach when an order arrives next to our table, the unmistakable scent of chilli salt squid wafting over towards us. It's fried, and spicy, and somehow it makes me start drooling all over again.
Bavarian Bier Cafe on York
24 York Street, Sydney
(near corner of King Street)
Tel: +61 (02) 8297 4111
Monday to Friday from 10.00am till late
Saturday from 11.30 till late
Related GrabYourFork posts:
Bavarian Bier Cafe on O'Connell
Doma Bohemian Bier Cafe
Lowenbrau Keller, The Rocks
Mohr and Mohr, Surry Hills
Una's on Broadway, Ultimo
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4/25/2007 10:53:00 pm