I've always thought that community clubs are some of the best hidden gems you'll ever find. This is food made by the people, for the people, where decor is secondary to what's served on the plate.
For my Eat This column in the October edition of Time Out Sydney I headed to the Cyprus Community Club in Stanmore.
WHAT IS KLEFTIKO?
If you’ve never tried goat before, this is your best introduction. Kleftiko is roasted baby goat: hunks of meat sprinkled with salt, pepper and oregano and then slow-cooked in the oven for three hours. Dig your fork past the crisp layer of fatty skin and you’ll find meat that is soft and tender.
Kleftiko baby goat with roast potatoes $20
WHERE CAN I GET IT?
Head to the Cyprus Community Club's Aphrodite Restaurant on a Friday night, where kleftiko is a weekly special ($20) served with a side of lemony roast potatoes. Kleftiko is only available during the goat kidding season but should continue for the next couple of months.
WHAT'S IT LIKE?
The Cyprus Community Club has been around for 81 years, and by all appearances, so have many of its patrons. There’s nothing fancy here, with worn carpet and dated function centre chairs and tables, but who’s quibbling about the décor when the food is this hearty and generous? The bistro is reasonably quiet during the week, but things really kick off on Saturday nights, with traditional live music from 9pm and a dance floor that is soon heaving with boisterous Greek and Cypriot locals.
Barbecue baby octopus $9.50
Loukaniko smoked pork sausage $14
WHAT SHOULD I ORDER?
Grilled meats and seafood make up the bulk of a menu that incorporates both Greek and Cypriot dishes. Start with fresh calamari ($9), dusted lightly with flour and pan-fried until golden, or a tangle of tender baby octopus ($9.50), barbecued on the grill. Meat lovers should get into the loukaniko ($14), a chunky smoked pork sausage, or the chicken or lamb souvlaki ($13). All mains comes with a pile of rice, chips and vegetables.
Keftethes Cypriot-style meatballs $8
ANY CYPRIOT SPECIALTIES?
Afelia ($14) is a classic Cypriot dish of cubed pork, marinated and then braised in red wine and crushed coriander seeds. Keftethes ($8) are Cypriot-style meatballs studded with potato and don’t forget the haloumi cheese ($9). It’s worth ordering the sikoti lamb's liver ($8), cooked until just tender. Offal lovers won’t find a bigger serving of sweetbreads ($10) than here – a mountain of thymus glands pan-fried with a simple but generous squeeze of lemon.
Sikoti lamb's liver $8
Broad beans $8
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This article appears in the October 2011 issue of Time Out Sydney in my monthly Food & Drink column Eat This! [read online]
More Time Out Sydney reviews:
Akash Pacific Cuisine, Liverpool (Fiji Indian cuisine)
ATL Marantha, Kensington (Indonesian fried chicken with edible bones)
Balkan Oven, Rockdale (Macedonian burek)
Durban Dish, Baulkham Hills (South African cuisine)
Good Kitchen, Hurstville (Hong Kong cafe)
Hijazi's Falafel, Arncliffe (Lebanese breakfast)
Island Dreams Cafe, Lakemba (Christmas Islands cuisine)
Kambozza, Parramatta (Burmese cuisine)
La Paula, Fairfield (Chilean empanadas, lomitos and sweets)
Mario Tokyo Pizza (Bulgogi Korean pizza)
Olka Polka Bakery & Deli, Campbelltown (Polish cheesecake and rye bread)
Sea Sweet, Parramatta (Lebanese sweet kashta cheese burger)
Sizzling Fillo, Lidcombe (Filipino pork hock crackling)
Tehran, Granville (Persian cuisine)
Tuong Lai, Cabramatta (Vietnamese sugar cane prawns)
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11/02/2011 01:03:00 a.m.