Serbian food is friends with everyone, shaped by influences from Hungary, Turkey, Austria and the Mediterranean. We’re talking everything from cevapi to schnitzel to sopska salad. They’ve got it all at Madera Kafe, a Serbian restaurant hidden in the most unlikely of places: a drive-in complex of furniture shops and craft outlets just off the Hume Highway.
But Madera is a little fancier than you’d expect, a stand-alone restaurant with hanging egg chairs in the front bar and a rustic dining space out the back. Patrons are mostly Serbian families, plus a handful of stray shoppers who wander inside.
Kobasice pan-fried semi-smoked Serbian sausages $13.90
The kobasice is the local version of the kielbasa: a plump sausage cut into fat slices and seared so its smoky spiciness becomes even more addictive.
Pola pola - The 50/50 $22.90
Cevapi skinless Serbian sausages chargrilled and
raznjici pork neck skewers chargrilled with homemade potato salad and cabbage salad
And then there’s the classic cevapi, chunky fingers of minced meat cooked on the grill. On the side you can get potato salad and cabbage salads, both simple but effective palate cleansers. If you’re debating about the raznjici pork neck skewers, get the pola pola. It means 50/50, so you’ll score a plate that’s half cevapi, half raznijici. The raznijici pork neck skewers involve thick pieces of meat that are grilled until tender and juicy.
Pork muckalica $25.90
Pork neck braised in a red tomato-based sauce, capsicum, onion and ajvar
served with woodfired lepinja
Whatever you do, make sure you order the pork muckalica, the house specialty. Pork neck is braised until meltingly soft, swaddled in a thick tomato sauce ramped up with ajvar, a relish made from roasted capsicum, tomato and eggplant. Mop it all up with hunks of lepinja, a fluffy Serbian bread roll baked in a wood-fired oven. We wipe our terracotta dish clean.
Desserts are one big sugar-fest, like the sampita that sandwiches a giant cloud of fluffy meringue between layers of pastry.
Plazma keks torta $8.50
Go for broke and get the homemade plazma keks torta, a domed cake of soaked sponge finger biscuits covered in cream, and the Nutella slice too.
Nutella slice $9.50
Madera Kafe Restoran
Shop 34/1 Sappho Road, Hometown Complex, Warwick Farm 2170
Tel: +61 (02) 9734 0003
Monday and Tuesday 5.30pm-12 midnight
Wednesday to Sunday 10.30am-12 midnight
This article appeared in the November 2014 issue of Time Out Sydney in my monthly Food & Drink column Eat This! [Read online]
Read more of my Time Out Sydney reviews
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12/04/2014 10:01:00 pm