If you've never had pide bread fresh from a woodfired oven you need to. Shaped into elongated boats, fresh pide is warm in the fingers and soft in the mouth, its surface of gently puffed bubbles brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with nigella seeds. It's one of the highlights at Barzaari, Marrickville's latest gustatory beacon, headed by chef and co-owner Darryl Martin whose CV includes stints at Three Weeds, Quay and Omage.
The woodfired oven is the anchor of this Cypriot menu, used to roast everything from lamb shoulder to pork neck; oysters to carrots.
Ox tongue $14
with onion, cabbage salad and golden raisins
Dishes are all designed to share, broken up into bites, small, big and sides. I'm immediately impressed by the ox tongue, thin slices interleaved and rolled up with a red cabbage salad like a giant sushi roll. The tongue is terrifically tender, accented with sweet pops of plump golden raisins.
Cured ocean trout $22
with tarama, cucumber, crackle, buckwheat and roe
Cured ocean trout feels more Japanese-inspired than Mediterranean, with stepping stones of lush fish and tarama cod roe dip wrapped in cucumber and topped with salmon roe. The crackle is the highlight - ocean trout skin fried to a crisp.
Pork neck $33
with fennel, yoghurt and pita
Our slow roasted pork neck is a little dry in parts but easily rectified with a generous swab of cool yoghurt and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Lamb shoulder $38
with garlic, lemon and pita
The lamb shoulder is a triumph though, a melt-in-the-mouth melange of tender flesh, pockets of lush fattiness and the caramelised char of skin. Add a zingy spoonful of garlic dip and mop up all the juices with hand torn chunks of that freshly baked pide bread.
Wood-roasted spatchcock $31
with spicy pimento, smoked eggplant and turnips
There's a lot to commend about the wood-roasted spatchcock too. It's cooked masterfully, so the flesh is still succulent. Dollops of smoky eggplant and tender roasted baby turnips add contrasts of texture and flavour.
Charcoal carrots $12
with pastourma crunch, yoghurt, sumac, caraway and leaves
Our vegetable quota is fulfilled with a plate of charcoal carrots, a rainbow of colours splayed across a bed of yoghurt dusted with sumac and caraway.
Pistachio cake $14
with kitromilo, blossom and kataifi
It's worth saving room for dessert too. Our pistachio cake is crowned with a huge nest of kataifi, a crunchy shredded pastry, strewn with pistachio rubble and adorned with slices of candied bitter orange or kitromilo.
Underneath it all is an ice cream-topped pistachio cake drenched with orange blossom syrup. Eat everything together for maximum textural pleasure.
with quince ice cream
The baklava is a family-sized dessert that could probably satiate four people. An ambitious sweet tooth might be able to finish half. It's a huge snail of filo pastry wrapped around a syrupy mix of chopped walnuts and almonds. A scoop of quince ice cream on top is just the palate cleanser you need in-between sticky mouthfuls.
Sandpit coffee cup
How to finish a massive meal?
Sandpit coffee $5
A sandpit coffee is what you need. The coffee is brewed in little copper pots that are moved about in hot sand. It's thick, strong and rich. The perfect brew to sip on while you digest your meal.
Do book early as we ended up on one of the last tables outside. Al fresco dining includes regular up-close encounters with the 428 bus (the bus stop is directly in front of the restaurant), plane-spotting views of the Sydney airport flight path and the atmospheric backdrop of errant burglar alarms and police sirens. It's a wry reminder that even though Marrickville might be changing every week, some things will always remain the same.
65-69 Addison Road, Marrickville
Tel: +61 (02) 9569 3161
Lunch Friday and Sunday from 12pm
Dinner Tuesday to Saturday from 5.30pm
Related Grab Your Fork posts
Cypriot - Cyprus Community Club, Stanmore
8 comments - Add some comment love
10/10/2016 02:08:00 am