This recently reborn space will speak to those who have a penchant for the cuisines of Central Europe. Climb the stairs from Norton Street and leave behind the buzz of ‘Little Italy’ for a (much needed) cultural interloper.
I must not be the only one who thinks so because as I enjoyed my lunch on the wide, covered balcony, I noticed staff from the neighbourhood’s community bank also taking advantage of the very reasonable prices.
With Sasha Alexsander (Taste of Brazil) in charge of the menu, you’d be right to assume that grilled meat will be well handled. The tender lumps of skewered lamb Raznjici ($19) were indeed a highlight. On the right of my image is a small serve of the Musaka ($16.50) which was nicely different from Greek versions I have tried; while in the centre is a tasting portion of Cevapcici ($19) which are home-made skinless sausages.
More surprising was the bowl of Mushroom Dumplings ($8.50) so tasty they are only topped with a blob of sour cream and a sprinkle of lightly charred onion.
The Balkan Antipasta Platter ($12.50) includes bread, a selection of home-made dips, salads and tasty lean cevapcici (skinless sausage); so it’s an excellent option if you like grazing.
Balance is important to this cuisine, so throw in a refreshingly simple Cabbage Salad ($4.50/small) regardless.
If you like your salads a bit richer, the cheese-laden Shopska Salad ($6.50) is also great. To drink select from exclusive on tap beers like Hoegaarden, Asahi or Fat Yak ($4-$6.50); or wines including a decent Cape Campbell Pinot Gris ($8/glass, $45/bottle).
The Balkan Grill
The Zoo Bar, Level 1, 55 Norton Street, Leichhardt
Ph: (02) 9564 177