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Review - Essen *UPDATED*

The mere suggestion of rain has me rushing back here for another plate of Deep Fried Camembert ($10). On a Friday night there’s a regular turnover of tables and a convivial hum from the smiling post-work, post-school crowd, punctuated by the clinking of steins and forks and the odd gasp when one of the plentiful serves lands.

Drinking is a big part of Germanic cuisine, and the Organic Cider House Mix ($17/litre) is a refreshing start. A Henkell Trocken Piccolo ($9) makes for a nice dry, sparkling white to enjoy with your cheese and a freshly-baked Bretzel ($3.50)...

... or a Knobli Brot ($4.50) which is a Swiss-style garlic bread made with Gruyere cheese.

New menu items include a sterling plate of tender Roast Pork ($24.50), the flavour amped by caraway seeds, pepper and garlic...

...and a strongly flavoured plate of Blinde Vink ($23.50) or rolled lamb mince wrapped in smoke-blackened speck. Both come with excellent rosti; each strand of potato is perfectly cooked under a crisp, golden top.

I also tried the Duck ($27.50) on another occasion, served up with duck sausage, braised red cabbage and a bread dumpling.

Desserts are thankfully smaller than the filling mains, and once again proved worth ordering. The stunning highlight was a Bavarian Crème ($10) with light and airy vanilla-bean enriched custard surrounded by berries poached in red wine. If you like German Brandy, you can enjoy it with a Rudesheimer Kaffee ($8.20), a favourite of our warm and hospitable waitress.

On another occasion I also tried and enjoyed the layered Pistachio and Chocolate Crepe Tart ($10) served up with white chocolate sorbet and a pistachio crumble. If you take schnapps at the end of the meal, I recommend this Williams Birne ($6.50) made by one of the chefs' uncles in Germany - fire in the hole! On both recent occasions I rolled home, sated and satisfied.

Essen Restaurant
133-135 Broadway, Ultimo
Ph: (02) 9211 3805 

Essen Restaurant & Beer Cafe on Urbanspoon



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Feb. 10th, 2010 10:49 pm (UTC)
Ohhhh. Ohhhh that cheese looks absolutely, totally edible in plate-loads.

Next to the Roast Pork ... what is the stuff on the left? Looks like Sauerkraut...

What's smoke-blacked speck? And I'll guess rosti is potato?

I could pass over this meal, except my curiosity would get the better of me and I'd be cranky for not having tried everything at least once. And the desserts look so good!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )