Earlier this week, Ryan Kennedy got his cheese on in Chippendale...
“Welcome to the house of looove.” Fedora cocked jauntily, and all dapper white shirt, black suspenders and bon mots, Zigi is quick to make you welcome at his eponymous bar.
Testament to his background, the menu is dubbed ‘Ausraeli’, and the signature dish is Felafel Prawns ($21). They’re crisp and warmly spiced, and perfectly matched by the earthy and colourful Beetroot Mille-Feuille ($18).
Handmade Labne Cheese ($15) is a rich and simple classic; and Sous Vide Lamb ($20) is compellingly tender on a bed of buttery Israeli couscous.
Wine of the Moment ($12) comes by the glass, with two reds and two whites always on hand. Standouts are the full and fruity Curious Creatures Riesling ($59/bottle) and the Cirami Saperavi Riverland ($69/bottle), a profoundly dark and engaging red.
In the shadow of a huge lavash sail and strewn with dried fruit, the Occeli al Malto d’orzo e Whisky ($20/1, $46/3) cheese has the smoke and spice of whisky, while the washed-rind Époisses AOC oozes in all the right ways - rich with plenty of funk.
With rock and roll tunes, and walls a pastiche of art, newspaper and magazine cutouts, the link through everything is Zigi. And if you ask him what’s the secret? “Loooooove!”
Zigi’s Art Wine Cheese Bar
86 Abercrombie Street, Chippendale
Ph: (02) 9699 4222