We escape to the bustling inner-west for our Friday night feast at Barzaari.
From the warmth of the wood-fired oven, Barzaari brings a refined take on eastern mediterranean cuisine to Marrickville. The exposed brick hideout is vibrantly lit by singular hanging globes. Rustic ornaments are scattered around the dining-room whilst polished floors and timber tables give the space a rustic but modern aesthetic.
Co-owners Andrew Jordanou and Darryl Martin, formerly from Splash restaurant in Newtown, have drawn from Andrew’s Cypriot heritage to create a menu consisting of bites, small and large plates and dessert.
A selection of cocktails join a long drinks menu. The Mastic Sour ($18), is a perfect citrus blend of gin, mastic, thyme and passionfruit. The St John’s ($19), a hearty brew of whisky, port, kitromilo and bitters, is not for the faint-hearted. It is topped with coils of candied orange peel.
Start with the bites from the menu. Two plump Sydney rock oysters ($5 each) arrive on a wooden platter, dressed with lemon pearl and red roe. The oysters are fresh, brought to life by the sumac spice and tangy lemon.
The tiropitakia ($4.50 each), are two cylinders of phyllo pastry injected with an opulent caper and cheese-egg cream. Topped with pine nuts and pickled mandarin, a sweetened juice is then drizzled with beautiful carelessness around the plate.
Next, the haloumi. The two pieces are topped with thin slices of cucumber and the sweet sectors of diced pear add a needed inventiveness to the relatively safe dish.
Barzaari rotate through an assortment of family specials. Today it is a 21-day dry aged swordfish loin ($28). Nestled amongst the cubes of smoky swordfish, perfect spheres of watermelon and cucumber add freshness to the plate. Lemon pearls, scampi caviar and salmon roe complete the beautiful dish.
Our big plate is the market fish ($38). Tonight the seafood is kingfish. Infused with a subtle lemon and fennel sauce, the crispy skinned fish is placed on an aromatic bed of braised octopus and black eye peas. We’re dying to try the sticky pork jowl ($36) on our next visit to Barzaari.
We add the halved roast pumpkin ($14) as a side. The pumpkin is infused with a glorious dollop of string cheese. Thin radish cuts and nigella seeds sitting in the pumpkin are drowned in an immaculate honey dressing.
We double up on dessert, starting with the muhallebi ($16). A cream pudding crafted from rice flour and milk, the dessert is sweetened with a subdued candied fig. The arak sorbet and small meringues provide interesting textures to every palate cleansing mouthful. We end with an immense coil of baklava ($20). The filo pastry is light, encasing a perfect combination of freshly chopped nuts. Forget the sweet syrup, the walnut ice cream is the champion sauce on the plate.
Barzaari offers its evening menu during the day and have just started doing Sunday brunch. For larger groups, try a set menu ranging from $60 to $80pp. If you are looking for a quiet night out then Barzaari is the perfect escape. Hidden down a side street, you’d be hard pressed to forget the visual delights and tasty dishes bursting from this Marrickville retreat.
65 Addison Rd, Marrickville
Open: Tues-Thurs, Sat: 5.30pm-late, Fri: 12pm-3pm, 5.30pm-late