I Love Pork @ Bazaar Beer Cafe & Chum Tang Revisited

On a balmy night, a hearty dinner is always something to look forward to, and at Bazaar Beer Café in St Leonards you’ll find plenty of hearty food (and drink!).

Pork is something I always find hard to pass up (especially when it comes with crackling), but I also wanted to try a variety so the Bazaar Mixed Platter sounded like the perfect dish to order.

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The platter offers a sample of 3 of BBC’s mains – their slowly roasted duck on red cabbage, vienna schnitzel with mashed potatoes and roasted pork belly with crackling on sauerkraut.

Although the duck meat was a little dry, it was tender enough and had crispy skin. The sweet and sour red cabbage was a good accompaniment. The veal schnitzel was probably the pick of the bunch – the crumb was crunchy and the bed of mash creamy. The pork belly was a bit of a disappointment. Although the meat was tender, the skin didn’t have the crunch of a good crackling. At least it was soft enough to cut with a knife and wasn’t rubbery at all. The platter is good value, but be warned – if you have a small  appetite you’ll need someone to share this with.

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The baby pork ribs comes with beer battered chips and sauerkraut. To be honest, the ribs weren’t great. The sweet marinate was quite heavy and had no depth of flavour or hint of spice. The edge parts of the ribs were good, but the meaty sections were dry. Instead of melting in your mouth, it sort of crumbled into dry flakes.

Despite this, we’ll probably come back to try the rest of the menu – I’m eyeing the pork knuckle for next time. Come here for the friendly service and generous portions.

I said I was going back to Chum Tang at Chatswood to try the pork belly curry. Here it is:

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I loved the tender pork belly with not overly abundant slivers of tantalising fat, cashews and the spicy, gingery curry sauce. My only complaint is that the curry was quite salty, so if you’re like me and love to slather your rice with sauce, hold back a little with this curry.

We also had the morning glory salad which was deep fried morning glory with dried shrimp, tamarind, palm sugar and crispy onions. Once again the seasoning was a little heavy handed, but if you put aside some of the sauce and get to the crispy fried greens, it’s quite delicious.

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Our last dish was grilled calamari with a green chilli sauce on the side.

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The calamari was tender and took on the smoky flavour of the grill-charred surface. Even without the lime and fish sauce-salted green chilli sauce, it was well seasoned and flavoursome.

 

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