PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
On a quiet street corner in the maze of office buildings that is St Leonards, a welcoming haven of hearty Euro food, Czech beers and jovial hospitality sprawls across two levels and onto the footpath. A generous serve of passion proves an irresistible side at Bazaar Beer Cafe, where the comfort cuisine of Eastern Europe is dished up in quirky surrounds. Owner Tomas Bartovic hails from Slovakia, as does the award-winning chef, who has blended the modern with the traditional to craft an ever-surprising a la carte menu. A global collection of coasters and posters dot the walls, while international wines and beers beckon from the bar. Adding a refreshing taste of Eastern Europe to the North Shore, Bazaar has won a steady band of converts since its conception two years ago.
This European-style beer cafe offers a tempting range of imported beers on tap and wines by the glass, but you'll find it hard to pass up the holy Bernard lager – the only unpasteurised European beer in Australia. Celebrated for superior quality and pure taste, Bazaar's collection of Czech beers rotate every few months, with lengthy descriptions tempting the palate. Focus on the belly with a ponder of the a la carte and specials menus, where you'll see the likes of schnitzel and pork belly competing with Atlantic salmon and wild mushroom risotto. For a traditional taste of Europe, carve into the five-hour slow-roasted free-range duck, which sits atop a throne of red cabbage, braised with horseradish and apple, and served with divine dumplings. Braised buffalo cheeks is an equally popular repast, with svickova root vegetable sauce and dumplings proving delicious companions. Little bellies will also be well fed with the kids' menu. Homemade desserts change daily, or kick on into the night with a swig of a traditional European spirit.