Rico Bibrack and Christian Lerchster (also of Woodcraft Espresso) own and operate this Surry Hills venue with just one employee, chef Stefan Kovac. It’s an unpretentious space with a red-and-black theme.
A k’nödel (you pronounce the “k”) is a boiled dumpling from Central or Eastern Europe.
All the knödel are handmade in-house by Stefan with a base of either bread, potato, flour or curd. Start with a simple Austrian spinach k’nödel, a large, bread dumpling topped with Parmesan and butter. Then there’s the Russian fish pelmene, with a rich filling of local, seasonal fish (currently whiting) served with a lemony, buttery sauce. The standout is a cheese pirohy, a Polish dumpling filled with soft feta cheese, topped with crispy bacon and sour cream.
There are traditional mains like chicken schnitzel and steak, or you can go full dumpling with the hot pot, a dish of slow-cooked oyster-blade beef, broth and more k’nödel, served with creamed spinach, potatoes, horseradish and a chive sauce.
The wine list is largely Victorian and South Australian, though the two house wines are European. A rich, spicy blaufränkisch pairs well with heavier dishes such as the beef goulash.
For dessert there’s a black cherry, marzipan and pistachio-filled choux pastry, similar to a profiterole but boiled rather than baked. It’s best served alongside a glass of glühwein, a mulled wine spiced with orange, cinnamon, clove and star anise.