Madera Kafe Restoran
If you want a snapshot of what Serbian food is all about, go to Madera Kafe and order the karadjordjeva. It’s an immense roll of tenderised pork schnitzel that, before being crumbed and deep-fried, is stuffed with prosciutto and several kinds of cheese.
It’s rich, salty and highly enjoyable – a good snapshot of the Serbian cuisine. Although most Serbs will tell you its quite varied, with influences from Turkey, the Middle East, Western Europe and the Balkans, there are some elements found in every city, small town and home – meats, dairy, bread and alcohol.
Madera’s owner, Petar Tasic, says the latter is where the typical meal starts. From there it’s a steady progression of the other three pillars of Serbian cuisine. First, wood-fired bread lathered in Tasic’s grandmother’s three-cheese spread or a meza board with prosciutto, Hungarian sausages, roasted capsicum and cheese.
Then comes the essential part of any Serbian dinner: meat. The most popular order at Madera is the mammoth mixed charcoal grill with ?evapi. (skinless sausages), pljeskavica (a disc-shaped minced-meat steak), ražnji?i. (pork neck skewers), smoked Serbian sausages, chargrilled chicken thighs marinated in Serbian spices, and kajmak (a viscous dip made from reducing milk or cream).
Tasic’s grandma is no longer around but he’s got the next best thing – a team of Serbian women. The leader of the pack is Gordana Ivanovic, a sixty-something (we’re only allowed to guess)-year-old who worked for his father at the first Madera in Canley Heights (1997–2006). Sadly, Tasic’s father passed away before this venue opened, so he named it in his memory.