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Kate reviews: Zigfrid’s Dining Hall & Bar

Zigfrid’s Dining Hall & Bar

66 Pakington St, Geelong West

http://zigfrids.com.au

Click PLAY below to hear Kate’s review on 3AW Breakfast

It’s not that long ago that Ross and I headed down to Geelong for A Moveable Feast, we were largely checking out Little Malop St and were blown away by the explosion in fabulous eateries and bars in the area. So I decided a little independent research was required.

Long before Little Malop became a focus, “Pako” was a thriving hub. Not too much seems to have changed there. Zigfrid’s is down the quietier end, a family friendly, funky diner serving up treats all day long.

It was fairly quiet on a Saturday arvo in Summer, and I mean literally quiet too – could have done with some tunes up our end rather than hearing clearly the conversations on the two other tables nearby.

I loved this menu.

There were SO many things I could have ordered, and we didn’t go wrong with any of our choices – starting with the leek & feta croquettes.

Made with a béchamel base; steamed, diced leeks are folded through, as is a Greek style feta and an oozier Monterey Jack.

The big surprise is the smack of lemon zest, making these deep fried cheesy balls taste lighter than they are. They’re finished with some panko crumbs before frying and a splattering of sumac afterwards.

The unusual flavours continue with the dish of the day – a cucumber and smoked fish tabbouleh.

This was a revelation – I loved it.

Local trevally is brined, tea smoked and then flaked into the salad along with cucumber, apple, pearl barley, dressing and herbs. This was such a gorgeously light, textured dish – we demolished it.

A bigger bang of flavour came from the Spanish black sausage. Slices of Rodriguez Bros black pudding are paired with fresh broad beans and a brilliant coriander dressing, their take on a usually fiery relish from Yemen. Again – for summer, and for such a rich dish like morcilla, to get such zesty, bright flavours is impressive.

The description “Little Pork Pies” is probably a bit misleading, as soon as it turned up I picked it as a bastilla – the gorgeous Moroccan pastries usually filled with pigeon or duck and dusted with icing sugar for a sweet/savoury mash up.

Here, pork belly and shoulder are salted overnight then slow-cooked for 10-12 hours. The meat is torn and mixed with braised onions, saffron, and a Ras-el-Hanout spice mix then poured into the filo pastry.

It’s served with a carrot and coriander salad with a decidedly un-spicy harissa dressing. The pies themselves are terrific.

There were no misses in a parade of about six creative dishes for us. The service was super friendly, the prices extremely reasonable, and the food spot on.

Whether you live in Geelong or could use an excuse for a road trip, there’s no reason not to zip into Zigfrid’s.

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