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Grab your Stein glass and get set for a taste of old school European-
style cooking, as Essen Restaurant & Beer Cafe in Ultimo dishes
up authentic cuisine from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and
You may not have heard of Essen yet, but you will certainly know of it un-
der its previous moniker, Una's Restaurant which was an institution amongst
visiting Europeans wanting a taste of familiar home style meals when land-
ing down under.
Now ex-Una owner Geert Elzinga has decided to expand the restaurant's
ambitions from a simple schnitzel and beer house to a modern European res-
taurant whose cuisine runs the gamut of traditional favourites such as Pork
Knuckle with Dumpling and Sauerkraut to more contemporary dishes like
Oven Roasted Duck. While beer lovers will also appreciate the large selec-
tion of Belgium beers on o er to compliment their meal.
Since 'Essen' is German for 'To Eat' we arrive at the restaurant with an
appetite for consumption. Our very friendly waiter suggests a number of en-
trees starting with the crumbed King Island Camembert which is deliciously
crunchy on the outside then reveals an oozing sticky centre, accompanied by
a cranberry compote this is a great way to start our lunch. Continuing the
deep fried theme are crumbed button mushrooms ser ved up with a delicate
sa ron aioli that is such a vibrant yellow it looks as though it has come from
a candy store.
For mains our waiter recommends we try some house specialities. With
this in mind, my companion opts for the Jaegar Schnitzel -- a lightly crumbed
veal schnitzel served with a rich creamy mushroom sauce. While I opt for the
Schweinbausch -- a crispy skinned porkbelly ser ved with a red wine jus and
fried bread dumplings. e Pork crackling is wonderfully crunchy and the
jus sticky and rich and brings out the avor of the pork belly to perfection.
e only problem with this dish is its size -- It's enormous -- easily enough on
the plate to share between two.
Of course we can't leave without supping on a dessert -- and the pear and
apple strudel looks nothing like its traditional counterpart but certainly
tastes delicious, the pu pastry so light it melts in the mouth and the ice-
cream accompaniment rich and creamy...
Essen Restaurant & Beer Cafe
133-135 Broadway, Ultimo 2007
Open 7 days: Monday to Wednesday -- 12pm to 9pm
Thursday -- 12pm to 9:30pm; Friday to Saturday -- 12pm to 10pm;
Sunday -- 12pm to 9pm.
Bookings: 02 9211 3805 essenrestaurant.com.au
Fine fare, Euro style... By Cec Busby
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