The original Bistrot Bizerka opened in 2007 in a somewhat isolated spot on the Foreshore. Run by chef Laurent (who grew up and trained in France) and his wife Cyrillia, it recently moved to a new home in historic Heritage Square, so we simply had to visit. We went to the original eaterie several times and always loved the food, though the setting and building weren’t the best, to be honest.
The new setting is lovely. There’s a fifty-seater restaurant and an atmospheric little courtyard to enjoy balmy alfresco eating. And it’s not easy to get a table, I tried several times and ended up booking for a date nearly two weeks ahead and then gathering diners together (which didn’t prove too difficult)!
The menu is a mix of classic French dishes and innovative new plates. There are six classics permanently on the menu and the rest of your (fairly substantial) choices are on the daily chalkboard menu which changes regularly depending on what’s fresh and seasonal. It’s a relaxed place to have dinner with friendly waiting staff who eagerly answer any questions, they all seem passionate about the food.
Our waitress started to take us through the chalkboard menu, and the first starter simply had my name written all over it! Organic tomato salad, marinated bocconcino, gazpacho sorbet and ginger dressing. Lots of different types of tomatoes, both raw and roasted served with beautiful cheese, a sublime sorbet and the most amazing zesty dressing. Tomato heaven – I could eat it every day. Have I mentioned my obsession with tomatoes recently?
Here’s what everyone else tucked in to.
The duo of tuna was a spicy tartare served alongside some luscious sashimi.
Bizerka prides itself in serving more unusual cuts of meat like this veal tongue.
One of the permanent starters is this classic French combo of pate and rillettes.
A fabulous duck dish to savour. I just have to say, my friend Jeanine who ordered this had never eaten duck until she tried some of mine at a restaurant last year! Now she orders it all the time…
More kingklip for me. This fish is just the best it’s ever been at the moment, so I have to keep ordering it.
Seriously heart warming food, using another unusual cut of meat, beef cheeks.
The braised shoulder of veal is soft, melt-in-the-mouth food. A properly indulgent dish.
From the classic menu, fabulous fillet.
Dessert time. Valrhona chocolate melting dessert, creme brulee and raspberry sorbet. My friend Candice was rendered speechless when she tasted this!
How I’m loving the cheeseboards! Large portions, plenty of variety and share with the table…gives me the excuse I need to order one!
Wow! It was a great night and definitely a restaurant on the “return to soon” list. Seriously I could have ordered anything on the menu…and we’re loving the new venue, too.
Bistrot Bizerca is at 98 Shortmarket Street, Heritage Square.