Time to go back to Bistrot Bizerka

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?

The best tomato starter ever?

The best tomato starter ever?

Here’s what everyone else tucked in to.

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Twice cooked quail with pea a la francais

The duo of tuna was a spicy tartare served alongside some luscious sashimi.

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Duo of tuna with soft quails egg, parmesan and tapenade

Bizerka prides itself in serving more unusual cuts of meat like this veal tongue.

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Poached veal tongue and fresh porcini fricassee, tarragon sauce

One of the permanent starters is this classic French combo of pate and rillettes.

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Duo of pates and rillettes, cornichons and pickled pear

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…

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Duo of duck with sweet potato/chestnut puree, spinach, confit fig, port/pepper sauce

More kingklip for me. This fish is just the best it’s ever been at the moment, so I have to keep ordering it.

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Pan fried kingklip and prawn/brussels sprout galette, broccollini, fennel, tomato salas, spice veloute

Seriously heart warming food, using another unusual cut of meat, beef cheeks.

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Braised beef cheek curry with warm cumin and coriander cous cous, bok choi and rhubarb chutney

The braised shoulder of veal is soft, melt-in-the-mouth food. A properly indulgent dish.

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Braised veal shoulder with seasonal vegetables, prune chutney and rosemary jus

From the classic menu, fabulous fillet.

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Grilled beef fillet, dauphin jardiniere, roast black mushroom

Dessert time. Valrhona chocolate melting dessert, creme brulee and raspberry sorbet. My friend Candice was rendered speechless when she tasted this!

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Dessert that can’t be put into words?

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!

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A great range of cheese with chutney, fruit and nuts

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.

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