The team behind Arcadia Liquors has opened an all-day Euro-style diner across the road in Redfern. Not only does a visit feel like an express stop to the EU, the menu is refreshingly straight-up and gimmick-free.
The daytime offerings include Panini with Eggplant Parmigiana ($10), which is as comforting as you’d want; Chicken Schnitzel ($20) with good garlicky blocks of potatoes, a tangle of red cabbage and a spillage of mushroomy Jaegar sauce; a vego-friendly Penne Puttanesca ($14), which trades on its no-frills simplicity. A White Bean Salad ($10) with tomato, cucumber, mint and dill is exactly what it says on the box – no chia seeds, or kale croutons or anything faddish (or activated). The dinner menu is more expansive, but keeps the hearty, dressed-down feel.
There’s a bar hidden up the back called GDR, if you want to channel some pre-unified Germany flashbacks. But Redfern Continental feels like a time vault already – in a good way. Seeing a menu with Penne Arrabiata, Spaghetti Vongole and Bratwurst with Fried Potatoes and Sauerkraut feels like browsing through all the mainstream cookbooks I’d read in the 1990s – old-school and tamper-proof, unshowy yet satisfying. Everything Euro still has currency here.