Palinka is a 7 month old eastern european tapas inspired eatery located in the hustle and bustle on Brunswick street in Fitzroy. Palinka is a traditional fruit brandy invented in the middle ages where they are distilled and bottled in Hungary and four provinces in Austria. Named after a fruit brandy, you gotta expect big things from them.
When you enter Palinka, it’s very spacious and there’s quite a lot of tables and seatings but do come in early if you want to guarantee a spot or just make a booking.
For those who like to people watch, there’s a spacious outdoors option too.
We were shown to our table by the friendly staff and was handed some menus. There’s quite a bit of variety on the menu where you can choose either yummy dishes ($8.50) or a larger fancy dishes ($12.50). Now that we’ve checked out the menu are our bottoms were comfy, we were ready for the food (BRING IT ON!!). First up, refreshments. I got the quiet american because I LOVE gin and boy, this drink packed a punch. Mr D got a pint of a beer (obviously) and I kinda forgot which one but he said it was totally refreshing (like all beers!) and look how GINORMOUS the cup was!
We got the cauliflower croquettes which were cauliflower pecorino and herb croquettes. These were DIVINE! I really REALLY liked them! They were creamy and came on a bed of aioli. Mr D wasn’t a fan but that’s because he found it too creamy but I loved it.
When I saw there were meatballs with cheese on the menu, I knew I had to get them. Let me introduce you to the dalmatian meatballs which consists of mince lamb and beef and other herbs and cheese. I quite enjoyed these as well. It came with three dips/sauces – Aioli, tomato paste and mustard. Mr D LOVED THEM!
Since it was ladies choice, Mr D continued to allow me the honours with ordering EVERYTHING. Next up was the smoked salmon latke where it was Tasmanian smoked salmon on a pan fried potato roesti with a dollop of dill sour cream. If you absolutely love salmon, this is the dish for you, especially with the dill sour cream. I do wish the dill was in a thicker cream-like consistency though. All the spanish onions and garnish was a huge surprise for me and Mr D had to eat all the onions for me (princess, I know).
Smoked Salmon Latke
The chef brought out the hungarian beef goulash as a recommended dish and I was so glad they did because we (Yes, finally the both of us) ABSOLUTELY found this dish to be AMAZEBALL! The beef was so tender and bursting with flavour.
Hungarian Beef Goulash
One of the staff suggested us to get the mini cordon bleu which was an eye fillet wrapped in grandma’s ham and melted mozzarella. This sounded amazing so of course we ordered it. This dish was our least favourite. I found it to be quite average and and a bit bland. I was a bit disappointed because it sounded like an amazing dish.
Mini Cordon Bleu
Every place I go, I always jump ahead and look at dessert menu and was excited to try them at Palinka. They have two desserts and we got to try both!! The first dessert was the apple strudel with house made custard. For those who don’t like it too sweet, this is the dessert for you. Wrapped in a filo pastry paired with the custard, it’s a very homely dish. I would have liked it more if they had a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.
The second dessert – somloi galuska which was house made sponge layered with walnut, Belgian cocoa and creme anglaise, topped with fresh cream and dark chocolate sauce. I didn’t think I’ll like this but I LOVED IT! It wasn’t super sweet (you know how I love them sweet cakes) and the cream, oh my lord the cream was YUMMO! Mr D even ate the cream and he HATES cream which is a double plus! The sponge layers were so soft and fluffly and the chocolate sauce, oh dear, just everything was AMAZEBALL!
The atmosphere is awesome, the staff were super friendly and attentive, the food is great where we did not need to season them at all and all the dishes were comfort food which means a little will go a long way. Palinka is a great gem in Fitzroy if you want to drop by for the food or for a drink (try the Palinka’s!) or to chill with the staff and don’t forget to make a booking!
Disclaimer: I was invited to dine by Palinka and all opinions expressed are my own.