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Pazar Food Collective, Canterbury


The view from our front row bar seats!

A date night on a whim found Muz and I up the road at this ever evolving little gem in Canterbury in Sydney's Inner West

Last year it was the wonderful La Lupita, ran by the same owners, that held this place hidden behind a non-descript shop front, before it was reopened with a new vision as Pazar Food Collective.

We don't come here as often as we'd like, but each time we do we're always left dreaming of the delicious smorgasbord we've devoured.

Last night we were sat at the bar over looking the prep area and enviable woodfire.

After ordering from the night's menu selection, which is never a simple task, we decided to settle back to our woodfire-front seats to try a sangria and a Rio Bravo beer with lime and chilli flakes.

The sangria was to die for; I haven't had one as good as this in a long time. The lime and chilli worked a treat with a cold beer, like a corona and lime on steroids.

Our selection of plates to share began to come out, beginning with a good serving of tzatziki, made with labneh and drizzled with olive oil.

It was served with Turkish bread which was warmed in the fire in front of us. The tzatziki was perfectly creamy, with generous amounts of fresh dill packing a perfect flavour punch that could have anyone obsessively addicted and falling into a Pazar tzatziki habit.

Next a plate of crispy zucchini balls were placed in front of us with a smile from the friendly face of Attila himself. Perfectly soft centres with a contasting crunchy crust, drizzled with a yoghurt sauce and a sprinkling of sumac.

There was a significant amount of unplanned silence between myself and Lovely Muzz for most of our apparent date night, besides the odd moment between mouthfuls of deliciousness, where we would negotiate who was lucky enough to have the last mouthful of this, or half of that. Who has time to talk when the food is this good?

There was a large gap between the tzatziki, zucchini balls and the dish we were most looking forward to: the lamb! So long in fact, that we watched tables who'd arrived long after us get the same dish we were waiting for.

Eventually it arrived, after a failed attempt at checking with a not so obliging waitress and then finally some wonderful service from a different staff member, and it was WONDERFUL!

Slow cooked in the woodfire, this juicy lamb shoulder was wonderful. Served on top of pre-cut flat bread, to make eating as simple as picking up a taco, this was a lovely dish. Picking up the bread, topped with shredded lamb, you can add salsa, jalapeños, mint and fresh parsley until your hearts content... And believe me, after enjoying this, it will be. Every now and then you'll find a burst of salty lamb skin in a mouthful adding more dimension to an already enjoyable meal. I immediately thought these little salty bursts of skin owe their flavoursome punch to the humble anchovy, but am wondering if my tastebuds are on or way off track? Either way, it gives me some lambspiration of my own!

We pride ourselves on being patient as customers and because of this were slightly disappointed with having a less than helpful experience with a particular waitress; on more than one occasion (upon seating us, we were ignored and left without any explanation of the ordering system - which had changed only recently). Despite that; majority always rules and all other staff we've met in the past and tonight are fantastic, friendly and welcoming.

Sad to reach the end of our food feast, we headed home with our bellies full and happy.

THE VERDICT

Great food. Good service. Casual atmosphere.

Perfect for casual dinners with families, friends and dates. Would make a great venue for a get together.

We will always return to Pazar Food Collective and would recommend everyone to head in and give it a go. They have a good thing going here in regards to food and the overall eating experience. Food is flavoursome and never disappointing. They always put up amazing dishes and are a necessary addition to anyone's Sydney foodie bucket list.

People who love to eat

are always the best people.

- Julia Child