Saturday, 21 July 2012

Koliba Czech and Slovak Restaurant - Review - Collingwood

I am always on the lookout for something a bit different and I think Czech and Slovak food qualifies.  A possible similarity to German food immediately comes to mind so lots of meat and stodgy food enters the brain.  Anyhow given that it is Winter time some hearty food doesn't come amiss.

Anyway, Koliba Czech and Slovak restaurant (and bar come beer hall) definitely has what seems to be unique Czech and Slovak food.  I wouldn't really know but two sets of diners who appear to be talking in Czech seem to confirm this. This also feels good or should I say reassuring.  The setup kind of anticipates quite big groups of people and just over a quarter of the premises functions fully as a bar so I gather that late in the evening Koliba will have quite a few revellers.  This is just around the corner from Smith St after all.  The seating is very open and kind of basic but seems kind of authentic.  The service is great and the waitresses thick Czech European accent adds to the authenticity of the place.

The first entree is 'Devils' toast or Ďábelské pikantní topinky.  This is spicy minced beef and cheese on toast.  Not really something you imagine being served in a restaurant.  In fact having this at home kind of comes to mind.  Anyway, it seems believably Czech and it is what it is.  I kind of liked it but soggy toast isn't for all so its best to eat this as fast as you can.  I was actually quite hungry so I enjoyed this.
Spicy minced beef and cheese on toast image
Spicy minced beef and cheese on toast
The other starter was was home made cured ocean trout roulade with spinach and cheese or Domácí nakládaný pstruh “GRAVELAX” v špenátovo sýrové roládě.  This was definitely tasty if kind of standard. I can't complain as I chose it but feel free to select more unique Czech food off the menu.  Anyway, to sum up on the entrees they were good but not great.  However, based on the menu they all seemed authentic with marinated fish 'rollmops', traditional 'potato pancake, marinated sausage 'utopenec' and others all available.
Homemade cured ocean trout with spinach and cheese image
Homemade cured ocean trout with spinach and cheese
I am thankful for the waitresses warning on the size of the pork knuckle served on a wooden breadboard with mustard, pickle, horseradish and bread.  This is truly an outstanding dish.  The pork knuckle was large, moist and full of flavour. I heartily recommend this although next time I do want to try something else off the menu!

The other main is a nationakl Slovak dish “Bryndzové Halušky”, which are small traditional dumplings with Slovak cheese and fried bacon. Again this is superb and as suggested by the waitress a downsize to entree size is recommended.  This is pretty rich and I cannot fathom how a single person could eat a whole serving as a main.  Highly recommended, even though it seems plain on the surface it is unique and very tasty.
Traditional dumplings with  Slovak cheese and fried bacon image
Traditional dumplings with  Slovak cheese and fried bacon
If you couldn't tell I am quite enthused about Koliba Czech and Slovak restaurant and can't wait to go again.

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Koliba Czech and Slovak Restaurant Rating - 4
Would I recommend to a friend - Yes.
Would I recommend to a friend - Yes

Telephone: (03) 9417 3797
Address: 11 Johnston Street, Collingwood VIC 3066
Reviewed By: Howie Be

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