Rock on up to the Meredith Club in Bankstown – also home to the Lithuanian Club – and prepare for a carb-fest
Hot tip: loosen your belt after you sign in at the visitor desk. It’s a community club so expect the usual stain-proof patterned carpet and robust wooden furniture. The décor might be a little lacking but that doesn’t stop the Lithuanian locals getting dressed up in their Sunday best. The joint is packed on a Sunday lunchtime – It feels like everyone and their grandma is here, with a few in traditional embroidered folk costumes, too.
Ignore the western menu (the usual rump steak, Atlantic salmon and warm chicken salad territory) and zero in on the Lithuanian specials. Start off with the koldūnai Lithuanian dumplings, 12 plump moon-shaped parcels filled with seasoned minced meat and boiled. Boiled dumplings might not sound exciting but it’s a different story when the entire lot are covered in sour cream and chopped bacon.
Lithuanian food might have a reputation for being stodgy, but who’s complaining when there’s bacon sprinkled on everything? Balandeliai are that staple of Balkan cuisine, cabbage rolls braised until the leaves are pliable and the mince filling is juicy and tender. There’s a mushroom sauce over the top, potatoes on the side, and yep, a handful of chopped bacon for good measure, too.
The biggest challenge is probably the cepelinai, two grey-brown footballs on the plate with a filling of minced meat inside. It’s the starchy, gluey potato dough on the outside that your palate might struggle to appreciate – even bacon can’t save this one, we’re afraid.
Pancakes will make everything right with the world again. Lietiniai su mėsa is a serve of two pancakes wrapped up with minced meat and served with bacon and sour cream. We think we’re starting to see a pattern here. Lietiniai su varške is the dessert version, filled with cottage cheese and raisins with sour cream and jam on the side. Damn. We were really hoping for more bacon.