We had a really special meal last night at Corner 75, a local Randwick restaurant that has been open for over 40 years.
I had made a reservation earlier in the evening, and on arrival we were greeted by name by Paul Varga, owner and host, and led through the dimly lit but bustling restaurant to our table. Before I get to the food, the service and atmosphere at Corner 75 must be commended. The restaurant had a real family feel – after all it is a family venture. We dined among both younger groups and older couples, many of whom seem to be regulars of the restaurant and know the staff very well. Throughout our meal Paul continued to address me by name, which impressed me so much as remembering names is something I have a lot of difficulty with.
The hortobayi crepe of shredded chicken and paprika sauce ($15) was special. The chicken filling was tender and juicy, and the paprika sauce added a umami flavour that I had never experienced before. This entree really set the scene for a truly memorable meal of new Hungarian flavours.
The Veal Goulash with nokedli ($29) was not what we thought it was. Our last experience with goulash was probably at Stock Market on the UNSW campus around 7 years ago. This goulash was much less of a soup and more of a main meal. There were many large chunks of tender veal, and my partner commented it was much more tender and delicious than any meat I have ever tried to stew or slow cook. The nokedli, a kind of formless pasta dumpling, were a bit underflavoured for me, even when used to mop up the sauce. My partner liked it however, and liked how springy it was too. I would’ve liked this dish to have around twice as much sauce, as we did end up wanting for more with nokedli left over.
We were upsold on the Fresh Cucumber Salad ($6.50) to pair with our goulash. We hadn’t originally intended to have it, but the proprietor recommended it, citing the ability of the sour cucumber to cut the rich taste of the goulash. It was actually pretty good. The cucumbers had been long marinated in a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic, and sugar, and topped with paprika. Paul later came back and admitted to the upsell, but we had to admit that we liked it.
While the Corner 75 house specialty, Crispy Roast Duckling with mashed potato & red cabbage ($37.50) is sold without it, it really needs to be eaten paired with their delicious cherry sauce ($3.50). I was initially a bit hesitant about eating duckling, until my learned colleague reminded me that it was the birthright of my people to eat every animal that walks, swims, flies or squawks. This was a really good dish. The duck was soft and tender, with a nice crispy skin. The red cabbage was sweet and delicious, and was a good foil for the rich duck. The potato mash was buttery. The cherry sauce was an absolute treat, with a sour and sweet flavour that added a really special touch.
The Cherry Strudel with vanilla ice cream ($12.50) was yum, the cherry being more tart than in the cherry sauce served with the duckling. The sourness of t he strudel’s filling worked well with the pastry’s sweetness. The vanilla ice cream was good, if standard. It was thoughtful of them to split our one serving into two to share.
I can really recommend Corner 75 in Randwick. Somewhere over the last forty years the restaurant has found and managed to keep something truly special. I can’t wait to come back, and maybe over the next four years of my partner working in Randwick we will become regulars too.
$110 for 2 including one glass of red
5 little roasted ducklings
75 Frenchmans Rd, Randwick NSW 2031
(02) 9399 5712