Bart Jr.

Jackie McMillan
3rd Mar 2024

A cacophony of sound emanates from Bart Jr. as we arrive. The bar, which has occupied a coveted corner spot on Redfern’s main drag for about seven years, is a lively space around knock-off time even on a mid-week hump day. Staff, across kitchen, bar and floor, seem pumped, with greeting, seating, wine and food all happening in record time. Influenced no doubt by the wine bottles on display on the shelves that line the room, we order the wine we’re seated under: the CRFT 2023 Grüner Veltliner ($82) plucked from their own five-acre Arranmore vineyard. It sees minerality and stone dance with acidity, coriander and unripe mango: perfect for cutting through anchovy toast ($8/each) where Olasagasti anchovies got a bit swamped by bright red confit tomatoes, Aleppo pepper and Bloody Mary butter. We took these single-person snacks as add-ons to the well-priced chef’s choice menu ($45/head) that actually lured us in.

Belying the price point by providing plenty of food, the daily menu kicked off with plump potato and Manchego fritters ($12) sitting in smoked tomato sugo. Fat fingers of foccacia ($7/2) are yours for the smearing with surprisingly spicy fermented chilli butter. Drag ‘em through a classy caramelised miso labneh ($24) if you need to pull things back. The strained yoghurt pays homage to the changing season with roasted beetroot, black plums, confit garlic, fried buckwheat and a drizzle of blood plum vinegar with its own hint of chilli oil. They don’t mind building a bit of flavour here. Little logs of seasoned sheep’s milk halloumi sit under blistered currents and toasted hazelnuts in brown butter, rosemary and honey. A nude-looking skewer of Bungalow pork loin arrives cooked through nicely with a stonker-you portion of crushed new potato salad. The spuds are tangled through green beans, baby tomatoes, kalamata olives and breadcrumbs (pangrattato) neatly taking care of all your food groups in an enjoyable casual dinner.