If the heavy traffic, static lines and indistinguishable menus of the concrete jungle are keeping you on your couch these days, escape to Erskineville for a late-night bite and a beer, and let the accommodating folk at Bakerman indulge you with a quick suburban retreat. The popular daytime cafe, known for its perfect coffee and flaky pastries, is now leaving its doors open well into the evening, offering a varied tapas menu and beer list to be envied by any CBD small bar.
The menu is developed by French native and Matt Moran-guided Alice Belliard, who features classics like her chicken liver, port and pepper pate ($11.50) mixed with Middle Eastern influences like the pan-fried garlic chorizo served with labne ($12.50). Get a taste of everything and share one of the generous platters available, suitable for two to four people. For dairy enthusiasts, the cheese platter will more than satisfy, offering a French brie, a nutty gouda and a bitey blue served with warm brasserie onion bread and fresh honeycomb ($28). Or for those with a more carnivorous inclination, the meat platter features tender Australian wagyu beef, truffle salami and prosciutto served with toasted bread, piquant balsamic onions, pickles and a tomato jam ($29). Add on any of the tapas bites like a plate of olives ($7.50), creamy potato and chicken croquettes ($13.50) or Asian-inspired chilli prawns ($14.50) and there's sure to be a plate that'll please everyone.
The beer list has been knowledgeably executed by Bakerman's beerman, Peter Weeks. There's a wide range of bottled beers from Belgium, Germany and France as well as Austrian favourite Stiegl (100 percent imported for the true Austrian flavour, I'm told) on tap. Indulge Peter in some beer talk and he'll happily help you choose a glass to complement any of your tapas tastes.
Sundays from 3-7pm sees live music engaging the Bakerman crowd and adds a warm sense of ambience to the lantern-lit, village-like square in the heart of Erskineville Road. Erskineville is not yet known for a buzzing late-night culture, but the new twilight addition to Bakerman offers a tranquil escape from the often loud and congested bars of the CBD.