Balkan restaurant brings cevapi and sarma to Ipswich

Delicious cevapi, sarma and avjar are among the traditional Eastern European dishes luring food lovers to Ipswich's newest restaurant.
Discover Ipswich, Staff Writer

Eat

A taste of the Balkans in Ipswich

Beautiful food is a universal language – just ask Erin and Boris Stefan, the owners of Ipswich restaurant Stefans Balkan Grill.

 

Erin and Boris Stefan at their Ipswich restaurant.

Erin Stefan moved from fast-paced Sydney to a remote village in the Balkans and spent a year living with her future mother-in-law, Snyezana, planning the wedding and adjusting to a world completely different to the one she had left behind.

“My mother-in-law didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Croatian so the way we connected was through cooking,” Erin says.

“We had an apple tree and she taught me how to make strudel… I make it fresh every day here using her recipe,” she says, “… and some people say it is the best they’ve ever had.”

 

Cevapi with avjar, chips and salad at Stefans Balkan Grill.

After their wedding the couple spent six years in Sydney before deciding to launch their dream restaurant in Ipswich. They had two friends here and loved the sense of community they had seen in the city.

Their menu is packed with the traditional dishes Snyezana cooked for Boris throughout his childhood and the couple are passionate about offering a heart-felt, homely insight into life in Eastern Europe.

One of the highlights is the traditional and utterly delicious cevapi sausage served with salads and ajvar – a sweet savoury capsicum condiment.

“Over there, everyone grows their own vegetables so we have a lot of salads on the menu,” Erin says.

“People do their own pickling, they have their own cornfields and vineyards and they make their own wine. I learned to cook over an open fire for all the people from the village who came to help us when it was time to harvest the grapes.”

 

Stefans Balkan Grill, Ipswich, Queensland

The extensive menu includes kransky sausages with creamy mash and mustard; marinated pork skewers with chips and salad, cabbage rolls (sarma), schnitzel, stuffed capsicum and many more.

The couple have been delighted that so many people from Brisbane and beyond have travelled to come to their restaurant for the traditional fare but they are equally happy that locals who are not so familiar with the food are also embracing it.

The restaurant is BYO and open right through from 11am to dinner Wednesday to Saturday (and for dinner on Tuesday and lunch on Sunday), and serves a range of European teas, superfood lattes and locally roasted Somerset coffee.
Some regulars have been popping in for a late afternoon strudel and coffee on their way home. The menu includes many gluten-free and vegetarian options.

Stefans Balkan Grill is at 132 Brisbane Rd, Booval with ample parking at the rear.

 

Superfood latte at Stefans Balkan Grill.
Discover Ipswich Staff Writer
Rocky the Rock Wallaby is a Sagittarius who lives at the Ipswich Nature Centre and often contributes to Discover Ipswich in his spare time. When he's not busy blogging or hanging out with his bestie Windora the Bilby, he likes to hit the gym for a leg session, graze on quinoa salad and ponder the possibilities of the universe.

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