You don't go to community clubs for the atmosphere. Although perhaps, in a perverse way, you do.
The Concordia German Club in Tempe, in Sydney's south, won't win any awards for its design or decor. And yet there's an element of comfort in the dated furniture, the 1980s colour scheme of salmon pink and viridian green, and the quiet unassuming staff who go about their business.
The club, in operation for over 120 years, moved from its prior home in Stanmore to an old croquet clubhouse in Tempe. The patrons are mostly locals - either families or pensioners or a group of beer-drinking mates. A couple of pet dogs tend to hang out on the front verandah too.
Non-members must fill in a slip from the visitors book at the bar. The bar staff all seem to be German, or of German descent, and are generally quick to take orders and dispense a variety of local and imported beers on tap.
Spaten Munchen on tap
Warsteiner and Dab (Dortmunder Actien Brauerei) beer on tap
Erdinger Weissbrau on tap
Half-litre of Erdinger
I go with the local favourite, the Erdinger Weissbier, a wheat beer which is reasonably light with a pure and clean finish.
Deep-fried camembert $8.00
Upon viewing the menu board, Veruca Salt and I turn to each other and instantly mouth "deep-fried camembert". A single serving is more than generous, with six wedges of cheese crumbed and deep-fried until slightly gooey in the middle.
The deep-fried cheese is served with a saucer of redcurrant sauce, a handful of watercrackers and a garnish of salad leaves. It feels like a picnic on a plate, and truly, I could've eaten another plate on my own and called it dinner.
Wiener schnitzel $18.00
The Wiener schnitzel arrives but all I can focus on is the peach halve covered with a dab of redcurrant sauce. The schnitzel itself is good, although a touch dry in places, and would probably have benefited from a good dollop of gravy. A bed of golden chips lies beneath the schnitzel.
Weisswurst (pork and veal) $12.00
Weisswurst is a case of hidden beauty. Whilst the sausage, potato and sauerkraut offering appears ordinary at first, there's plenty of flavour in the sausage itself, and the potatoes have a buttery and waxy tenderness that is a perfect match for the shreds of pickled cabbage.
Pork knuckle isn't on the menu but we enquire at the bar anyway and are rapt to discover it is on offer, but only to those who ask. The reason, we're told, is because the chef is new and the pork knuckle dish is still being tweaked. It's not quite ready, hence its omission from the menu, but those who are desperate for crackling, can order it if they accept its shortfalls.
There's a little murmur of excitement when our pork knuckles arrive at the table. The crackling isn't quite there yet, but the pork itself is fall-off-the-bone tender.
Dessert is procured from Elisabeth's Cafe, a makeshift stall of cakes and slices that collects money separately from the bar. It's a bit like visiting the canteen tuckshop of yore, with cakes served on plastic plates, and tea and coffee dispensed from a hot water urn.
We end up with a little bit of everything, my favourites including the custard slice and the cherry strudel (the sour cherry against the cheese filling is all kinds of bliss).
Cherry custard pie $4.00
Cherry strudel $4.00
Custard slice $4.00
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Concordia German Club
Mackey Park, Richardsons Crescent
Tel: +61 (02) 9554 7388
Friday to Saturday 12pm-2pm and 6pm-9pm
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And check out these pork knuckles at
La Boheme, Balmain
Lowenbrau Keller, The Rocks
Prague Czech Beer Restaurant, Potts Point
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11/10/2009 02:26:00 a.m.