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Monday, July 12, 2010

Löwenbräu Keller, Sydney

lowenbrau mushroom soup and garlic bread

How do you say Löwenbräu? Did you know the correct pronunciation is loov-en-brau loov-en-broy lurvin-broy [ack. I still got it wrong. Corrected now thanks to anon and Rissole below]? Yes, all this time I've been saying it wrong! Low-en-brau be gone, it's lurvin-broy with a rolling r from now on. Musical Germanic accent entirely optional.

If there's a silver lining to the onset colder weather, it's an increased appetite, especially for hearty comfort food. On this wintry evening, a hungry group of us descend on Löwenbräu Keller to sample their new Christmas in July menu - by the night's end we will have been treated to schnapps, lederhosen and the chicken dance. Just another night at this bier hall.

lowenbrau keller


lowenbrau soup tureens
Soup tureens

There's always a happy chaos at Löwenbräu , its Rocks location popular with tourists, birthdays and the occasional bucks night. We join the din and take our place at the long wooden table set with distinctive blue and white checked napkins. Overhead are stained glass windows and paintings of beaming ruddy-cheeked fräulein.

The arrival of our individual soup tureens, each large enough to feed a family, sets the scene for an evening of rib-sticking fare.

lowenbrau mushroom soup
Mushroom soup

The mushroom soup is thick, if a little salty. A splodge of sour cream slowly melts into the soup which we eat with fat slices of garlic bread, only lightly toasted on the edges and generously soaked with molten garlic butter.

lowenbrau wood stumps
Tree stump table setting

There's much bemusement when our table is set with wooden logs, mostly because of this perfect man. I do like a man who chops wood. And who loves his mama.

The wooden posts act a rustic elevated stand to hold our parade of dishes which we'll be sharing this evening.

lowenbrau lamb shanks
Braised lamb shanks on mashed potato

It's a meat-fest for even the most determined carnivore. Lamb shanks and beef short ribs are a celebration of protein, but my standout favourite is the beef cheeks which have been slow-cooked until the once-sinewy flesh simply fall apart, the meat soft, sweet and unctuous.

lowenbrau beef short rib
Slow roast beef short ribs

lowenbrau beef cheeks
Wine marinated roast beef cheeks

lowenbrau bier goulash
Franziskaner bier goulash

Bier goulash is served with giant balls of bread dumplings, stodgy carbohydrate bombs that do well to soak up the meaty goulash sauce. Crispy onion strings are addictive.

lowebranu venison stew
Venison stew with sautéed mushrooms and servietten knoedel steamed bread dumplings

Venison stew comes with slices of steamed bread dumplings. I find the veal a touch chewy but a generous serve of mushrooms provides a welcome vegetable component.

lowenbrau garden salad
Garden salad

In the face of so much meat, I find myself attacking the garden salad with relish. If there is ever a place for raw Spanish onions, a meat fest is one of them.

lowenbrau roast pork knuckle with crackling
Schweinshaxn
Oven roasted pork knuckle with sauerkraut and mashed potato


And yet, somehow we find room and eager inclination for a special order of schweinshaxn roasted pork knuckle. Our attention is focussed solely on Suze as she wields a knife (maniacally, of course) and slowly splinters the skirt of bubbled crackling into pieces to share.

The crackling is salty but the crunchy reward is more than worth it. Noisy crackling, fatty tender pork, a mound of gravy soaked mashed potato and a side of sauerkraut - this is my idea of Christmas on a plate.

lowenbrau cow bell ringing
Cow bell ringing

Is it a genuine beer hall without alcohol-induced frivolity? Audience participation is always encouraged, and after enjoying a hammed-up rendition of cow bell ringing, random members are pulled, squealing from tables, to join in on the fun.

lowenbrau cow bell ringing
Cow bell ringing of Edelweiss

Did you know Edelweiss is perfect for cow bells? A careful placement of volunteers and a strategically pointed microphone results in a worthy rendition of the Sound of Music favourite. Suze does a stellar job!

lownebrau tuba playing
Tuba playing is fun!

Darcie bolts from the stage when she's told she'll have to sing, but is coaxed back with a tuba.

Drinking games inevitably ensue, giant steins drunk by competing men and women although we're later told that the beer in them is alcohol-free. Lisa does us proud in the women's section.

Overall the mood is merry, especially with our table getting into shots of schnapps in sour apple and butterscotch, served on long wooden paddles by smiling females. There is also beer to be drunk - the Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier Drunkel is my favourite, a dark wheat beer that is smoky maltiness.

lowenbrau keller cinnamon ice cream
Cinnamon ice cream

lowenbrau kaiserschmarrn
Lowenbrau kaiserschmarrn

We clamour eagerly around the giant platter holding dessert, a kaiserschmarrn which translates to "Emperor mishmash" in Austrian German. Essentially it's a dish of eggy pancake, cut up into pieces during drying and then served with syrup, icing sugar, raisins and toasted almonds.

The smell is intoxicating, and I love the combination of soft chewy pancake with the crunchy almonds, some of them pleasingly bitter from over-browning. The raisins are sweet and almost candied from frying. It's the kind of nourishing deliciousness you could happily eat for brunch or supper. Apparently kaiserschmarrn is a popular dessert and is commonly available for lunch at tourist spots in the Austrian alps. It is can also be served with fruit compotes like apple, cherry or plum. I'd love to have it with a splash of Calvados apple brandy or Cointreau triple sec liquer.

The dish is said to have been first served to the Austrian Emperor Francis Joseph I, hence the use of the word "kaiser" in its name.

We eat this with little pots of cinnamon ice cream, plain vanilla dusted with cinnamon sugar but another great idea I want to recreate at home.

lowenbrau thomas beissert
Thomas Beissert, Executive Chef for The Argyle and Löwenbräu Keller

lowenbrau marco jacob
Marco Jacobs, Head Chef for Löwenbräu Keller

We meet both the Executive Chef, Thomas Beissert and Head Chef, Marco Jacobs who come out into the dining room briefly.

lowenbrau keller beer steins
Löwenbräu bier club steins

Have you often wondered about the wooden cabinets filled with monogrammed bier steins at Löwenbräu? I finally corner one of the staff and get the lowdown. Each stein represents a member of the Löwenbräu Pure Bier club and anyone can join. Membership is $85 per year and includes your own personally engraved Munich stein that is kept at the restaurant for you to use, presumably to the green-eyed envy of your non-membered mates. Your first bier is free on each visit.

Members can choose from a range of sizes and designs and I'm told they do have female members, although there aren't many. The club holds regular events and dinners throughout the year.

lowenbrau keller beer steins

Löwenbräu will be serving special dishes throughout its Christmas in July celebrations. Mulled gluhwein and alte witte plum schnapps with cream will also be available. A Swiss cheese fondue with bread and broccoli will be served every Sunday.

Grab Your Fork dined a a guest of Löwenbräu Keller and Zing Australia.

lowenbrau christmas in july

Corner of Playfair and Argyle Streets
The Rocky, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9247 7785

Opening hours:
Open 7 days 9am til late
Live entertainment every night from 7pm
and 12pm-3pm Friday and Sunday

A late night dining menu is available
Friday and Saturday 11pm-2am

Related Grab Your Fork posts:


~~~


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25 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 7/12/2010 02:19:00 am


25 Comments:

  • At 7/12/2010 3:41 am, Blogger Karen @ Citrus and Candy said…

    This was such a great feast but man almighty, I ate too much that I was in pain! And it was such a great night all round. Who doesn't love a bit of alcohol-induced frivolity? :)

     
  • At 7/12/2010 8:20 am, Blogger Stephcookie said…

    Damn, I've been pronouncing it wrong the whole time too! Yumm, so much hearty winter goodness. Go Suze with the bells and Lisa with the beer! :D

     
  • At 7/12/2010 8:45 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    mmm meat! and schnapps! and beer! perrrrfect

     
  • At 7/12/2010 10:25 am, Anonymous Betty @ The Hungry Girl said…

    I've been pronouncing it wrong the whole time too! I'm surprised that Suze didnt steal the whole plate of pork knuckle for herself lol! And go Lisa with the drinking! :D

     
  • At 7/12/2010 10:32 am, Blogger Ladybird said…

    Jawohl! if you get a chance, try their Schwarzwaelderkirschtorte (Blackforest cake) - it is divine!

     
  • At 7/12/2010 10:47 am, Blogger Sara @ Belly Rumbles said…

    That schweinshaxn, oh yeah, drool!!

    Winter is really the best time to hog in to that German food feast you guys had, and it is best not to eat all day so there is room for it all!!

     
  • At 7/12/2010 11:48 am, Anonymous Hannah said…

    I'm of the opinion that no beer-fueled evening is complete without a rendition of the Chicken Dance (oh, high school formal memories... sans beer, of course.) Cinnamon is one of my favourite ice cream flavours, too :) Oh Cinnamon Buns Ben & Jerry's, I miss you.

     
  • At 7/12/2010 1:18 pm, Anonymous Veruca Salt said…

    Xmas menu looks good but it's just not Xmas without the crackling.

    Perfect food for this time of the year.

     
  • At 7/12/2010 1:43 pm, Anonymous MissA said…

    What fabulous winter food! And gluhwein - love it!!!

     
  • At 7/12/2010 3:55 pm, Blogger Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said…

    lol I guess most of us have been going around pronouncing it wrongly then? Read so much about it but have never been... hmmm.... Christmas in July... hmmm... =D

     
  • At 7/12/2010 6:08 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi, just thought I'd let you know it's pronounced loov-en-broy. Not loov-en-brau.

     
  • At 7/12/2010 6:54 pm, Anonymous Mark @ Cafe Campana said…

    So much food! I love the bread dumplings. They are so tasty and soak up the sauce well.

     
  • At 7/12/2010 9:35 pm, Blogger Lisa said…

    I had a really fun night! It was the exact kind of food I'd been craving on a drizzly night. I am thankful however, that there are no photos of me in the beer drinking competition haha.

     
  • At 7/13/2010 12:15 am, Anonymous catty said…

    Ahhh as I was scrolling through your post I was going to say "did you have the pork knuckle??" and HAPPY TO SEE YOU DID! I used to work on Harrington St, a little tooooo close to Lowenbrau and had many of their mango wheat beers. YUM!!!

     
  • At 7/13/2010 3:57 am, Anonymous Rissole said…

    Adding on what Anonymous said, if memory of my 8th grade German teacher serves me correctly, I think "lurvin-broy" is more accurate. (Think "lurvin" as in "Oooh, I'm lurvin' that Schweinhaxn!") The 'r' in "broy" is not rolled, but guttural, much like the Scottish "ach".

     
  • At 7/13/2010 9:52 am, Blogger mademoiselle délicieuse said…

    Oh my, so much meat, drink and frivolity! But hey, if Christmas isn't the time for this type of behaviour then when can it be? =D

     
  • At 7/13/2010 10:09 am, Anonymous john@heneedsfood said…

    I've always loved the food here and have fond yet hazy memories of sitting back being a glutton and downing a few steins

     
  • At 7/13/2010 11:45 am, Anonymous Thang @ noodlies.com said…

    Bier goulash = starch heaven, yum!

     
  • At 7/13/2010 4:50 pm, Blogger FFichiban said…

    Ahhhhh who doesn't love this place! Good work to Suze and Lisa!

     
  • At 7/13/2010 10:55 pm, Blogger Phuoc'n Delicious said…

    LOL "I am chopping wood"

    Sounds like a wonderful night. Those kaiserschmarrn bring me back to the time I was in Germany. My bf and I were so stuffed by the time we finished our mains and we ordered two serving of these; my god we had to roll back to our hotel. I love Germany and their food!

     
  • At 7/14/2010 12:30 am, Blogger FireintheBreeze (Brittany) said…

    Looks like you had an amazing time! This restaurant looks delicious and presents it food so well.

     
  • At 7/16/2010 12:31 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Karen - I have a bad habit of eating through the pain. lol.

    Hi Stephcookie - They should have a helpful reminded on the menu methinks! A little education never hurt anyone :)

    Hi chocolatesuze - I love my mama.

    Hi Betty - Haha, we were all very ladylike in our sharing the pork knuckle. The fact we'd just eaten ourselves stupid with other dishes may have contributed. lol.

    Hi Ladybird - Oh I have had the blackforest cake. Something so good about chocolate, cream and kirsch!

    Hi Sara - lol. I love it when other people use the same appetite-enhancing strategies as me :)

    Hi Hannah - I don't mind the chicken dance but Nut Bush City Limits is where I draw the line! lol. Now I have a craving for cinnamon buns. And ice cream!

    Hi Veruca Salt - Ha, it's never a complete meal unless there's crackling!

    Hi MissA - Winter is just an excuse for good food isn't it?

    Hi Angie - I think so. I can't believe I was wrong for so long!

    Hi Anon - Ahh thanks for the correction. Will amend it now.

    Hi Mark - I find bread dumplings always sound better than they taste, but you are right, they are ideal for mopping up sauces and gravies.

    Hi Lisa - You did a great job, an especiall stellar effort given you'd just eaten dinner too!

    Hi Catty - lol. Of course we had the pork knuckle. It's the reason why I can never bring myself to order anything else!

    Hi Rissole - Aha, thanks for letting me know. So many nuances to remember when learning a foreign language!

    Hi mademoiselle delicieuse - And it's even better when Christmas comes twice a year! lol

    Hi John - Those are always fond memories :)

    Hi Thang - I do love my starch. I'm glad we speak the same language :)

    Hi FFichiban - They did us proud :)

    Hi Phuoc'n Delicious - I love the idea of kaiserschmarrn. I am totally borrowing this idea on my next weekend brunch plans.

    Hi Brittany - It was a great dinner. Crackling always makes people happy!

     
  • At 7/16/2010 12:31 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Karen - I have a bad habit of eating through the pain. lol.

    Hi Stephcookie - They should have a helpful reminded on the menu methinks! A little education never hurt anyone :)

    Hi chocolatesuze - I love my mama.

    Hi Betty - Haha, we were all very ladylike in our sharing the pork knuckle. The fact we'd just eaten ourselves stupid with other dishes may have contributed. lol.

    Hi Ladybird - Oh I have had the blackforest cake. Something so good about chocolate, cream and kirsch!

    Hi Sara - lol. I love it when other people use the same appetite-enhancing strategies as me :)

    Hi Hannah - I don't mind the chicken dance but Nut Bush City Limits is where I draw the line! lol. Now I have a craving for cinnamon buns. And ice cream!

    Hi Veruca Salt - Ha, it's never a complete meal unless there's crackling!

    Hi MissA - Winter is just an excuse for good food isn't it?

    Hi Angie - I think so. I can't believe I was wrong for so long!

    Hi Anon - Ahh thanks for the correction. Will amend it now.

    Hi Mark - I find bread dumplings always sound better than they taste, but you are right, they are ideal for mopping up sauces and gravies.

    Hi Lisa - You did a great job, an especiall stellar effort given you'd just eaten dinner too!

     
  • At 7/16/2010 12:32 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Catty - lol. Of course we had the pork knuckle. It's the reason why I can never bring myself to order anything else!

    Hi Rissole - Aha, thanks for letting me know. So many nuances to remember when learning a foreign language!

    Hi mademoiselle delicieuse - And it's even better when Christmas comes twice a year! lol

    Hi John - Those are always fond memories :)

    Hi Thang - I do love my starch. I'm glad we speak the same language :)

    Hi FFichiban - They did us proud :)

    Hi Phuoc'n Delicious - I love the idea of kaiserschmarrn. I am totally borrowing this idea on my next weekend brunch plans.

    Hi Brittany - It was a great dinner. Crackling always makes people happy!

     
  • At 7/16/2010 6:38 pm, Blogger Sarah said…

    Hey hey!

    I love kaiserschmarrn!! So delicious. I made it myself the other night, so easy. Almost too easy! Give it a go! I must try it with cinnamon ice-cream next time.

    xox Sarah

     

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