So what are you having?
I have a confession to make. If I happen to ask you this question, there are usually hidden agendas at stake.
Sometimes the planets will align and Suze will look at me and say "I can't decide between the pork belly and the pork knuckle", and I will reply with those three magic words "Should we share?"
And happiness and relief will blanket us both.
Freshly baked Bavarian pretzel $3.50
Tonight we are here to feast. Protein washed down with bier in Bavarian style, at the Bavarian Bier Cafe on O'Connell Street. We start with Bavarian pretzels, warm and fluffy from the oven, sprinkled with fat crystals of salt and served with pats of butter.
Bavarian Bier Cafe bar area
Forest mushrooms and sauteed garlic flammenbrot $16.50
The mango bier is a popular order around the table this evening, but I order the Hofbräu Original ($7.20 for 300ml), a pale gold lager with a faint bitterness.
We line our stomachs by sharing entrees. A serve of salt and pepper calamari is tender but I'm more taken by the flammenbrot, a pizza-like offering that has a base more akin to a crisp pastry.
Salt and pepper squid with garlic lime aioli $19.50
Swiss schnitzel $28.50
Chicken schnitzel with with Swiss cheese with Swiss cheese and double smoked leg ham
There are eight kinds of schnitzel on the menu at Bavarian Bief Cafe. Veal, pork, beef and chicken - no animal is denied the pleasure of a bath in batter and a coating of breadcrumbs.
Our group orders the Swiss schnitzel with leg ham and Swiss cheese and the Jager schnitzel, a thin slice of veal smothered in mushrooms. The Zigeuner schnitzel sounds unusual for German fare - a veal schnitzel served with a hot and spicy "gypsy"sauce. So too is the oven-baked free-range chicken thigh dipped in yoghurt and Emmenthal cheese, which seems to take out all the fun.
Jager schnitzel $29
Pan-fried veal topped with mushroom sauce served with sauteed potato
Bavarian tasting platter $27
Succulent pork belly, sausage sand schnitzel
The Bavarian tasting platter appears designed for those who want to have their pork and eat it too. The gluttony of schnitzel, sausages and pork belly is the antithesis of pan-fried salmon, crowned with greenery and circled with sticky balsamic.
Pan-fried salmon $30
with champagne sauerkraut, buttered potatoes and balsamic rocket salad
Crackling roast pork belly $28.50
But I say when in Rome -- or Bavaria -- it's best to eat like a local. Suze portions out half her crackling roast pork belly to my plate, a squat square of fat-ribboned crackling-topped pork perched on a bed of sweet red cabbage sauerkraut.
Succulent slow roasted pork knuckle $37
served on sebago mash and sauerkraut with Lowenbrau Bier jus
The star of the show is undoubtedly the slow roasted pork knuckle. "It's wearing a skirt!" I exclaim, as I clap my hands with glee. "It's like a hula skirt. Made of pork crackling," I add, as I lean in for a closer look.
We attack the armour of scored pork crackling that delivers a mouthwatering crunch. The super crunchiness comes at a price, with the meat beneath it a little dry and overcooked, even right against the bone. By the time we've eaten the crackling, we're spent. Except for the small section reserved exclusively for dessert.
Classic lemon tart with double cream $11.50
We share a selection of sweet desserts. The classic lemon tart has a welcome tang with a fairly good pastry base that is short and sweet.
Chocolate delice with summer berries and toasted almond ice cream $11.50
Chocolate delice is best ordered by extraordinary sweet tooths, especially when combined with the toasted almond ice cream that has echoes of nougat.
Walnut and date pudding with honey ice cream $11.50
I also find the walnut and date pudding rather heavy and rich, also paired with a cloyingly sweet ice cream laced with honey.
Apple strudel with vanilla anglaise $11.50
The apple strudel is my favourite, the pastry crisp and flaky around a huddle of cinnamon apples.
Selection of cheeses served with red wine apple compote and lavosh $19.50
We make little headway into the cheese plate, assembled on a huge chopping board.
Jenga of Emmenthal
We all find the Jenga-style arrangement of Emmenthal rather amusing. And just like a Jenga player, I'm only one move away from collapsing in heap.
Grab Your Fork dined as a guest of Bavarian Bier Cafe O'Connell, Sydney.
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Bavarian Bier Cafe
16 O'Connell Street, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9221 0100
Monday to Friday 10am-midnight
Saturday and Sunday 11am-midnight
108 Campbell Parade - Tel: +61 (02) 8988 5935
Shops 4-6, 1-5 Railway Street - Tel: +61 (02) 8922 8100
Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park
212 Bent Street - Tel: +61 (02) 9361 3833
Shop 2-5, Manly Wharf - Tel: +61 (02) 9977 8088
2-8 Phillip Street - Tel: +61 (02) 8836 1400
24 York Street - Tel: +61 (02) 8297 4111
Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Bavarian Bier Cafe O'Connell (Apr07)
Bavarian Bier Cafe York
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12/11/2010 03:25:00 am