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Monday, June 08, 2009

Lowenbrau Keller, The Rocks, Sydney

It's true. I do derive an inordinate amount of pleasure whenever I say the word schlachtplatte.

Partly it's because I relish putting on a very bad German accent, trying to generate as much noise as possible on the schlaaaaacht (I did say it was a bad accent). But perhaps the most exciting part about saying schlachtplatte to the waitress is the promise of the meat to come. A feast of meat. A feast.

Schlachtplatte double $67
Lowenbrau's selection of Bavarian specialties -
pork knuckle, sausages, chicken schnitzel and pork belly
served with mashed potato and sauerkraut

The schlachtplatte is indeed a sight to behold. Schlachplatte means slaughter dish, and is traditionally served up on a farm immediately after a pig's slaughter, a use-up-the-leftovers serving of pork tripe, kidneys, knuckles and blood sausage. At Lowenbrau, the schlachtplatte has evolved to mean a mass serving of protein, a dazzling and seemingly never-ending spectacle of carnivorous pleasures.

We eat our way up the red carpet of crunchy chicken schnitzel and than along a catwalk of Bratwurst and Frankfurter sausages. Backstage are slices of pork belly with crackling on top, and thick salty pieces of smoked pork Kassler. The star of the show is the pork knuckle, a temptress of porcine delight, clad in a pret-a-porter design of salt-flecked blistered crackling. An over-the-top corsage of Nurnberger sausages is pinned to her breast.

Designed to be served for two people, we share this among three and still struggle to finish. Billy, the Pom and I all have healthy appetites, and still we can't eat all the sausages, the pork, the mashed potato, the sauerkraut and the lashings of gravy.

Hofbrau Diesel $10.60 for 0.5L
Dark lager with Coca Cola

Mango Weizen $10.60 for 0.5L
Wheat bief with mango juice

We wash down the protein with big man-ly steins of beer. And a blokey dinner can only end one way... with a merciless gluttony of dessert.

Dessert variation $16.00
Taste of apple strudel, mixed berry crumble,
sticky date pudding and ice cream with fruit coulis

The Pom only has eyes for the dessert variation, a tasting plate of four different sweets that has his eyes alight with glee. I confess I hadn't expected much from this offering--a slap-dash platter of trucked in desserts?--but the sticky date pudding has an intensely satisfying caramel flavour and there's plenty of berries atop the ice cream. The strudel is a tad bland, with the pastry missing the wondeful flakiness for which it's known.

Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte $10.00
Traditional Black Forest cake with Kirsch-marinated sour cherries,
fresh cream and chocolate shavings

Black Forest cake too often falls short of its supreme visions of decadence. The version here is better than many of the imposters I've seen, although the cake is a little pale and the cream a glowing white. We do revel in the sour cherries soaked in Kirsch, and whilst it's not usually served on a lake of chocolate sauce (swirled obsessively with creme anglais), we eat it up anyway.

Apfel Kuchlein $10.00
Bier battered apples with cinnamon sugar and creme anglaise

My favourite dessert of the evening is, yes, deep-fried. Apfel kuchlein is just like an Aussie pineapple fritter, but with apple. The German take has a batter which is a bit thicker and more cake-like, the crisp exterior giving way to a soft crumb and then searing hot apple. The dusting of icing sugar reminds me of snow.

We can only smile wryly at the lederhosen-wearing male waiters and the Heidi-themed waitresses. The oompah band in the corner keeps the crowds amused but when it comes to eye candy, I'm more easily entertained by the schlachtplatte, or schhhlatchhhhhhhplatte to be sure.

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Lowenbrau Keller on Urbanspoon

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

Open 7 days 9am til late
Live entertainment every night from 7pm
Late night menu available every Friday and Saturday 11pm til 2am

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Löwenbräu Keller (Jul10), (Jun09), (Feb09) and (Jul06)

19 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 6/08/2009 06:55:00 pm


  • At 6/08/2009 8:34 pm, Anonymous Jess (fushmush) said…

    My favourite German food word is spaetzle. It's pretty tasty too!

  • At 6/08/2009 8:52 pm, Blogger mimbles said…

    I've sworn off Lowenbrau for a while, hubby has a membership there (with a stein with his name on it and all) and we sort of overdosed on eating there!

    Plus, the last time we went the service was terrible and the pork knuckle was overcooked and dry :(

    So for now hubby will have to put up with going once a month with his brother. We'll be back when my craving for crackling gets the better of me again ;-)

  • At 6/08/2009 9:13 pm, Blogger TheBigB3n said…

    yum!!! brings back memories of my roadtrip to the Hahndorf Inn in Adelaide, I've nevert had Weisswurst that good outside of Germany!!!

  • At 6/08/2009 9:48 pm, Blogger Kelly said…

    I'm IN germany, why can't I find pork knuckle crackling? why???

  • At 6/08/2009 9:55 pm, Blogger lifeis2munch said…

    yum!! the mango weizen looks so good...

  • At 6/09/2009 12:39 am, Anonymous billy@atablefortwo said…

    we should go to Bavarian next time me think and schhhlatchhhhhh again!

  • At 6/09/2009 2:35 am, Anonymous Brittany (He Cooks She Cooks) said…

    The bier battered apples are my favorite dessert there too. The lowenbrau was one of the few places I went to more than once during my time in Sydney.

  • At 6/09/2009 11:31 am, Blogger Simon Leong said…

    i once managed to eat the platter between 2 people but it was a HUGE struggle. i hate leaving food on the plate, especially when your paying for it, so 3 people would have been a lot better so I could have tried some dessert as well.

  • At 6/09/2009 11:36 am, Anonymous shez said…

    Oh! I always (always) try to find room for those apple fritters. They're amazingly tasty.

  • At 6/09/2009 12:25 pm, Anonymous Arwen from Hoglet K said…

    What an enormous plate! It's lucky there were three of you to eat it. I do like the sound of nice hot apple fritters

  • At 6/09/2009 5:46 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh I've never tried the Apfel kuchlein and they look and sounds tasty! Hee hee you guys should have entered the drinking competitions ;)

  • At 6/09/2009 6:11 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    I think schnitzel is fun to say as well!

  • At 6/09/2009 11:37 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Jess - lol. Spaetzle is a good word too. I like eating it in small doses though, unless I'm getting all the wrong heavy versions!

    Hi mimbles - Ahh I was only just wondering how you get a membership at Lowenbrau? Is it a men's only club? And do you have to prove your mettle by undergoing a secret bier-drinking ritual? Do tell! :)

    I've had some bad days with the pork knuckle but lately it has been restored somewhat to its former glory - still not as good as the first one I had in 2006 though :P

    Hi TheBigB3n - Ooh that's quite an endorsement. Forget churches, I needs to get me to Adelaide for the food (and Haighs chocolate!).

    Hi Kelly - lol. Actually I don't remember eating any crackling in Germany - it was all pork meat and potato and gravy?

    Hi globe trotting foodie - The mango weizen is always popular - it's very drinkable!

    Hi Billy - lol. Sounds good. I could easily go a round of those apple fritters on my own too! :)

    Hi Brittany - It's always stressful looking for good food in a new city. The apple fritters are great. I might have to investigate making my own, although on second thoughts, that could potentially be very dangerous when it comes to portion control!

    Hi Simon Food Favourites - I was brought up to finish everything on my plate too so I know what you mean! I'm always the last to finish as I struggle to squeeze in a few more mouthfuls! I think the dish must be designed for two sumo wrestlers, so yes, definitely share between three next time, and make sure you get some apple fritters for dessert!

    Hi Shez - I can't believe it's the first time I've actually had dessert there. We're usually too full... correction. Everyone else is usually too full and I just nod in agreement and silently forgo dessert! Ha!

    Hi Arwen - There was plenty of tactics involved in our ordering process. Always good to have a successful negotiation, although it was quite easy given all three of us have quite a sweet tooth!

    Hi FFichiban - Me? A drinking competition? I would lose in the first round. Eating competition on the other hand... lol

    Hi Gourmet Chick - lol. Schnitzel does have a nice ring to it!

  • At 6/10/2009 12:35 am, Blogger mimbles said…

    Sadly all that was required to obtain a membership was the handing over of money - secret bier-drinking rituals would be much more amusing!

    Adam bought his brother memberships for both of them as a birthday present last year, and they've been making good use of them. After some practice they've got demolishing the platter between 2 people down to a fine art :)

  • At 6/10/2009 6:32 am, Anonymous Yas said…

    I've been to this place quite surprisingly several times for farewells! I never thought they have those great deserts!! And yay for Mango beerrrrrrr!

  • At 6/10/2009 7:32 am, Anonymous Veruca Salt said…

    Yes, I like the sound of schlachtplatte too. Especially after a few apple snaps.

    I am very concerned about Kelly's comment. It would be devastating to go to Germany and NOT find crackling.

  • At 6/11/2009 10:42 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Mimbles - lol. I actually spent some time looking in at all the glass cabinets and admiring the bier steins. Funny that there's no info on how to join on the website? Do you have to be male? And who benefits to do you get? I presume it's an annual membership?

    Hi Yas - You never got to dessert? Shame on you! lol.

    Hi Veruca Salt - Ha, you'll have to go over there to find out. They definitely have sausages! Lots of 'em!

  • At 6/14/2009 8:36 am, Blogger Y said…

    Helen, do you and Chocolatesuze get frequent eating points for visiting the Lowenbrau? ;)

  • At 6/14/2009 9:44 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Y - lol, I think we should :)


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