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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bavarian Bier Cafe O'Connell, Sydney

EDIT: Bavarian Bier Cafe O'Connell has now closed. You can still visit the York Street outlet.

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.

View Larger Map
Bavarian Bier Cafe O'Connell on Urbanspoon

Bavarian Bier Cafe (CLOSED - You can still visit the York Street outlet)
16 O'Connell Street, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9221 0100

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday 10am-midnight
Saturday and Sunday 11am-midnight

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Bavarian Bier Cafe York
11 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 12/11/2010 03:25:00 am


  • At 12/11/2010 6:01 am, Anonymous Tim Chef said…

    These dishes look amazing. And the food is probably tasty as well. Thank you for posting these great pictures.

  • At 12/11/2010 10:04 am, Anonymous mrs ed said…

    was just talking about this restaurant yesterday with friends.. they said that the pork knuckles is not as good as before.. the skin is not even crunchy and the chefs have changed? hmmmm...

  • At 12/11/2010 10:29 am, Anonymous Hannah said…

    I must say that the pork knuckle looks rather fantastic, even to this usually-meat-averse girl! Kinda even more intrigued by the champagne sauerkraut, though...

  • At 12/11/2010 9:56 pm, Blogger thang @ noodlies said…

    gosh that was a lot of food... those pork knuckles look good tho!

  • At 12/11/2010 11:22 pm, Anonymous billy @ a table for two said…

    I swear last time I ordered a pork knnuckle at Bavarian, it didnt come with a hula skirt! not even a skin!

  • At 12/12/2010 8:04 am, Anonymous Gummi Baby said…

    Mmmmm meat! As Homer would say! We used to have to venture to the city or at least Cammeray for this type of food but never had it looked so good! Love the Jenga cheese! : D

  • At 12/12/2010 8:41 am, Anonymous Gianna@TheEmptyFridge said…

    Helen, I just have to say that the pork knuckle has been visiting me in my dreams, walking around with an 'eat me' shirt on!

  • At 12/12/2010 5:35 pm, Anonymous Sara @ Belly Rumbles said…

    I am a sucker for pork knuckle, but it is a hard decision where there is so much porkie goodness on the menu.

    All the dishes look fantastic.

  • At 12/12/2010 7:26 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    I will never get sick of this place. Those pork bellies + knuckles + general pork limbs that they do - delish!! Thanks for the round-up =]

  • At 12/12/2010 11:59 pm, Anonymous Shaun @ Everybody Loves Ramen said…

    MM I was born in Germany & grew up on German food so it's a weakness haha.
    Glad you wrote about this - I've been wanting to try the one in Parra ever since a German couple I studied with said it was amazing.
    German food isn't usually...presentable...but they've done well hey?!
    The Jager-schnitzel, tasting platter & strudel all look killer.

  • At 12/14/2010 12:13 pm, Anonymous Tina@foodboozeshoes said…

    Oh no Helen - the oven-baked chicken schnitzel was awesome (I tasted some). OK, not as crunchy but the flavours and chicken's juiciness were fab!


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