The Bavarian brings the beer hall experience to Adelaide
The Rockpool Dining Group, overseen by celebrity chef Neil Perry, has just opened the first of its Bavarian bierhaus style restaurants in Adelaide and it's the first of many. The Bavarian stands proudly at the entrance to the newly completed dining and entertainment precinct at Tea Tree Plaza, in northeastern Adelaide.
The combination of beautiful Adelaide spring weather, late night shopping, and the grand opening meant the place was buzzing! The car park was so chaotic that we availed ourselves of Westfield's ten dollar valet park. We parked close by and had the car polished up while we dined! Look for it next time you know you're going to have trouble getting a park!
Once seated inside, we took in the menu and tried to wrap our heads around the raucous noise of the beer hall. There were long lines to order food and drinks at the bar but the good-natured staff kept everyone happy. There were plenty of waiters and waitresses and bar staff on hand to manage the crowds. We were impressed at how often someone stopped by to check everything was okay. The lines grew shorter as the night wore on and the dinner rush subsided.
It's lucky that The Bavarian is a place that serves huge beers that save you from having to go back to the bar. The wide range of craft, local, and imported German beer comes in one-litre steins or 'Das Boot', though you should probably share one of their two-litre self-dispensing beer tubes with a mate.
They do have wine by the glass but we couldn't find a wine list. We were guessing with the wine selections but they were excellent. It is a beer hall after all. Soft drinks and juices are also available.
The huge open space inside is filled with low light (except at sunset when it's filled with sunlight) and bench tables. The tables can be easily pushed together for large groups in true beer hall style. Although it isn't on a grand scale it is big enough to evoke a real beer hall feel. Maybe because it was opening night It felt a little over-filled with tables.
The stone walls and leafy light fixtures, along with a dominating bar framed by rows of hanging beer steins all convey a cheerful beer hall charm.
Every now and then a cowbell would clang out across the hall and cheers would go up as the one-kilo schnitzel was paraded around to be delivered to the brave soul to attempt the challenge. (Eat it in an hour along with sides, or it's free.) They also rang the cowbell when singing 'Happy Birthday', and when delivering trays of Schnapps shots. They're pretty trigger happy with the cowbell. It makes for a great atmosphere.
The extensive menu begins with build-your-own salads and wraps before heading into some interesting fusion starters, like pork bao buns and hummus and dip platters. The giant pretzel to share between the table is a great starter option.
We headed straight for the sausages and platters. The Munich Brewers Platter says it's for two people. Those two people better be ready to roll home after the massive amount of meat served on this platter! The full-size chicken schnitzel is a classic. It's thin and juicy, lightly coated with crumbs and served with lemon. The pork knuckle with crispy skin is salty and tender while the crispy pork belly with apple sauce is a generous serve with delicate crispy skin. Our selection of six sausages included the 'frankfurter' the 'nurnburger'. and smoked cheese kransky. A bed of deliciously smooth mashed potato and a little pot of bier jus (gravy) added a little fun and dimension to the platter. The potted side serve of red cabbage and sauerkraut was sugary sweet. I like my sauerkraut less sweet, but it went well with the meats and made us feel like we weren't skipping our vegetables entirely.
If you want the best deals then, along with specials throughout the week, check out the set menu options to celebrate events like Oktoberfest. They're great value and also probably the only way you'll make it through to dessert.
The kid's menu is reasonably priced at ten dollars and features kids faves like chicken schnitzels and hot dogs with chips.
Crispy pork belly like this isn't something that is easily achieved and classic Bavarian style schnitzels like these have been sorely missed in Adelaide.
The Bavarianis challenging some serious Adelaide traditions. If it can keep its opening night style up, it'll become quite a contender.