Gasthaus on Queen was just three weeks old (opened mid Apr 2021) when I had lunch there earlier this month. Located at 211 Queen Street in the CBD, it's open for business from 8am to 10pm Mon-Thu, 8am-11pm Fri and 12pm-11pm Sat. It's closed on Sundays and public holidays. Opening at 8am on weekdays makes it handy to stop by for a Campos coffee and bretzel on the run before work. For bookings you can either call or email on 0493 056 256 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Doing what we love best every now and again, my German girlfriend and I spent the morning on one of our adventures as we call it. Both loving art, we normally chase down new street art, along the nooks and crannies and alleyways of Melbourne, visiting the NGV again and again and simply roam the city. This time we headed for the Immigration Museum, my first time, and other hot spots.
It suddenly occurred to her that she remembered hearing about a new German restaurant that had just opened. So off we went on foot for what was supposed to be a 9 minute walk to the restaurant, however, I think Google lied - at least that's what it felt like going uphill on an unusually hot sunny winter's day, because it felt like it took forever.
Arriving at an odd hour, a little too late for lunch but too early for dinner - mid-afternoon, we were pleased to see we had the restaurant to ourselves. Downstairs was an outdoor and indoor seating area, with a blackboard on the wall indoors advertising the specials of the day, along with Happy Hour. Tables were set up with condiments and cutlery, with tall timber seated bar stools under each table and along the countertop to the side where the open kitchen is, and where you get a view of the chef preparing your food.
We chose to go upstairs via a narrow stairwell and look down onto the street below. It was spacious and more formally set up with drinking glasses, cutlery and napkins on the ready. At the end of the room away from the street front was shelving on the wall with authentic Austrian/German goods you can purchase. It's where you'll find your authentic sweet mustard, jams, and a lot more directly from Gasthaus.
We opted for a light lunch menu with a couple of freshly baked Bretzel served with butter, a Kürbis Salat (butternut squash, quinoa, baby spinach, honey-lemon dressing) and Bratwurst (traditional grilled pork sausage, potato mash, sauerkraut, mustard, gherkin), with a salad on the side. A very pleasant and patient waiter answered all we needed to know and went up and down those stairs, bearing our food.
The minute I tasted the butternut squash, I just knew it hadn't been cooked as it had a lovely firm crispness about it. The owner and driving force behind Gasthaus on Queen, Christian Oblak let me know it had been marinated with the marinade allowed to soften the squash just that little bit to make it a joy to eat. From the sounds of yum, I would say my girlfriend was getting as much satisfaction to bite into familiar food from home.
Austrian dishes are also part of German cuisine and Gasthaus keeps the experience authentic and is building a reputation as a new specialty restaurant for Austrian cuisine, serving traditional and classic food and beverages. For authenticity, they actually import a few items of what they serve from Germany/Austria, including believe it or not, the bretzel. You can view the full food and beverage menu here, with the dinner menus having a lot more choices, including the impressive looking pork knuckle.
Christian was happy to report that since they opened they've been booked solid. If that's any indication, the locals are loving the authentic cuisine, and Christian has plans to up his game even further with themed nights, so be sure to follow them on Facebook which is filled with snippets of information about the food and its origins. No doubt if you're not from Germany, Austria or thereabouts, a lot on the menu will be a mystery to you, but that's part of the fun for the brave and adventurous.