Unfortunately, Oktoberfest is not a year-round celebration.
However, this doesn't mean you can't get your German on any time you want. Okay, so being in Melbourne means that our options are somewhat limited. We can't hop on the intercity train to visit the snow-covered Alps whenever we feel like it. We also don't have the luxury of paying only 5 euros for a half a litre of beer or doing 200km on the autobahn (well, you can but you will definitely lose your licence and quite a lot of money in fines).
But Head Chef Ashley Davis and his team at Messer certainly give it a decent try. Here are five German dishes you can get in Melbourne. Some traditional, some with modern twists. And the best thing? They can all be found in one place: Messer in Fitzroy.
The currywurst is to Berliners the same way sausage rolls are to Aussies. Invented in 1949, the humble currywurst can be found in street kiosks all over the German capital. A currywurst is a steamed pork sausage that's then fired and cut into slices before being served with spiced ketchup and curry powder. At Messer, this endearing street snack is given a modern twist by substituting pork with duck.
2. Wood-fired flatbread This is Messer's spin on flammkuchen, the wonderful German dish that's a mash-up between sort-of-but-not-really pizza and almost-but-not-quite flatbread. Messer makes the dough in-house and put them in the wood-fire oven for that unbeatable crispy crust. They do a range of toppings, from the classic crème fraîche, onion and speck to a simple garlic oil topping if you prefer to keep things on the down-low.
3. Käsespätzle German mac and cheese? Now we're talking! And you can forget about using dry macaroni shells here. No, Messer make their egg pasta fresh from scratch and gently stir it with lots of yummy gruyere. And just in case you're feeling bad about eating something so decadent and totally bad (read: good) for you, they throw some kale and shallots in. Bonus: this dish is also vegetarian-friendly.
4. Rotisserie pork chop, kolhrabi and cider No list of good German dishes would be complete without pork, right? Thankfully, Messer delivers with this mouth-watering dish that will take you to a German guesthouse in the Bavarian Alps. You can enjoy this as a hearty main or share it between friends. Best served with a glass of lager, natürlich!
5. Apple 'strudel'
Germans love their sweet treats so it would make sense to finish this list off with one of the most endearing desserts, the good ol' apple strudel. According to historians, the earliest strudel recipe was created in the 17th century; Messer decided to give this classic treat a fitting 21st century tribute by giving it a modern spin. Think lots of apples, filo shards and burnt butter ice cream. Sehr lecker!