Short of putting on a lederhose or dirndl and heading to das Oktoberfest in München (Munich) before it closes on 7 October, Hofbräuhaus brings the world famous beer-soaked festival to Melbourne. Till 14 October, we can still raise our steins and prost (cheers) .
Hofbräuhaus has been serving traditional Bavarian food, bier, schnapps & live entertainment since 1968. It is neither the Wiesn (the large field where Oktoberfest takes place in Munich) nor the Hofbräuzelt (largest tent serving beer during Oktoberfest) but this Oktoberfest, the german-styled restaurant and pub is determined to make you feel the spirit of Germany's celebratory drinking, eating and dancing festival.
For fans of Schnitzel, they are on specials from 5pm to 7pm on Tuesdays where you can get your choice of Schnitzel, sides and HB tap bier from AUD25. For Oktoberfest, Hofbräuhaus has introduced their HB Schnitzel Challenge where a challenger has 45 minutes to consume 1.5 kilograms of Pork Schnitzel, 1 Llitre Stein of any HB tap bier and 1 bowl of chips priced at AUD75. In addition to getting the meal for free, the winner also gets an Oktoberfest Hat and Schnitzel challenge winner T-shirt.
With my limited capacity, I was more inclined towards the Schweinshaxe (pork knuckle) and HB Wurstplatte. The roasted pork knuckle was a delicious mix of crispy and meaty textures served on a bed of sauerkraut, served with house made potato dumplings and natural pork jus. The HB Wurstplatte included a selection of tasty nurnberger, cheese kransky and Swiss bratwurst sausages that I enjoyed with the German mustard.
Hofbräuhaus introduced some Oktoberfest Cocktails featuring their cherry, apple and peach schnapps, German spirits and traditional ice tea. I preferred the golden larger of HB Original and cloudy HB Weizen.
To close their Oktoberfest celebrations, Hofbräuhaus has organised a full-day Party running from 11am to 11pm on 14 October that features traditional Bavarian food, bier tasting, eating and drinking competitions, children games and face painting, live bands and dancers, and Oktoberfest merchandise like hats and gingerbread hearts.
In addition to the European Bier Cafe, enjoy what Melbourne can offer of Oktoberfest at das Hofbräuhaus but remember to drink responsibly and not end up a bierleiche (beer corpse). In the meantime, "Kellnerin, noch ein Bier, bitte!"