lowenbrau keller

mainpictureIt all started with an impromptu email "Oh!" it said "we should do lunch!" But then lunch at the lowenbrau was too great a task, and Thursday lunches had been booked out til infinity and then there were plans for the weekend, but a house (somewhat pleasantly) got in the way, and so came this night. One person turned into four, and then, somehow, suddenly, twelve, and then back down to eight again in the hours leading up to the booking, and when I finally did arrive (camera - check!) there was a little group of five standing ready and waiting for one thing. And that thing was knuckle.

I'd never been in the back room of the Lowenbrau before. Somehow, miraculously maybe, every booking I've made has landed me on the long benches in the front of the house, normally within ear and eye shot of the oom-pa-pa band and the busty beer wenches and lederhosen clad males (is there a male version of wench? All I could think of was "dudes", and that doesn't quite suit if you know what I mean.) So when I saw the big ol' square, solid wood table we were to sit at, and the moose heads in near proximity, I may have squealed. Just maybe.

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mooo-ooose!

Soon after everybody had arrived, drinks orders were taken, with a variety of choices being made. One, to my left, had a litre (count 'em. that's 1000ml!) of beer. Another tried the non-alcholic ("Does it still taste yeasty?" asked I. "It tastes herby" said her counterpart, after sipping once, and then again for confirmation.) And I, well I had to have the mango weissen. One times mango nectar mixed with good German bier = one times happy camper.

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big bier, little bier

It appeared, at the time of seating, that all and sunder would be ordering the pork knuckle. But then one was vegetarian, and another felt like schnitzel, and I, well I'm not good at sticking with my plans when I order. Oftentimes, I'll decide on one thing, but then, on opening my mouth, something entirely different will come out. Normally the thing I would have ordered if the first was all run out. Or the thing that I was thinking of ordering but decided against for some unknown reason.

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Knuspriger Schweinebauch

In this instance, instead of pork knuckle, I said "Pork belly please!" and was instantly confused and delighted at my choice. I had come to eat crackling, you see. Crackling and rich, moist, fatty pork. So whilst mutterings of knuckle were floating around, I was dreaming of boneless knuckle. Preferably boneless, easy to eat knuckle. And potatoes. Because what kinda German meal happens sans potatoes?

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inside - check out that fat!

The Knuspriger Schweinebauch is otherwise known as Crackling Roast Pork Belly with Löwenbräu Bier Sauce, Sautéed Potatoes & Red Cabbage. It is also a good couple of dollahs cheaper than its knuckly friend. And it is oh so tasty! Having had the knuckle before, the obvious differences were the lack of bone and the state of the crackling. Whilst the knuckle has crispy, melty crackling, the belly has that hard, shatter-when-you-bite-into-it crackling that is so often found at local RSLs. The meat is whiter here too, instead of the brown meat that is found in the knuckle. All good things really, so I can't (also won't) choose one over the other as an ultimate winner. Guess I'll just have to order them in an alternating sequence :)

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Löwenschnitzel

One times schnitzel was ordered. And then one times giant-plate-filling schnitzel arrived. For half a second, all I could think was "Oh my goodness! If that's a chicken breast, how big must that bird have been?!" And then I realised that it was a pork schnitzel, and that I was clearly species confused. But think about it, if it was chicken, you'd be pretty freaked out too right? I think right.

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Spaetzle

The spaetzle was served to the lone vegetarian, accompanied by a little side salad. I stared at it, perhaps a little too intently, as it was tasted. "So... what does it taste like?" I asked, hoping for wonder from the mysterious cheesy worms. "Mac & cheese" she replied. "Oh." said I. And it wasn't finished, the cheesiness getting to its consumer.

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Schlachtplatte

One schlachtplatte was ordered by one times hungry boy. "Please, help yourselves" said he, "My brother finished one once, and I'm gonna try. But I don't know that I can". It looks small enough from the top, but from the side, its a whole different story.

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the side view

Described only as "Löwenbräu's Selection of Bavarian Specialities – Sausages, Chicken Schnitzel, Roast Pork Belly Served with Mashed Potato and Sauerkraut", what the menu doesn't tell you that it's enough for two (the version for two is enough for three) and that, when served, it will take up three times as much room as any other dish.

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schlachtplatte fail

It also doesn't tell you that even when one times hungry, and determined, boy tries with all his might to eat it, assisted in part by one times spam-curious girl and a couple of other pickers, he will leave some spam behind. And some belly. And some other assorteds. And a whole lotta sauerkraut. And half a boat of gravy.

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Schweinshaxn

But onto what everybody else came for. Knuckle. Beautifully described as Oven Roasted Pork Knuckle with Sauerkraut, Löwenbräu Bier and Mashed Potato. But more fondly known as knuckle made from pig. With crackly crackling. And lotsa potato.

You've probably already heard enough about pork knuckle here, and here so (much as I believe them true) I won't repeat the "crackly goodness" ramblings and the declarations of "moist moist pork!" I will say that if you are a pig-eater, then you should try this. At least once. Maybe twice just to be sure. Three times is ok, as long as the visits are spaced out *winks & points*.

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the table

Of course, no-one (and I mean no-one) was allowed to eat anything until their meal had been thoroughly (and studiously) photographed by all in attendance. Much to teh amusement of the lederhosen clad dudes and the busty beer wenches (one of whom took an especial shining to the orderer of the big-plate-of-meat and popped by regularly to ask how his meal was going. He mostly replied with "Nghhhurmph *swallow* good thanks".

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kitsch table dressings. flowers = not real.

Lowenbrau Keller
Corner of Playfair & Argyle Streets
The Rocks
Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
ph 02 9247 7785

7 bites more:

Babydoll's Project 365 said...

love your writing !! xx

chocolatesuze said...

BWAHAHAHAHAHA oh dude you crack me up so much!

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Hehe look at all of that gorgeous meat! I like the look of the giant square of pork belly :)

Y said...

Heh. I'm still not tired of seeing pictures of *that* pork knuckle!

Arwen from Hoglet K said...

Goodness, the servings are huge! I feel sorry for your poor vegetarian.

FFichiban said...

Hee hee oh Shez we must dine out again soon! Haha I would call them He-wenches ;) and I need to train harder Grrr

shez said...

Babydoll's Project 365: thankyou! that's so sweet of you :)

chocolatesuze: it was my unintentional ordering, wasn't it. i can't help it!

Lorraine: y'know, when it came out, i thought "that isn't so much food". but then it was.

Y: isn't it gorgeous!

Arwen: as did i. but i love mac&cheese (it makes me feel queasy but i love it anyway!)

FFichiban: yesyes! we should! and i like he-wenches. i shall call them that from now on. (and yesyes! train stomachs!)

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