Pork knuckle, chicken schnitzels, roast pork belly or German sausages? Why choose when you can have them all in one plate?! The Pom, Helen (Grab Your Fork) and I found ourselves having a meat fest at Löwenbräu Keller at the Rocks.
We actually started the night earlier at The Argyle for a drink to farewell Ms Rice who is leaving the country to search for a new adventure in the UK. The hungry ones couldn't hold back, pay the high price and had their meals there, while those who are looking for cheaper option moved on to Lowenbrau for something more substantial.
I actually haven't been to Lowenbrau for ages. Last time, it was a creative team meeting upstair where we all shared a huge meat platter placed on top of wood stumps brought out by the boss himself. It sure was an impressive feast to impress the clients.
When I arrived, it is absolutely bustling with crowds in the restaurant area. It is so noisy that you have to shout to communicate. Through the archway towards Uber Bar, we found Helen standing there among the drunken crowd ready to order her pub meal. But she doesn't need much persuasions to follow us back to restaurant area and share a table for a sitting down meal.
Four rows of wooden tables stretched across the whole dining area, with a little stage at the far right corner for the Oom-pah-pah band. The mid-time entertainment of the Oom-pah-pah band with trombones and cowbells; plus involving live audience participation is rather disturbingly cringey. I am also rather surprise to see more than half of the patrons in the restaurant are asian Chinese. I guess fried food especially involved crackling goes hand in hand with asians, including myself.
The service is rather slow at times, we are handed out with the A3 size menu after a long wait and calling the waitress back to take our order proven even more difficult. On the other hand, making decision on what to order is rather effortless this time...
"Schlaaacchhhttt.... Plaaaaattte.... please!"
The tipsy Helen thinks is funny to put on her faux German accent and orders the big Schlachtplatte for three to share. The Schlachtplatte, roughly translated as "the slaughtered plate" is a German meat fest on a plate with a variety of meat and sausages. The Löwenbräu's version comes with a great selection of Bavarian specialties including chicken schnitzel, roast pork belly, leg ham, German sausages, Kassler and that holy crown of crackling pork knuckle takes the center throne. All spread out on a bed of mashed potato and sauerkraut, plus a little jug or gravy on the side, aplenty on the plate to share among three of us.
The German sausages consists of Bratwurst, Frankfurter and Nurnberger. They are simply stomach filler, goes well with the smooth potato mash. The chicken schnitzel is tender with a nice golden crust shield. It's a shame that there are way too many other meaty goodness on the plate to really pay much attention to it.
The highlights from the platter are definitely the pork belly and the pork knuckle. The tender meat of pork belly with a nice thin layer of crackling on top simply melt in the mouth, along with mash and sauerkraut. Helen regains her faith with the pork knuckle at Lowenbrau over too many disappointments with the dry knuckles from her last few visits. The pork knuckle tonight is not the most succulent, but at least it is not bone dry. A nice piece of crunchy crackling always soothes out the imperfection. The amount of meat is abundance. I was pretty full by the time I finished and leave Helen scraping off the bone marrow with a knife like an archaelogist.
Any room for dessert? If we must. From a table of three, ended up with a table of five, with monkeyboy and beardman helping out on the desserts. As usual, we all order different dessert so that we able to sample more varieties. The desserts arrived in huge portions, especially the tasting plate with chocolate mudcake with berry compote, rich and luscious in hot chocolate sauce; a generous slice of warm apple strudel served with berry sauce anglaise and whipped cream. The strudel has great cinnamon flavour and compacted with soft apples and raisin inside but I do wish the pastry can be bit more puffy and flaky. There is even a small pot of mixed berries ice cream on the side to go with the desserts.
Then we also ordered the bier battered apples served with crème anglaise and whipped cream. The apple donut rings are battered then deep-fried until golden brown. It is piping hot when it arrives on the plate. The apple inside is soft and really really hot! The best bit is the batter donut which is soft but crispy on the outside. The apple doughnuts best to be eaten immediately when still hot as it gets soggy quite quick and doesn't look very appealing after soaking up all sauce. We also share a slice of traditional Black Forrest Cake which is surprisingly good. The cake is light and moist with no trouble soaking up all the chocolate sauce on the plate.
We are truly well fed and satisfied by the time we finished. The restaurant also seems much quieter and only few tables left with customers chatting away before we all make our way home and kiss the Germans goodbye.
Lowenbrau Keller Corner of Playfair and Argyle Streets, The Rocks, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9247 7785
Open 7 days 9am til late
Live entertainment every night from 7pm
Late night menu available every Friday and Saturday 11pm til 2am