Come to daddy!
Who says brown food is hard to photograph and always look ugly? I'll say give me more of those golden brown crunchy crackling please, and I ain't sharing! But you can never be too careful, especially when dining with a group of food bloggers. Wait, rephrase - especially when I am dining with a group of DRUNK food bloggers at the nuffnang Christmas party last year. While Howard organised the nuffnang drink party at Settlement Bar, Linda is in charged of the after-party dinner (no, not after-dinner party) and already booked a table at Bavarian Bier Cafe. I am sure the others would agree with me that the Bonny & Clyde of the EatShow&Tell team has definitely done a great job of organising the whole event and it was one of the best if not the drunkest evening we've had.
The short walk from Sussex St to the Bavarian Bier Cafe on O'Connell St has become twice as long including bouncing off artwork in dark laneway, making wrong turns and stumbling all the way to the restaurant. We are the last group to arrive while the others already seated ready to order. The Bavarian Bier Cafe on O'Connell St has its own dining area downstairs with an open plan kitchen, away from the noisy bar area, not like the one on York Street which has both restaurant and bar area on same floor, conversation is almost impossible in the non-noise insulation space.
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The whole night was a little hectic with over 20 bloggers seated across a long table, the length of the restaurant space. I feel sorry for the waitress who is having trouble to take down orders from everyone as most are more interested in chatting away than paying attention to the menu. Eventually we got there, with few orders sent in 10 minutes late and surprisingly the food are still come to the table all at once, an organised kitchen functioned like a well-oiled machine definitely knows how to handle a tough situation like tonight.
I was already over my alcohol limit at the previous venue as I am driving tonight, so I just settled on soft drink for the rest of the night. ChocolateSuze orders the Franziskaner Mango Weissbier, the pale wheat beer are mixed with a splash of mango juice. A sweet refreshing beer perfect for the hot summer evenings Sydney has encountered off late.
Boys will be boys, R1 and R2 are having a manhood bonding this evening and both toasting at each other with one huge 1 litre jug of Hofbrau Dunkel with such force, beer was spilling and splashing everywhere at the table, a disaster bound to happen. Before the food arrived, both already sculled half of the beer down.
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The food at Bavarian Bier Cafe is not for the faint-hearted, you would understand why when the food arrives at the table. The portion size is something worth raving about. Simon's chicken schnitzel arrives in the size of his head! Okay, maybe I exaggerated a little, but it was huge, 'mkay? The schnitzel is pan fried to an evenly golden brown crispy skin, served on a bed of hot chips even though it says French fries on the menu. A wedge of lemon on top for that optional zing.
My heart just skipped a bit when the waitress placed that humongous piece of crackling roast pork belly right in front of me. The hunk of meat is at least two inches thick, served with Granny Smith apple compote, pickled red cabbage and sauteed baby potatoes. But my eyes is fixated on that layer of golden blistered skin. The crackling is thick and hard, the only way to tackle it is by jabbing the knife into it, immediately the crackling shattered into pieces. Oh, the sound of bliss... The pork belly is so tender and juicy with marble layers of fat rendered around it, and the pork crackling is simply orgasmic on every crunch. I think I've gone to heaven and back. Did I mention the portion is huge here? I was struggling to finish it, eventually I had to sacrifice and left half of the potatoes and cabbage untouched.
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Surprisingly, the ninja's Swiss Schnitzel is not as big compared to Simon's chicken schnitzel on its own. But after wrapping the chicken schnitzel with double-smoked leg ham, smothered with a molten layer of melted cheese, then served on a bed of potato salad; you seriously don't want it to be any bigger.
The 'touch of green' on the Jäger Schnitzel that Ellie orders is just an illusion to think it is a healthier option. Think again. The pan-fried veal is served on a muddle of creamy mushroom sauce, and a bed of sauteed potato salad is nicely blended in with the brown colour sauce and hidden underneath the schnitzel.
But it is the Munich Brewers Platter that steals the show of this evening. Helen, Shez and Suze decided to share one serve of the platter between them two. Yes, one serve! What you are looking at in the photo above is for one person! If you are game, then you will be rewarded with a decent portion of Chicken Schnitzel served with green salad; a sampling size of the crackling roast pork belly with Granny Smith apple compote and red cabbage (never share this I strongly suggest); a selection of german sausages are resting on the Sebago mash and finally slices of chargrilled Kassler on a bed of sauerkraut. Blame the canapes we've had at the drink party prior, as the girls are struggling to finish the platter. Eventually I was helping them out, nibbling on the leftovers.
The food at Bavarian Bief Cafe is decent and definitely better than other establishments in Sydney that served similar kind of Bavarian food. Tuesday's $15 giant Schnitzel and Schnapps Challenge is always a great night out with friends or colleagues. But make sure you go with an empty stomach, I did say the servings here are HUGE!
Bavarian Bier Cafe - O'connell Street 16 O'Connell Street Sydney, NSW 2000
Phone: 02 9221 0100
Open hours - 9am till late