A 900-seater German beerhall with more steins and pork dishes that you can poke a pretzel at.
September 04, 2014
From the outset, it's hard not to be impressed by this place. It's a 900-seater, authentically-styled German beerhall just a short walk from the CBD. It has an enormous list of beers on tap, enough schnapps to get your Bavarian grandmother excited, and most things on the menu are in some way related to seasoned pork. Even when we announced its opening earlier in the year, thousands upon thousands of you started drooling over the prospect of hot pretzels and pig-bits.
So, the question remains: is it worth the hype? Yes! If you're prepared for what's ahead of you. This isn't a restaurant to just pop into on your way home from work. This is a destination. Whether it's for a birthday, a buck's night or a family reunion where you want everyone's mouth to be constantly full of food, Munich Brauhaus is a place to celebrate. Skip lunch, wear your stretchy pants and cancel work for the next day — you'll definitely be here for the long haul.
For the best possible experience, we encourage you to embrace your inner glutton. Choose whatever beer you want — it's a flawless selection — but choose a stein of it (approx. $19). While it would be worrying to order a jug of beer for yourself at any other venue, lifting this 1L glass will be met with cheers from fellow diners. Not to mention the approval of the house oomp-pah band as they serenade you with arm-swaying drinking songs. Proust!
When your attention is turned to the menu, don't be alarmed. The beer hasn't already worked its magic on your eyes, the dishes are traditional German fare with appropriately unpronounceable names. Meaty treats to start you off include knochenmark (roasted bone marrow) or gepresstes eisbein (ham hock terrine), and it's pretty much mandatory that everyone order a pretzel. These house-made beauties are honestly the best you'll get in Melbourne. Just do it. We're not even asking.
Main course will lead you into an impressive selection of schnitzels, sausages, and various pig-themed delights all served with traditional sides like braised red cabbage and sauerkraut. The suckling pig (either a single serving or half the motherflippin' pig) is a clear standout dish. Sourced locally, seasoned and cooked impeccably, it's the ultimate go-to for any Deutsch die-hard. But if you just can't decide, go for the Tasting Platter. With pork belly, sausages, pork knuckle, schnitzel, and various sides, it has something for everyone. Don't be put off by the price points either. While some meals will set you back around $30, the serving sizes are monumental. Trust us, it would take a tenth-generation Bavarian weightlifter to get through the suckling pig.
While we're a huge fan of the singing and the feasting and the general merriment that comes with this German wonderland, there was one thing that rubbed us the wrong way. From day one, it's been clear that this venue places extra emphasis on its female employees. While male workers don regular checked collared shirts, most women wear traditional Oktoberfest garb or similar shirts made in an unsubtle V-neck. It's tradition. It's part of the festivities. We get it. But when the venue asks punters to 'come in for a tall blonde', we can't help but feel a little irked out.
The pigs should be on the plate, not on the table next to us ogling the waitresses. It's a shame this detail rubs us the wrong way, because other than that, Munich Brauhaus is a lot of fun.