I must admit- uni assessments and everything aside- that the mid-September-October stretch is actually a pretty good time of year for me.
Good spring weather, good spirits and good company, and there’s no better way to celebrate than Oktoberfest (the girlfriend will dispute this, but it’s my blog post).
The most convenient place for us was lunch at Bavarian Bier Cafe’s most recent expansion in Chatswood. Having sampled the product from both the Bavarian‘s York and O’Connell branches in the City, it was interesting to see how this would compare.
After checking out the surroundings, we were enthusiastically invited to sit outside by the waiter, who was clad in an authentic Sound-of Music-inspired jumpsuit. We promptly obliged. Good Start. This was going to be fun.
My experiences of the Bavarian have always consisted of dining at a dimly lit, echoey bar (which admittedly has a charm and an atmosphere of its own) but not today. The spacious outdoor area was a fresh take- a chilled out contrast to the crowded pub decor of many bier cafes and taverns. We sat and strategized on how best to celebrate a mini-oktoberfest of our own off Bavarian’s oktoberfest menu.
Bavarian had an interesting promotion, selling a limited edition bier for every week of the festive month. I had the pleasure of ordering the Lowenbrau Oktoberfestbier. Exciting stuff! (you can’t be at a Bier cafe without a decent bier in hand right?)
Embodying its vibrant surroundings, the beer itself was light, fresh and hoppy- even the girlfriend didn’t mind it, and shes not usually a huge beer fan. It came with the trademark traditional salted dough pretzel, and despite the change in surroundings, there was no doubt in my mind that the Bavarian‘s young North Shore branch could definitely hold its own amongst its elder brothers in the CBD.
The meals came pretty quickly, so as always, ladies first.
She had the Beef Schnitzel, which, according to her… “didn’t live up to the hype”. Having a bite, I think i’d agree. The beef was a little bit on the dry side, and while it probably would be good in small pieces, I could imagine how it could be a bit of a challenge to finish off the whole thing. (A little bit of a disclaimer here- we’re both biased towards pork schnitzels and wanted to try something new, so if beef is your preference, were not stopping you.)
In contrast though, the Munich-style Meatballs with potatoes was amazing. Although relatively simple on paper, the spiced meatballs complemented the sliced potatoes, which, melted with cheese, was somewhere in between pomme frites and a good cheesy potato bake. I’m making myself hungry just by writing about it.
We were both too full to have dessert- a hearty meal characteristic of what is arguably Germany’s favourite time of the year.
If you’re after a nice, lively place to eat and to have a few laughs with friends; or if you’re just after a good, honest Bavarian meal with a difference- this place is worth a visit.
What we think: Whether you’ve undergone the Bavarian experience or not, this will be a fun place to check out. Foodwise, we were really happy with the Oktoberfest meatballs and bier but to be honest, I was a little bit disappointed with how the Beef Schnitzel turned out and I will probably be sticking to my old favourites. Worth a look!
Bavarian Bier Cafe Chatswood
1-5 Railway Street
Chatswood, NSW, 2067
(02) 8922 8100