The extraordinary restaurant renovations that have dominated Westfield Miranda this year are drawing to a conclusion, with the jewel in the crown, the rooftop Bavarian Bier Café, having most recently opened.
Prepare for a meat feast.
Having opened just in time for Oktoberfest, the Bavarian Bier Café transports you to a little village in the hills of Bavaria - salted pretzel stand and all.
There were 44 barrels of beer on the wall...
Passing through the blue barn doors, an authentic Bavarian beer hall; with long, wooden tables, blue and white Bavarian flags, the Bavarian lion emblem and beer steins everywhere greets you. As you walk in, the smell of meat wafts, and heat radiates from the large ovens. Beer barrels act as fitting décor and even hang in clusters from the roof.
Keep the beers flowing.
Of course, you can’t have a beer hall without a 'biergarten'. The café is open on the North-facing side, allowing patrons to flow out onto a little beer garden and take in the rooftop views over the Sutherland Shire.
While the menu at the Bier Café maintains its German influence, they have recently made a concerted effort to make their offerings more family friendly by adding a 'modern favourites' menu which includes salads and seafood, for those less inclined towards bratwurst and sauerkraut.
Schultz goes Americana.
On my maiden visit, I chose the schultz burger ($9); a tasty, simple burger comprising of a beef patty, onions, mustard and cheese. The meat was perfectly cooked and I enjoyed the little pieces of charred glaze that clung to the edges of the patty. Although this burger is essentially a cheese burger, it did include a nicely caramelised sauerkraut. The Schultz, although described as a ‘slider’ was as big as a regular sized burger, so prepare to be quite full.
I also had the opportunity to sample the pork knuckle, which comes in two sizes; the half knuckle ($27), or the full knuckle ($34). After seeing both sizes, I wouldn’t recommend undertaking the larger size - that is unless you're wanting to eat a kilo of pork knuckle of course. The pork is beautifully tender, but the best thing is the thick, crunchy layer of crackling.
'A' is for alcoholic apples.
Rounding out the traditional menu are schnitzels. The schnitzels at the Bavarian Bier Café are authentic, delicious and enormous - easily stretching from one end of the dinner plate to the other. If the traditional German fare isn't whetting your appetite though, you can always have your own custom made salad or wrap ($15) made up.
Fill 'er up!
Of course, you can’t have a German beer hall without beer, and here. the specialty beer menu is almost as long the food menu, if not longer. All the drinks come in 300ml, 500ml and 700ml sizes - so you don’t need to be intimidated by those gigantic beer steins if you aren’t a big drinker. I settled on half a litre of apple cider ($11.5) which was tasty, although the apples natural alcohol of 4.5% was evident.
As you’d expect of a beer hall; they know how to drink, and they know how to celebrate. Cows bells ring in quick succession when people order shots, with the brightly coloured drinks delivered on a paddle.
The Bavarian Bier Café, despite being a beer hall, has conjured up an authentic experience that is fun for everyone (families take note, it can get pretty rowdy though). With a great selection of food and drink it's easy to see why there are queues out the door most weekend nights. Though it'd be interesting to see how this place fares after the Oktoberfest/grand opening novelty wears off, for now, it’s beers all 'round.
Where: Level 4, Westfield Miranda, 600 The Kingsway, Miranda, 2228.
Cost: Drinks from $7, entrées from $6, mains from $9.
When: Sunday - Thursday 11am - 10pm. Friday and Saturday from 11am - midnight.
Good for kids: Yes
Take away: Yes - Schnell is a small hotdog/pretzel/beer stand outside that is specifically for take away orders.