Dining / Wunderbar taste of authentic Bavarian

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THE chandelier above the bar holds more than 500, one-litre, glass steins. The beer flows. The meat dishes abound.

Wendy Johnson.

The Bavarian Woden, like the other 29 locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane, puts its heart and soul into making you believe you’re in the heart of the Alps at an Oktoberfest. You feel free to swig beer and even break out in song. 

Twenty beers are on tap, many imported and served in authentic beer steins, including Lowenbrau, Stiegl and Hofbrau. The Bavarian also offers local craft beers and limited wines.

The Bavarian dishes up a good helping of German hospitality. The menu is designed around modern Bavarian classics – all matching perfectly with beer. It’s heaven for meat lovers, including all-you-can-eat meat platters on Wednesdays ($35 per person).

The melt-in-the-mouth pork knuckle… the mash was super creamy, sauerkraut authentic and apple compote not too sweet and with a lovely hint of cinnamon. Photo: Wendy Johnson

Rev up your tastebuds with a house-made pretzel with butter ($5) or a giant one if you prefer, served also with pickled cucumber and sweet mustard ($11.50). Then move on to signature dishes such as schnitzels (nine types, all $32) and crispy pork knuckle.

The pork knuckle is where my dining partner started (small serve $28; large $36). The meat was melt-in-the-mouth. The mash was super creamy, sauerkraut authentic and apple compote not too sweet and with a lovely hint of cinnamon. The dish didn’t disappoint on the “crispy promise”.

The mini pure pork sizzler sausages… moist and seasoned with a secret line up of herbs, spices and marjoram. Photo: Wendy Johnson

I was in for sausages (six types are on the menu, all $25.50), attracted to the char-grilled Nurnberger. The five mini pure pork sizzler sausages were moist and seasoned perfectly with a secret line up of herbs, spices and marjoram. There’s a choice of sides. 

The Bavarian has a prime possie on ground level, Bradley Street. It’s the only Canberra location so far.

It’s a social place with heaps happening and loads of specials (it’s hard to keep it all straight). Think $10 lunch specials Monday to Thursday, free snacks daily from 4pm to 6pm (conditions apply) and a happy hour daily with $5 beers, house wine, basic spirits and $1 chicken wings. Kids under 12 eat free Sundays from the Kinder menu.

If you dare (or are just plain crazy), you can try to demolish the Schnitzelmeister ($80; bookings essential). The challenge is to single-handedly eat a six-stack of chicken schnitzel with ham, cheese and four sides in one hour and you get your meal “on the haus”. Lucky that Woden hospital is nearby!

The Bavarian Woden got smashed when it first opened. You couldn’t get a seat if you didn’t reserve or weren’t willing to wait and then wait some more for a table. Best to book. Dining is indoors and outdoors. 

Westfield Woden, Philip Street. Open Monday to Sunday, 11am to late.

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Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson: Food reviewer for Canberra CityNews magazine since 2004, covering stories for true foodies to digest.

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