Melbourne – The Hof Downtown Relaunch
Words by Celeste Iuliano
Images Courtesy of Jim Lee & Thomas Bindley
Celeste headed to the Relaunch gig at Melbourne’s The Hof Downtown last week and tucked into Bavarian beer and bretzels…and as the pics suggest, a whole lot more!
October is officially underway with Melburnians plunging into the spirit of Oktoberfest! What better time could there be for the relaunch of The Hof Downtown? The German bar and restaurant is the trendy little sister of Melbourne institution The Hofbräuhaus. Perched in the heart of the Docklands, The Hof was abuzz with footy fans and the after-work crowd before forced to close for flood renovations in March.
That same festive atmosphere was definitely present at the reboot last week, when I turned up to find the party in full swing. With one foot barely in the door, I predictably gravitated to the giant wall of bretzels, warm and chewy – a dream come true – and made sure to grab a stein of weissbier to wash mine down. The Hof boasts ten imported Bavarian boutique beers on tap so, of course, I took the opportunity to follow it up with a dark weissbier for comparison. It smelt surprisingly like toffee!
The evening’s menu showcased the hearty German fare and European-inspired staples that The Hof is known for. Rich chicken liver pâté and cheeses, crispy schnitzel and lemon wedges, beef consommé served with style in a shot glass, salmon with mint and roe, fresh oysters, and flourless chocolate cake to finish. My favourite dish was the mixed skewer of grilled, traditional sausages. A mini version of the sausage platter (yes, there are that many types of German sausages!), it features two types of bratwurst and a kasekrainer. Be sure to have a serviette on hand, though – the kasekrainer is filled with liquid cheese, and things can get a little messy!
Bavarian beer halls are famed meeting grounds for friends, and The Hof’s regular menu certainly encourages a sharing culture. If you head over for lunch or dinner, you can tackle the 1.5kg roast pork knuckle with sauerkraut and mashed potato or the käsespätzle, rich, baked egg noodles with cheese.
Considering the lively vibe, you may even make some new friends to help you out.
**Celeste was a guest of Helen Reizer hrpr/The Hof Downtown
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