Where - L1, Highpoint Shopping Centre, 120-200 Rosamond Rd. Maribyrnong
Price - $28.50, Fries and Salad extra
Website - http://www.thebavarians.com/
Reviewers – Adam T, Lee & Nikki
Before we get started just a heads up, for this review we visited the Bavarian at Highpoint Shopping Centre in Maribyrnong, however there are 16 other Bavarians dotted around Australia (mostly in NSW and QLD) - Check the website to find your closest one.
So a little over a month ago we reviewed The Highpoint Hotel, newly revamped sports bar in the entertainment district of Highpoint Shopping Centre, after finishing up our meal and heading outside I noticed that the old Hog’s Breath Cafe that used to be next door was boarded up and in its place were photos advertising a new beer hall coming soon, however all the imagery seemed to be beer and sausage focussed, I didn’t connect the dots that the Bavarian would probably have a schnitzel or two on the menu.
I found myself at Highpoint again last week, but this time the Bavarian was open…
As far as beer halls go the Bavarian has nailed the vibe perfectly. It feels modern, while retaining that classic beer hall feel, with long picnic tables throughout the space as seating options it gives it a much more communal feel when it gets busy as you’re essentially drinking with everyone else at the pub (and for you anti-social folks there are single tables available too).
While looking at the new digs I checked out the menu and noticed an entire section dedicated to schnitzels. It was … Formidable.
With an impressive list of schnitzels confirmed (Including a specifically named Parmigiana) I scheduled a visit to the Bavarian as fast as I could, so last week we loaded up the parma bus and again found ourselves at Highpoint Shopping Centre.
There are 17 taps gracing the bar at the Bavarian, to be honest I’d expect nothing less from an establishment touting itself as a “Beer Hall”, and to be honest, they definitely bring it. All 17 beers are available in 300ml, 500ml and 1L steins, as well as a 2L table keg or a 1L glass boot akin to the one used in the finale of the movie Beerfest.
I won’t even begin to try and rattle off the list of beers available at the Bavarian as there are a lot of German words I will no doubt mis-spell (there’s a PDF on their website if you want to check it out), However I will say that whatever size, flavour or alcohol content of beer you’re feeling like I have no doubts you’ll find something for you at the Bavarian.
We ordered our meals at the bar along with a couple of boots of beer (pictured above) our beers were poured, we walked back to our table and our parmas arrived as we sat down. I honestly thought there was a mistake at the kitchen as there was no way our parmas could be ready so soon.
It couldn’t have been more than four minutes, five if I’m being generous.
This was a massive red flag in my eyes as there’s no possible way our order could be ready that quickly unless they were pre-cooking the schnitzels. Don’t get me wrong, I love a speedy parma, but when the meal gets back to my table after I order faster than I do … That’s less of a restaurant experience and more of a fast food vibe. It could be fine, but it just doesn’t sit well.
A little bit thrown, we picked up our cutlery and tucked in. It was real chicken breast, each plate around the table had a uniquely shaped piece of chicken as the foundation of their parma so they get points there, but other than that I wasn’t a huge wrap for the schnitzel. It was dry, the crumbing was thick and lacked any crunch. As I was kind’ve expecting it didn’t taste fresh.
In my eyes a Bavarian restaurant should have the highest calibre of schnitzel available, especially for the premium we paid for the experience (I’ll get to that later), pre-cooking parmas is an unacceptable practice, especially for a restaurant that should be hailing its schnitzels as a flagship item.
It was big enough, but not huge. With all of the sides combined I definitely walk away from the table hungry.
I don’t have many criticisms on the toppings. Other than needing another minute or so under the grill the cheese blend was flavoursome, with good parma coverage and had a nice gooey stretch to it. The napoli was a little less noteworthy - Nothing about it I disliked, but also nothing to comment on. It was fine.
No ham on this parma, which I definitely missed, especially when paying so much for the parma, I would expect them to pull out all of the stops and deliver a second to none parma experience.
Normally this is where I’d write about the chips, however the Bavarian does things a little differently. The base price on the menu for the parma ($28.50) gets you the parma itself and a side of coleslaw, nowhere on the menu is the side of coleslaw mentioned so I was under the impression that we needed to order multiple sides to fill out the meal. The menu lists three options of “Carbs” for you to add - Fries, Potato Salad and Mash, $2 extra each. For last nights meal I went with a side of fries and a side of potato salad (pictured above, the potato salad was under the parma, not visible in the photo) while reviewers Nikki and Adam went with the mash, Adam also getting the potato salad for good measure.
Overall I enjoyed my selection of carbs. The chips were well seasoned and the side of tomato sauce was appreciated. Despite (mostly) being served not underneath the parma they were a little bit soggy, but overall a quality side.
The potato salad was also great, taking me back to the old Prince of Wales days, I was reminded just how well a bit of spud salad pairs with a parma. Excellent.
I didn’t try any of the mash myself, but word around the table came back pretty positive. “Creamy” and “Really garlic-y” were two of the most used comments, seemed like a decently sized serve as well.
We’ve been on a bit of a run of coleslaws lately! In the last month we’ve had the Highpoint Hotel, The Park and Hardimans all serving up slaw in place of garden salad. How does the Bavarian stack up? Also pretty good! Much like what I heard about the mash it was also choc-full of garlic, so maybe avoid if you have a job interview in the near future, but it was fresh, flavoursome, maybe a little heavy handed on the aforementioned garlic but overall a refreshing side dish that worked well with the parma.
Value is a tough one this week. $28.50 for a parma is damn pricey. Throw in another $2 for chips and another $2 for potato salad and you’re looking at $32.50 for a parma with chips and salad, making this the most expensive non-novelty parma we’ve ever done. Ever.
So the big question - Is it worth the price? To be honest, in it’s current state I wouldn’t recommend it. I really don’t want to harp on about the price but for over thirty dollars I want the mother-flippin’ Cadillac of parmas on my plate, not something pre-cooked, slapped together and shoved out of the kitchen before I can even get back to my table.
I noticed a “2-for-1 schnitzel Tuesdays” on the list, I’m not sure if this extends to parmas but I would assume so? If you want to try the parma at the Bavarian and not break the bank that would be the time to drop in.
Oddly enough the Bavarian has a weird tie-in deal with the Qantas Frequent Flyers club, wherein you can spend 4000 points to get $20 off your meal, or in turn you can earn 2 Frequent Flyer points for every $1 spent at the Bavarian… Fair enough I guess?
The Bavarian is a fantastic looking pub that I can’t wait to head back to for another boot or two. It’s a super fun, friendly atmosphere and an awesome place for a session. I had three different sides to my parma (chips, salad, potato salad) and they were all delightful, and reports back on the mash seem to indicate the same. The one spot the Bavarian falls down is with the parma itself. You just can’t send out pre-cooked schnitzels at such a premium price. When the bulk of your menu is either Sausages or Schnitzels you have to kind' of nail it when you come to such a key aspect.
The old adage is “good food takes time to prepare” I don’t need my parma on my table in 5 minutes. Slow it down, take your time, I’m happy to wait if it means you get it right.