The renowned Munich-style restaurant, situated in a very fitting stone cobbled street in The Rocks is always buzzing with liveliness. Lowenbrau Keller has been on my list since the International Beer Festival at the Argyle.
What I love about German food is how they treat their meat and let it shine in their dish. They definitely don’t hold back on anything; sauce, meat or seasoning – it’s all there!
It’s a pleasure to see the Lowenbrau embracing the culture of The Rocks and the sandstone environment works in their favour as a Keller . The waitstaff wore traditional German style clothing and the establishment itself boasts loud music, jugs of beer and a hearty crowd.
We are ID’d at the door (families take note) before we were greeted with a scowling and eye-rolling front of house hostess who responded to our request with an abrupt, “You’ll have to wait”.
Our reservation apparently meant nothing in this establishment as we realised it had an air of profit-over-service atmosphere. Just before we could mention we had a reservation, she hustled us and a few other couples into a table. It was almost like she was herding sheep.
We were originally seated squished between two couples on a long 6 seater table, feeling like we were sharing a picnic bench and bracing the chilly elements, we weren’t happy.
We kindly asked if there we could be accommodated elsewhere she bluntly said “There are no other seats” and walked away.
We then approached another waitress with the same request and she found for us respite from the winter’s night downstairs in the inside restaurant.
Although she was a little more accommodating, she wasn’t much friendlier.
At least we were finally seated, warm and were mildly amused by the German entertainment.
Our waiter that served us that evening was much kinder. He was a little stressed but very helpful and friendly with all our needs. He was also genuinely German!
Repeating our mispronounced orders with fluent ease, he was the first to always greet us with a smile and attend to all our needs.
Of course we couldn’t go to Lowenbrau without getting a beer!
I started with a 300ml Franziskaner mango weizen (basically beer with mango juice) and my partner had the 500ml Lowenbrau original.
The mango weizen was inspired by my recent fruit juice beer experience with Zeven Lemon’s Strawberry Beer. I really like the sweet and smooth addition that fruit juice has with beer. It really adds that summer feel and opens up wider options especially if you don’t like cider.
The Lowenbrau mango beer was also deliciously sweet and light – the nectar made the drink really smooth but with that slight beer fizz.
The Lowenbrau original was nutty, malty and incredibly crisp. As experienced with the recent international beer festival, the Lowenbrau know their beer.
The menu boasts a wide range of authentically German styled food, perfect for beers and indulgence. Be warned – this is definitely not a place for vegetarians or patrons with high cholesterol.
As we browsed through the menu, the sounds of chatter, music and food bounced off the stone walls and we really felt like we were in a Vikings’ den.
A starter of warm pretzels came in a timely manner making a nice accompaniment with our beers and a good starter to clear the palate for the meal to come. As we watched the entertainment of yodelling, dancing and chugging beer, we couldn’t help but notice that the staff were frantic.
The amount of people the Lowenbrau has cramped into such a beautiful space really takes away from the atmosphere and pushes their staff to the limit.
Due to the poor staffing, there were bound to be mistakes and sure enough we had our orders constantly confused with our neighbours or from completely different tables.
However it did score us some free pretzels.
As time ticked on, the beers disappeared, the pretzels disappeared and the loud entertainment taunted on an empty stomach.
We were seated at 8pm.
It came to 8:30…
and then 9:15 when our order finally came.
We ordered a share platter to satisfy our huge cravings but as the time ticked on waiting over an hour for food, you lose your appetite.
In addition to the food being late, it was lukewarm.
Their “famous pork knuckle” was sinewy and the crackling was hard as a rock as it was obviously resting for a long time. The gravy was watery and flavourless, and the other meats were just overloaded with salt.
I was very disappointed to see this ‘German’ establishment disrespect their meat and produce so much that it became a dry, salty mess. It was almost inedible. If it weren’t for our hunger we probably wouldn’t have eaten it. We finished our meal with 3/4s of it left behind due to the combination of a tasteless meal and loss of appetite.
I often don’t mind waiting for food, but it should be worth the wait. It should be hot and delicious, and the Lowenbrau didn’t tick any of those boxes. I understand that it’s a pub style menu but I’ve had pub fries that were better quality than what we had.
I’m a big fan of apple and pastry and was looking forward to having the apple strudel but considering the unfriendly staff, the wait for food and the overall quality, I decided to finish the meal here. It wasn’t worth the gamble.
Looking around at the drunk crowd it was obvious that you have to be in that mood to enjoy this establishment. It was very loud, and extremely cramped – definitely not recommended for young families. I don’t usually enjoy establishments that sacrifice their patrons experience and quality of food for profit.
The staff were rude beyond belief and the service and quality of food left me in disbelief. I would have had a better experience at a local fast food outlet.
I am in awe of how people have rated and raved about this place, but for me the service killed it from the second we walked in.
I would highly recommend NOT to come here. Unless you’re just in it for the beer.