Mr Wilson Speaks No Evil at Hophaus Bier Bar & Grill

Hophaus Bier Bar & Grill Southbank Mr Wilson logo

Good looking German model

They're at it again! I thought, as we entered the very impressive slick German gastro barn on Southbank, referring to the memory of the all conquering German soccer team.

This is a well trained venue that has done its homework on the tough Melbournian opposition. They've done it to a degree of efficiency that we should celebrate from our fun loving German cousins.

  • Uber Melbourne Architects (Madison)
  • Interesting & cool deco-inspired geometric design
  • Waterfront views
  • Expansive & social quality food + beverage on offer (probably the most important to get right!)

For me it demonstrates total commitment to the experience when you embrace authenticity of a celebrated food culture and back it up with a degree of quality!!

The night we visited sleepy Southbank, a wintery Thursday evening, Hophaus was humming along the Autobahn nicely and was noticeably the busiest venue on the strip. Which is certainly a good argument for the investment as there are so many notable drinking and dining options along the Southbank Promenade.

We were seated away from the impressive open kitchen for a pleasant riverside view. Our charming waiter was bright, friendly and attentive, dispatching an equally impressive graphically designed menu smorgasbord of tongue twisting treats. Kleines Essen anyone or some Fleischplatten perhaps?

Our waiter looked relieved by the lack of questions and rattled off some impressive specials. The menu explains the dishes with German efficiency, adapting classic Bavarian staples with the odd Haus Caesar salad, 'Hamburg' er and Wiener Schnitzel to sooth any corporate crowd.

We ordered The Escarpment Pinot Noir from N.Z $92 from a mostly elaborate list which featured many traditional Austrian, Alsace, and Germanic grape varieties - perfect for this type of food. Artisanal and priced accordingly.

The beers were of course impressive. A little tepid for my tastes but the glassware is authentic, terminator inspired, and with this kind of food...I’ll be back! As the menu offers great value across its range of food it’s a really good place to share a few platters and steins with a group.

I started with Pickled Herring w/ grilled bread $10 and drei Oysters fried in Weissbier batter, sauerkraut & dill $2.9 ea - all delicious and great value. Perfect imported Herrings, sweet, sour, fermented and funky. Not everyone’s cuppa but my European training guided me home with lashings of mustard and Pilsner. It seemed like a good idea at the time in such an impressive venue but I was hoping for delicate SA Coorong mullet with homemade pickles.

My wife enjoyed her Knödel, dumplings pan fried in bier butter, smoked hock. They looked fantastic Ja!! Fluffy looking corn dumplings floating in a clear hock infested broth with delicate watercress and celery leaves, presented very well.

The chefs are clearly very talented and well trained with presenting modern edgy foods, be it Germanic or hip gastropub. Typically, I doubt you'll be disappointed with the food on offer here. Although our only comment being a spoon for the delicious broth and perhaps more shortening for the slightly rubbery Knödel.

Our mains were dispatched, again, with impressive efficiency. I opted for the handsome looking Bavarian Platter $45, my wife chose the Weiner Schnitzel $26.5. The platter was sensibly sized displaying deft presentation and good purchasing. Wonderfully smoked kransky and powerfully beefy brisket stole the show, so delicious with the warm bretzel (a brioche type pretzel bread) and mustard flight extravaganza!

The Wiener schnitzel was a classic German, as opposed to classic Melbourne, a moderately sized and a tidy piece of cooking!

We had a break whilst studying desserts and schnapps, surveying the city skyline and bustling room. Surprisingly corporate and polite was the vibe but its post World Cup winter in Melbourne, not weekend abandon German techno and spring sunshine!

We decided to have the Apple Strudel, and of course we ordered an accompaniment of Apple Schnapps, a perfect authentic finish.

Everything was Wunderbar! We will certainly be back with fun loving German friends for the awesome looking wood fired rotisserie, pork knuckle, many fine sausages and beers.

In Summary...

What Wilson says - Impressive looking new age bier bar.

When can we go - Monday to Sunday: 11am till late;

Overall Rating

1 to 2 fish - Great    2.5 to 3.5 fish - Excellent    4 to 5 fish - Must Go!

Venue Info

Hophaus Euro Bar Bistro
Mid Level, Southgate Arts And Leisure Precinct
+61 3 9682 5900

Review by Paul Wilson

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