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München Spaß (fun)

By Heather 28 Jan 2016

München is a Germanic food hall and bier haus brought to you by the Wellington Hospitality Group, the folks behind Coene’s, Bethel Woods and the Miramar Gasworks etc.

Munchen header

Apparently German bier halls are popping up left, right and centre around the world a’la the Irish pub, so they thought it’d be fun to create one here. München is the German spelling of Munich, which is the state capital of Bavaria, which is where most bier halls originated. Got all that? Good, lets continue (yes it made my head hurt for a moment too). 

The drinks are probably the main draw, however there’s a range of fun food to try as well, such as a whole pork knuckle (more later), a range of würstl sausages and schnitzels, salmon graved lachs (schnaps cured) knödel potato dumplings, spaetzle baby dumplings, radish salad, and more, nearly all served in stein-like proportions. 

But to start with the drinks. Over a couple of visits, we’ve managed to plough through a few (its okay, I'm still standing!) and can summarise thus:

  • The Rauchbier is indeed smokey.
  • The Hofbräu Schwarze Weiß was light and drinkable, with a golden caramel taste - München is one of the few nationally to have Hofbräu permanently installed.
  • The Schneider Aventinus Eisbock was marzipany as promised, and a silent troublemaker with an innocuous taste at 12% abv.
  • The Spiced Jäger handle had initial sweet spicy flavours followed by cider after-notes, and was an excellent complement to the pork knuckle (another silent troublemaker).
  • The De Kuyper apple schnaps was a perfect size and complement to the apfelstrudel.
  • You can also learn about the Reinheitsgebot German Beer Purity Law of 1516 at München, where it was decreed that beer be made only from water, barley and hops, to reduce the demand on wheat and rye sorely needed for bread making (clearly starving but well liquidated locals!).

In terms of the food, the odd thing has been moderated a little, but that’s typically to ensure no-one is frightened of traditional (read: sharp) flavours. 

Again in summary:

  • The various bangers and mash (würstl’s), were all very pleasant and comforting, with the specialty German meats from the Black Forest Butchery in Tauranga.
  • The sauerkraut was sweet and a little like caramelised onions.
  • The baked herb gnudi (German gnocchi) was plesasantly al dente and cheesy, complimented by the crispy side salad with radish.
  • The apfelstrudel was soft (usually crispy by tradition as far as I can tell) and very moorish. Do not share.
  • The bretzels come from Brezelmania here locally.
  • Sauces and most accompaniments are made in-house.
  • Do read the glossary of terms at the bottom of the menu, so you don’t get a surprise like my slightly-vegetarian-leaning stepdaughter who discovered that her frankfurt came on a meat salad!  

And finally, that pork knuckle (schweinshaxe). Historically a poor man’s food, they’re quite a sight to behold on the plate. You’ll find yourself hoovering through a giant hunk of tender fall-off-the-bone meat and miles of crunchy caramelised crackling, with sauerkraut and two varieties of spud (three if you count the side of fries ordered by the chip fiend, who surprisingly doesn't have Irish blood). 

My advice – share with a friend (or two) if you don’t want to be beached at München for the next week like a giant beluga.

The staff were very helpful and pleasant on each visit, and well able to help with food and drink recommendations. And do keep an eye out for the events coming your way soon. Firstly the Seven Days of Sevens Festival this week/weekend, Maybock in May (the baby brother to Oktoberfest), various Pulse netball events (they’re an official sponsor) and of course, Oktoberfest.

There’s also a regular competition for the best photo of Wellingtonians at München with their stein. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for details.

Keen to hear what you think about Queen’s Wharf’s newest addition.

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