Hofbrauhaus – The Overview…
Food: Bauernfruhstuck, Fruhstucksteller, Kaiserschmarrn
Having been to Hofbrauhaus previously, we knew it stuck fairly traditionally to its German roots, yet for some reason I was still shocked when I saw the menu. “It’s like…” thoughtful pause, “it’s like breakfast in Germany”. I think I’d become so used to menus being heavily Melbournised, both through utilising local produce and through trying to water down cooking traditions to make them appeal more widely that I was shocked that they’d really stuck to their roots with the most Melbourne of meals – brunch.
Having said that, there’s some wiggle room here. Look to the left of the menu and you’ll find cold cuts, bratwurst and everything you’d see on a German breakfast table, to the right they’ve taken the German ingredients and brunchified them slightly. Totally different from its rambunctious atmosphere in the evenings, it had a calm and relaxing cafe vibe, making the most of the space for its Sunday brunch.
Drink-wise, don’t worry as you can still grab your caffeine fix, although you might prefer to wash brunch down with a mimosa or to quote Hofbrauhaus “the Bavarian’s most favourite breakfast drink” a Weissbeer. On the suggestion of the super helpful staff we tried the Mimosa and the Hugo. Both are great, light refreshing drinks well chosen as a brunch accompaniment. On an aside, there’s no pretension that you should understand the brunch menu here and staff are eager to introduce you to their culture and explain what to expect from dishes so you can be confident in what you’re ordering even if the dishes may be a little unfamiliar.
We decided to stick with tradition and tried the Bauernfruhstuck, Fruhstucksteller and the Kaiserschmarrn. This led us to a great brunch that inspired reminiscences about travels around Europe. As well as nailing the food, Hofbrauhaus have also managed to perfect that Bavarian atmosphere of relaxed mornings and jovial evenings. Honestly this is one of the most enjoyable brunches I’ve had this year. They managed to make me feel as though I’m not working – which is a pretty huge feat.
The Bauernfruhstuck – fried eggs with pan fried potatoes and a Bretzel is such a German dish. Bavarian cuisine is one of the few I feel aims to make fried food not greasy. These delicious thinly sliced potatoes served with thick cut bacon bits are well seasoned and so moreish. This dish warms you and fills you up but doesn’t leave you feeling overwhelmed. The warm Bretzel makes me want to rescind my vows of no bread and order one for brekkie every day (please don’t try and do this, they only do brunch on Sundays).
The fruhstucksteller is exactly what I dream of when I think of German (or indeed European) breakfast. A huge range of cold cut meats, hard boiled eggs, pickled Veg, cheese and rye. I used to raid the fridge as a kid to try and create my own breakfasts like this and I love the lightness and variety of a dish such as this. There’s plenty on it for $16.50 too. It was much more filling than expected.
Finally we tried the Kaiserschmarrn – a traditional take on pancakes. I was expecting a kind of mushy looking Eton mess and instead ended up with a beautifully plated pancake dish. There’s quite a sweetness to the whole dish, but the fried pancakes themselves are quite neutral. Dished out with fresh berries it was another light dish – really impressive coming from a place that until now had specialised in heavy German dinner food. I’ve not been this seriously impressed with a new menu for a while and Hofbrauhaus should be top of everyone’s new brunch places to try this year (I know, I’ll update our list when I get a minute to).
Address: 18/28 Market Lane, Melbourne
Mon 12pm to 12am
Tue 12pm to 12am
Wed 12pm to 12am
Thu 12pm to 12am
Fri 12pm to 12am
Sat 12pm to 12am
Sun 11am to 12am
Note: Brunch is available Sunday only from 11am to 3pm. Read our review of Hofbrauhaus dinner menu.
Parking: There is ample paid parking nearby.
Getting here on PT: Being central on Market Lane it’s a short walk from almost all CBD public transport. Your closest is probably an 86 or 96 tram – alighting at Russell Street. Train wise, it’s a short walk from Parliament station.
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of Hofbrauhaus, Melbourne. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a cafe won’t change including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting.