If you couldn’t make it to Munich earlier this year to celebrate Oktoberfest with the six million others that annually partake in the world’s largest Volksfestival, don’t pack your dirndl away just yet! Unlike Europe, where Oktoberfest has just officially come to an end, Australia is still (unsurprisingly) kicking on and there are plenty of venues where you can continue celebrating Wiesn.
One place mimicking the Bavarian culture particularly well is located right here in Sydney. You’ll be seated in a romantic Victorian-era railway carriage as opposed to traditional open-air, overcrowded tents.
I introduce to you, Platform One, at Bankstown Sports Club.
Having had the pleasure of being treated to their authentic three course German feast last week, I’m convinced that an Australian Oktoberfest would be incomplete without it.
First arrives a traditional German brezel (pretzel) accompanied by a Bavarian dip and butter. The dip, despite containing pickles (high on my ‘do not eat list’), is to die for. Lathered onto the brezel it’s tempting to consume the entire thing; however, my advice would be not to. You still have two more courses to consume, and the Stiegls of beer are ridiculously cheap. To fill up on the first course would be a rookie mistake.
When your main arrives, you’ll be thanking me for warning you against eating the entirety of your brezel, because in front of you sits a 1.2kg crackle encased pork knuckle accompanied by a bowl of sauerkraut, red cabbage and mash all cuddled together and sprinkled with shallots.
My ex-housemate use to eat sauerkraut from the jar and everything about it was displeasing, to be polite. Can we take a moment to recognise that Platform One’s Oktoberfest menu has, in two courses, made me WANT to eat the foods my parents tried to get me to eat for the whole of my childhood. Respect. The crackle is better than my Mum’s (touché Chef Helmut) and the meat is so tender I swear it fell off the bone by just looking at it.
There’s a rumour going around that someone, somewhere once finished their roasted pork knuckle, but I’m pretty sure it’s just an old wives’ tale. Oh and the pork knuckle has come straight from a German butcher in Mona Vale… could we get any more authentic?!
Just when you think you can’t possibly eat anything else, an apple raisin strudel arrives at your table. With vanilla bean gelato and whipped cream! If my colleague who accompanied me to the dining and hates sweet food (he was probably dropped as a baby) loved this dessert, most everyone will. It took a lot of willpower, but I managed to find space for that strudel and I’ve never looked back.
Oktoberfest in Australia, incomplete without a stop at Platform One, inside Bankstown Sports Club.
The Platform One Oktoberfest menu is available for lunch and dinner until Monday, 31 October. To book, call the club on 9722 9888.
4 Tips to Maximise your Oktoberfest Experience
1. Get in the spirit and wear the traditional attire
Events are so much more fun when they involve costumes, amiright?!
Ladies get out your dirndls, men pull on your Lederhosen - these outfits are guaranteed to triple the fun.
2. Line your stomach
Typically, Oktoberfest involves the consumption of large quantities of beer. It’s important to line your stomach if you want to make it through a day/night of celebrations.
Consider Bankstown Sport’s Club’s lunchtime feast instead of their dinner if you plan on pub crawling through the night.
3. Make sure your battery can keep up with you
If your battery dies, not only are you unable to Instagram your feast but you’re also unable to snapchat how cute you look in a dirndl! If your battery sinks into the dreaded red zone, adjusting a few settings could see your phone life last long enough to call an Uber home.
4. Have a signal
Consider employing a subtle signal amongst your closest friends that translates to, “I want out!” Beer goggles mean even your best friend might confuse the grimace on your face for one of enjoyment. If you need to escape a social situation, scratch your ear or stretch your arms. Agree on a physical cue that will result in an intervention.