Hofbrauhaus, Squire’s Loft, The Imperial Hotel

This post covers 3 separate “White” dinners that took place sometime over winter in the CBD. There’s hearty German fare, bloody Aussie steaks and gargantuan portions of chicken parmagianas.

Hofbrauhaus
18-24 Market Lane
Melbourne
Vic 3000
+61 3 9663 3361
Hofbräuhaus on Urbanspoon

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Having left my previous workplace half a year ago, I still try and keep in touch with my ex-colleagues. Fakebooo, without a doubt, is one of them. Dinner was arranged for a small group at Hofbrauhas one evening but in the end, it was just Fakebooo, Roen and myself that night.

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(Left) Arcobräu Zwicklbier $7.50
(Middle) Arcobräu Weissbier $12.00
(Right) HB Schwarze Weisse $7.50  

The 2 boys had just knocked off and had worked up an appetite. Roen has a reputation that puts even Fakebooo’s bottomless pit of a stomach to shame and was keen to get started with dinner. A round of beers was ordered, with him having the largest serve. I really liked my Zwicklebier; it was light, slightly fruity, and went down smoothly.

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HB Platte – HB sharring platter with a selection of pork knuckle, sausages, shnitzels, sauerkraut, red cabbage, mashed potatoes, potato dumplings and beer jus – $89 for 2 persons

It was an undisputed decision to get the HB platter. It had almost every main on the menu in it, and allowed us to try, well, almost every main in the menu. We thought we would make the smart move by ordering a platter for 2 (to share amongst 3) and add a couple of entrées alongside. Roen was interested in the pretzels and Fakebooo had his eye on the goulash.

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Goulash suppe – spicy rich beef stew soup, served with Bavarian bread roll $12.50

The restaurant sticks close to its German heritage, with female staff dressed in dirndl, complete with pleated pigtails and the boys in lederhosen. There’s some German accents going on (I think) and the fit out is slightly medieval but not to the point of tacky.

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Brezel – freshly baked Bavarian pretzel served with butter $4.50

Our conversation came to an abrupt halt when the platter was set down before us. It was jaw-droppingly enormous and surely enough for at least four! The food was of decent quality and I particularly liked the chewy sweet pretzel and the braised red cabbage. The goulash, while slightly on the salty side, had a deep aroma of smoked paprika and tomato. It made an excellent comforting wintry dish.

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Dinner at Hofbrauhaus was a great way to introduce myself to German fare. I’ll certainly be back for beer and pretzels!

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Squires Loft City Steakhouse
12 Goldie Place
Melbourne
Vic 3000
+61 3 9670 7317
Squires Loft City Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

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Fakebooo and I ended up at Squires Loft on one Friday evening after work. Our initial plan was to try out Mister Burger but it had closed by the time we rocked up. Our tummies were geared for western fare and we were always interested to try Squire’s Loft.

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As with most steak joints on a Friday night, Squires Loft was pretty packed and rowdy. Libby (The Very Very Hungry Caterpillar) recommends the ribs, which had me ordering the entrée-sized portion. Fakebooo was tempted to get lamb chops but we felt silly not ordering steak in a steakhouse. He had a rib eye, cooked to rare.

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I was amused by the slices of white bread served with pats of individually packaged Western Star butter. I’ll admit that I’m extremely spoilt these days and kinda expect artisan sourdough and churned butter or fruity extra virgin.

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Rib Eye on the Bone (350g) – a fine cut of pasture fed prime steer infused with flavour from the bone, char-grilled and brushed with Steakmate baste. Served with a choice of chips, mash or baked potato with sour cream and chives $38

Our meat came served on hot plates. The meat on the ribs required no effort with deboning; they were tender and soft and full of smokey flavour. I was almost tempted to gnaw and suck on the bones.

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Pork Spare Ribs – Marinated in Steakmate baste, tender and char-grilled (500g) $32.50

Fakebooo’s steak was perfectly cooked with a charred covering of tasty cow hiding a red juicy interior. The marinade had a slight tang to it and reminded me of peri-peri.

Our meal ended with complimentary chocolates, similar to After Eights. Squires Loft does dish up decent steaks which are perfectly cooked to request. I would have preferred being informed about provenance, and hence, am likely to choose a steakhouse such as The Station Hotel over the Loft.

Imperial Hotel
2-8 Bourke Street
Melbourne
Vic 3000
+61 3 9810 0062
The Imperial Hotel on Urbanspoon

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Woohoo to the Hawks winning the AFL premiership 2013! Now I don’t have to listen to The Angmoh’s whingeing and whining on how they lost to the Swans last year. Before we could win the cup, we did have to play the Swans in the finals, which made for a nerve-wrecking two and a half hours for The Angmoh.  We all know how the game turned out but the main question is, what did we have for dinner that night?

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The Imperial Parma – hand crumbed chicken breast fillet topped with champagne ham, basil-infused tomato ragout and two cheeses served with beer battered fries and cherry tomatoes, rocket and parmesan salad $25

Knowing that The Angmoh was going to be huge jittery pain in the bum, I thought I’d do the nice loving girlfriend bit and take him to someplace where he’d definitely enjoy his meal. The Angmoh is a devout passionate fan of chicken parmagianas, while I had never eaten a single one until I met him. Imperial Hotel is famous for its chicken parmas and the dish scores very well on Parma Daze. The Angmoh also gave it his nod of approval when we went last year.

Having made a booking just 60 minutes prior, we were seated in a comfortable booth. Service can be a problem with only a couple of waitresses multi-tasking between receiving patrons at reception, taking orders and serving food.

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I went along for the parma ride and decided to have it that evening. It was the motherload of parmas! It stretches over two palms-long and is a good half-inch thick. I wonder if it consists of more than 1 chicken breast or simply belonged to a breast of a mutated giant huge-ass chicken. Back to the dish, the schnitzel was topped with ham, smothered in Napoli sauce and blanketed by a generous serve of melted cheese. And that wasn’t all, the bird came with salad and chips. This dish definitely calls for a tactical approach to eating it.

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Wear stretch pants for starters. And while the chips are pretty good, don’t waste stomach space with carby potatoes. Concentrate on eating the chicken and chicken alone. The salad provides a tangy relieve with the balsamic dressing so do alternate between chicken and leaves. And lastly, breathe!

The Angmoh and I were slumped-on-the-couch, coma-impending full that evening. The Angmoh even had to undo his belt halfway through dinner. While he gave up somewhere along the three-quarter line, I applaud myself for being able to tuck away this monster of a parma into my belly, no doubt stretching every stomach lining to the max.

For all chicken parma fans out there, or for those who have yet to come across this Aussie classic, Imperial Hotel’s chicken parmagiana is definitely a must!

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2 Comments

Filed under CBD, German, Pub, Steak

2 responses to “Hofbrauhaus, Squire’s Loft, The Imperial Hotel

  1. OMG! I can’t believe he admitted defect to the parma LOL Good on you for finishing yours!! Now I’m carving for one and definitely need to bring Mr Imperial Hotel soon.

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