Being half German meant that my childhood was riddled with sauerkraut, red cabbage and pork. For my mothers birthday, we decided to visit the Hof Downtown, the Hofbrauhaus’ little sister located in windy Docklands. High ceilings, long tables lined with beer filled steins and a large chandelier adorned with gingerbread hearts transports you into a Bavarian wonderland filled with copious bier and waiters serving you in traditional garb.
The HOF downtown has a pretty extensive beer list and it’s highly recommended you gulp down a stein with your meal. We were a party of six and shared 3 meat platters for “two”. What arrived was actually both frightening and exciting – a large board of sauerkraut, red cabbage, cheese kransky, crispy pork belly, potato dumpling, pickles, mash potato, a huge chicken schnitzel, a potato croquette and the star of the show, a large crispy pork knuckle .
The Pork Knuckle gave a audible crunch when penetrated with the knife, revealing soft succulent pork. Paired with the sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), it was delicious. The crackling was perfectly thin without too much of that pesky fat layer which usually detracts from the crackling experience. Doused in some mustard, the 3 sausages (I’m not entirely sure which was which), had that satisfying resistance.
The Pork Belly was served on a bed of red cabbage – one of my childhood favourites. The sweetness of the red cabbage paired with the decadently fatty pork belly was a mouth-party. Whilst it was certainly a meat-fest, the pickles, cabbage and other condiments meant that each bite was interesting.
We also shared a dessert platter between two – even though we were pretty much trying to hold our sides together at this point. The friendly waitress asked us when we would like our dessert platter, so it allowed us some time between meals. The dessert platter contained Käsekuchen (cheesecake) , Apfelstrudel (apple strudel) and a thick dollop of Schokoladenmousse (chocolate mouse). I only managed to sample some of each but they were all so delicious – especially the cheesecake which was on the cheesier side. The pastry of the apfelstrudel was light, flakey and revealed a dense sweet apple filling.
The HOF Downtown is a great destination for those hungering for a meat hangover. The atmosphere is fun, with most patrons gulping down from giant steins. The meat platter was so huge that we ended up not being able to conquer it all – even though we apparently have bottomless pits as stomachs as some of our blog readers have pointed out. Luckily they let us take some of it home for a cheeky midnight snack.