Pork Knuckles, Schnitzels and Sauerkraut, Wheat beer and Riesling wine. Like my Dad, I love German, Japanese, and Seafood, my Mum and brother love Indian, Mexican and Italian so when it comes to family birthdays or get togethers at restaurants, it’s usually the person celebrating that makes the decision of where to go and we are usually dining on one of these cuisines. It was my Dad’s birthday recently and headed to the A.G.A (Australian, German, Austrian) Club Germania located at Kembla Grange, a southern suburb of Wollongong.
Check this out:
A Tale Of Two Lighthouses, Wollongong, NSW
The clubs website states “The club was originally established as a place where German people went to find their own countrymen. A place where they could find something of what they had left behind. They developed groups within the club. A welfare group, a German Male Choir, Skat Card group, to name a few. As time went on, the members thought they would like to share what they had with everyone else”. Opening in 1976, the “Australian, German, Austrian Club Germania Limited, to provide a meeting place for the enjoyment of members and friends to foster German and Austrian Tradition” and was opened by ‘Dr. Helmut Tuerk, Generalkonsul Bundesrepublik Deutschland’. The original A.G.A Germania clubhouse was situated on what is now a Funeral home with the club moving next door, to what previously was a pistol shooting range, in the 1990’s.
The building underwent extensive renovations since its time as a shooting range complete with the Medieval half-timbered style so often found in Europe. The main entrance, with a comfortable smoking area, is now at the side of the club next to the car park and not at the front of the building where it once was.
A prized stags head and cuckoo clocks along with other Germanic art forms adorn the walls. A stage, complete with a Bavarian-esque mural and quaint dance floor centre the club and I picture it would go off with an Oompah band or the Von Trapp Family Singers at an evening event.
While not an overly extensive menu, its typically hearty German fare and there is something for everyone, as long as you love meat – although on the day we visited there was a Tempura Barramundi special – not often seen on German menu’s I’m sure 🙂 the restaurant and bar are staffed by volunteers and meals are served with your choice of dumplings or fried potatoes; and sauerkraut or red cabbage or vegetables or salad.
The birthday guy ordered Kasseler – slices of smoked pork loin, lightly pan-fried to bring out the natural flavours of this traditional German meal, served with fried potato and sauerkraut.
My mother and I ordered the schnitzel platter – Chicken, veal and pork schnitzel served with gravy and lemon wedge, fried potato and salad. I think the favourite was the chicken schnitzel. The salad, while fresh and crisp was slightly boring but was nice with the Italian dressing.
My brother ordered the Eisbein – pickled pork knuckle – this is a huge meal.When you think of pork hocks you probably think of the crispy roasted dish with crunching crackling but that’s Schweinehaxe. Eisbein is pickled and boiled with the fatty skin coming out soft and gelatinous. This was served with potato and vegetables and a lot was taken home in a take away container 🙂
While not the fanciest of places, the volunteer staff are friendly and the meals homely and tasty at reasonable prices. Located not far from the Nan Tien Temple, its a nice place for a hearty meal when in you this part of the world.