The Bierfassl country pub and restaurant, situated in Nottingham Road, the heart of the renowned Midlands Meander, is one of the more well-known establishments in the area and just as was the case with my last visit some nine years previously, I wasn’t disappointed with my findings. On this occasion, my friend Cally accompanied me for Sunday lunch and, although the drive from Pietermaritzburg to Nottingham Road was a familiar one, the beautiful greenery of the Midlands made the journey an absolute pleasure.
Upon reaching our destination, we were pleased to find ample parking space and the warm greeting we received was undoubtedly a sign of good things to come. We decided to sit on the deck rather than on The Bierfassl’s luscious green lawns – the bright sunshine, though always a welcoming sight, being a little to sharp for Cally’s liking.
Established in 1997, The Bierfassl is themed on a typical Austrian tavern and offers patrons the opportunity to sample traditional specialities from mouth-watering Eisbeins, Austrian style sausages and warm soups to fresh trout and pork products. After ordering our drinks, we mulled over the comprehensive menu for some time before eventually deciding what to have.
Cally opted for the Eisbein, a grilled 700g salted pork hock, while I selected the Jagerschnitzel, a crumbed golden pork schnitzel, topped with a creamy bacon and mushroom sauce. Cally was absolutely delighted with the Eisbein, remarking that it was tasty and succulent.
At just R85, the Eisbein was well priced, especially considering the dish, as with most main meals on the menu, came with a choice of chips, Austrian style potato salad, rosti (a dish of grated potatoes formed into a small flat cake and fried) or mash. Cally decided on the rosti, which she thoroughly enjoyed.
The Jagerschnitzel, too, was a real treat. It was superb, the bacon and mushroom sauce topping divine and the potato salad out of this world. At R70, this dish, as with the Eisbein, represented outstanding value for money, and one would be hard pressed to find a restaurant in the area that could match both offerings – they were that good.
The Jagerschnitzel and Eisbein aside, The Bierfassl’s menu brims with a host of other Austrian dishes such as the Huhnerschnitzel (a crumbed chicken schnitzel served with cranberry sauce and lemon wedges) and the Tiroler Grostl (a sautéed potato with a variety of meats and topped with a fried egg). For the slightly less hungry, a selection of juicy sausage dishes, either fried, grilled or smoked, are also available.
However, if it’s a succulent steak you are after, you can choose between the Fassl (a 300g mature beef rump, grilled to your taste, topped with garlic herb butter) and the Gammon while the Vegetarian Platter (potato wedges grilled with cheese and served with crumbed mushrooms and vegetables) caters for those for whom consuming flesh is not an option.
Cally decided to skip dessert and I was heading in the same direction until I spotted the words ‘Malva Pudding’ among the rather long list of delectable treats. This spongy, syrupy pudding has always been a favourite dish of mine and The Bierfassl’s interpretation of it was, to say the least, ridiculously good.
It was an absolutely decadent offering and worth every bit of the R26 I paid for it. How anyone could possibly refuse such a seductive dish is beyond my comprehension, but if Malva Pudding isn’t your thing, I’m pretty sure that either one of the Apfelstrudel, Black Forest Gateaux, Chocolate Mousse, Butter Kuchen, Stollen or Cheese Cake will be.
The Bierfassl was an absolute pleasure to visit and both Cally and I unequivocally agreed this was one venue that we will definitely be paying a visit to again. The atmosphere was great, the service good and the food even better – a winning combination in anyone’s books.
Address & Contact details:
Address: Old Main Road (R103), Nottingham Road, Natal Midlands, KwaZulu Natal.
Tel/Fax: +27 (0)33 266 6320
Cell: +27 (0)82 874 3919