I grew up in very small village in the south-west of Germany, close to the French border and the border of Luxemburg.
A very traditional area where the only fun at night is the local pub with the elderly people sitting at the bar or playing cards at their reserved table. Everyone else would discuss local politics and the newest village gossip over a beer and some comforting german pub grub.
Why am I telling you this?
Well, the other night I was asked by some of my German friends if I would like to join them to feed their cravings for German food at Club Tivoli.
Just like me you might have never heard of it before, so let me tell you a bit about it. Club Tivoli is like one of the R.S.L. Clubs but for German members, their friends and basically everyone who likes to come around. Founded over 150 years ago, Club Tivoli is dedicated to the preservation of German culture through song, ethnic dance, and the development of German language skills.
I wasn’t sure what to expect but from some former German restaurant experiences in Australia I was pretty sure it would be a hell lot of fun. So I went there one night with my friends.
First thing I’ve noticed was the interior of Club Tivoli. It reminded me instantly of the pubs in my hometown. There where people having dinner, others played cards and from another room I could hear that a choir was practising traditional German songs. Let the fun begin!
As we came mainly for the food we all couldn’t wait to see the menu.
As I am a vegetarian and the traditional German cuisin isn’t excactly what I would call vegetarian friendly, I was prepared to only be able to order side dishes.
My friends though salivated over options such as Gulasch, Rinderrouladen (Beef Olives), Haxen (Roast pork hock), Kohlrouladen (Cabbage Rolls) or Sauerbraten (Marinated beef pot roast). Vegetarian options are available but very limited. So I went for some red cabbage and potato dumplings in capsicum sauce (YUM!).
As I couldn’t eat the meaty dishes I asked my friends what they thought about it. All over all they rated The Club Tivoli 7 out of 10. This makes the food pretty much comparable to the dishes they offer over at the Hofbräuhaus in Melbournes CBD but less pricey.
If you are after some traditional German food, beer and schnaps you should definitely check out this place even though the interior throws you at least 40 years back in time.
More information about the menu, events and the club in general are available on Club Tivoli’s website.