Essen Restaurant and Beer Cafe
133 - 135 Broadway
Ultimo, Sydney

Essen - it means to eat - and eat we did at this excellent European establishment in the heart of Ultimo. 

The suburb is trendy and Essen keeps up, balancing old and new in a beautiful space. Walking in, you instantly feel transported to an eastern European country. Traditional decorations adorn the walls, and the vibe is comfortable with a touch of class.
German beer is a favourite of ours, so it was hard to choose from the generous range of local German beers such as Erdinger, Dreher, Radler amongst others from Australia and New Zealand.

We chose a Frueh Kolsch which was crisp and clean, very refreshing on a hot day, and a Liebenweiss Bavarian wheat beer poured to perfection.

The schnapps menu also caught our eye and we kept it in mind for later in the evening.

How can you eat European food without having a brezel?

The pretzel shaped bread can be hit or miss, but at Essen it was definitely a hit.

Soft, warm, salty and served with herb butter, this pretzel looked, smelled and tasted like the real deal.

It was simply delicious.

Duke has had his fair share of Schweinehaxe (pork knuckle) in his lifetime - he’d eat it every day if he could.

Keeping with tradition when eating at a restaurant such as Essen, Duke ordered the pork knuckle, complemented with jus and sauerkraut.

Plated as any pork knuckle should be - bold and obnoxious - Duke’s eyes lit up when it was placed in front of him. The ultimate hearty meal, the knuckle defeated Duke, but he did his best with the crispy skin and moist pork...truly mouthwatering.

A European-style meat fanatic, Duchess ordered the meat plate for 2. Yes, for 2.

It’s the best of all the meat worlds - weisswurst, cheese kransky, pork belly, rosti, lamb shoulder, chicken schnitzel, beef goulash, sauerkraut and blaukraut, and finally jus. This plate really is for two - it was seriously impressive, with hearty servings of all the meat styles.

The weisswurst tasted just like the real thing, with German mustard to complement. The cheese kransky had just the right amount of cheese ooze. The rosti was great as an in between meat to cleanse the palate, and it was equally as delicious. The goulash had a bit of a kick and incorporated some capsicum and potato for those worried about their veggie intake. The lamb shoulder was beautifully cooked, falling apart when cut. The pork belly was the ultimate - soft, flavoursome, juicy and the perfect snap crackling on top. The Chicken schnitzel is always a classic choice, and this one was so right with the perfect crumbed layer and succulent juicy chicken.

Overall, the mains felt like authentic European meals. You almost forget you’re in Sydney. An added bonus is that all the condiments are on the side so you can pick and choose as you like.

Finally it was time for dessert - but not without a sneaky schnapps beforehand!

We had the Baerenjaeger - basically like a fiery honey.

For dessert we naturally chose the apple strudel to end a very European meal. The strudel looked absolutely divine, perfectly cooked, flaky pastry and copious amounts of apple filling.

Just the way it should be. Served with vanilla bean ice cream and Chantilly cream. All of which seemed freshly made and perfectly ended our night.

The staff and service was efficient and friendly, and the atmosphere was great. Essen also has an upstairs section you can hire out for events which has a great feel to it and plenty of space - plus it’s free to hire!

Duke and Duchess, who review for Sir and Mlady Dine Out, dined as guests of Essen. Thanks to the team at Essen for looking after them so well. Special thanks also to Chrissy Symeonakis from Creative Little Soul for this invitation.

Essen Restaurant & Beer Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato