Swiss Club

8/01/2009 12:01:00 AM

Swiss Club
89 Flinders Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph: (03) 9650 1196

It's no secret that I love the food of Central Europe, so I'm not quite sure why it took me so long to visit Swiss Club. The Swiss Club has been around since 1899, as a social and cultural club for Swiss migrants and their families. To this day, the Club still runs cultural events - visit their website for more information.

A group of 4 of us visited a few weeks ago for a Friday-night dinner, partly to throw off the shackles of the working week, and also to welcome back our good friend Timmy K who is back from London! Wa-hoo!

Swiss Club is located on Flinders Lane, (look for the big Swiss flag out the front), next to Chop House, and you have to climb a couple of flights of stairs to get to the dining room proper. It's all clean and quite old-fashioned. As you enter, the bar is to the right, and booth-seats are to the left. The back half of the space holds the ordinary tables (where we sat). I wasn't quite sure why there was a split between booths and normal tables. Sandra suggested that the booths might be for members or frequent visitors, as this is how clubs operate back in Germany.

Beer! I ordered a Weissbier, but my favourite of the night was the super-malty Pilsner that Sandra ordered.

Bread - good taste, but cold and not crusty.

Reading the menu, I wanted to order everything! Cheese fondue, Rösti, Wurstsalat... but we were expecting a hearty meal ahead, so just stuck to main meals. It turned out to be a good plan.

Geschnetzeltes – Pieces of tender veal in a creamy mushroom sauce - $22.90

Pork Schnitzel Emmenthal – Crumbed pork schnitzel over baked with cheese - $20.90

Beef goulash with spätzli - $20.90 (Pretty good, but the goulash and Spätzle at Muttis was much, much better).

I chose something similar to my beloved choucroute, the Berner Teller...
Berner Teller – Smoked pork loin, sausage & bacon with sauerkraut & potatoes - $20.90

I quite liked this dish, although I thought it could have been presented a little more neatly. The smoked pork (which I think is the same thing as Kassler?) was delicious, but I wasn't too big a fan of the sausage, and I ended up leaving most of it on the plate.

As you can imagine, we were totally stuffed. But somehow found room for dessert...

The chocolate fondue, I have to admit, looked pretty average when it came out, but actually tasted wonderful.

Apple strudel was average, not spectacular, but nice enough to end the meal.
Overall we had a fun time at Swiss Club, but the atmosphere was rather quiet, and the food wasn't as good as we hoped it would be. Perhaps it would have been a different story if we'd ordered the house speciality, the cheese fondue. I got the feeling that the menu was a bit tired. If in the mood for this type of food, there are a few other restaurants around town that I'd choose first.

Swiss Club of Victoria on Urbanspoon

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  1. Hmm, sad but unsurprised to hear it's not that good :( However this post has inspired me to get it together to go to Muttis finally... so thank you for that :)

  2. Solution to the quietness would be to go on a Thursday night where the Swiss Band is playing - I don't even bother when they're not. I think it's the first Thursday of the month.

    The layout of the room used to be rather different - the bar used to be down the other end from memory, and the booths were all near the front of the room there, and the band would play in the middle. Band now plays in a booth.

    Atmosphere used to be a lot nicer, when the lights were a lot dimmer and the booths reached up to the roof.

    Noticed none of you tried the chips, which I think are great. Your Berner Teller looks way messier than what I've seen in the past, dunno what's going on there...

    If you ever go back, try the smoked lamb cutlets in honey sauce... or heck, try something from the specials menu, the one that's not in english... you can read German, right?!

  3. Miles - let me know how you find Muttis once you've been! Hope you like it.

    Brendo_91 - Aah, I didn't know they had a band! I bet that would make the atmosphere a lot more lively. I assumed Friday night would be their busiest night, so I thought it was strange that it was so quiet.

    Thank-you for the food tip! There were a lot of things on the menu that I wanted to try but couldn't (massive portions!) Was plagued with indecision.

    I can read *some* German, mainly Food-German, hahaha.

    xox Sarah

  4. Maybe you should give Le Gourmet in East Melbourne a try.

  5. Hey Daniel,

    Omg just looked at Le Gourmet's menu... am SOOOOOOO going there! Salzburger Knockerl, Kaiserschmarren, Whole slow roasted Chicken in paprika sauce topped with crème frâiche with Spätzle!!

    xox Sarah

  6. Wow, thanks Daniel! awesome.

  7. My mother was going to be at the Swiss Club tonight for the Swiss National Day dinner. I will be poking her for her review when she gets home!

  8. Reposted from Twitter:

    @bookshopaddict @sarahcooks One of my friends used to cook at The Swiss Club. After hearing her stories. I'm not surprised you were disappointed.

  9. Good old Mitteleuropa :) (a word I never heard of before Nigella and now like to try and drop in conversations). Always a bit of a shame when restaurants don't quite live up to expectations but the food does look lovely - I am SUCH a fan of spatzle but don't know any restaurants or cafes round here where you can buy it...



My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.