Biergarten German Bar and Restaurant
G/F, 5 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: 2721 2302
The vibe: located across from the Hyatt Regency, the Biergarten German Bar & Restaurant is convivial bordering on raucous. Packed with punters even on a Monday night, this noisy Teutonic theme bar has a welcoming feel and is clearly a big hit with tourists as well as locals. Although not a traditional beer garden, its large ground-floor area has both dining and bar seating options, and the basement restaurant features booths housed in giant wooden beer casks. The result is an inviting, if kitschy, ambience.
The drinks: beer is the tipple of choice for most Biergarten punters, as you might expect, with Schneiderweisse and its three wheat beer varieties from light to dark ever popular. However, there is also a good selection of German wines and schnapps plus the usual assortment of cocktails, all reasonably priced. After a 10-minute walk from the Star Ferry, the draught Bitburger beer (0.25 litres at HK$26 during happy hour) was a treat. But the recommended dry riesling (HK$68 per glass) was 'truly horrible', according to my guest, who fared better with a delicious Thai sunrise (HK$68) that offers a slight twist on the classic tequila sunrise by combining mango juice (instead of orange juice) with Cointreau, tequila, grenadine and lemon juice. After sampling the bar's 'cold cuts and sausage' menu, we sipped the clear and feisty Williams Christ Birnenbrand digestive schnapps (HK$48 per shot) to complete our Germanic outing.
The verdict: knowing what its customers want and delivering decent, unpretentious service in a setting that approximates the German drinking experience, the Biergarten has been around for 26 years. Definitely a place to celebrate the coming Oktoberfest.