Schnitzel Haus is located in Erindale, in a new area opposite the Fast Food Mecca. La Piazza and a soon-to-be-opened Dumpling House are next to this large restaurant. The space is open and light, with pops of yellow making a statement against a black and white colour scheme. A lot of thought has gone in to making Schnitzel Haus laid back, but trendy – and it works well.
The menu consists of schnitzels (duh), salads and a few entrees – but let’s face it, a place called Schnitzel Haus is all about the schnitty! They have a classic schnitzel, speciality schnitzels which consist of various themed toppings, and schnitzel burgers.
When we arrived at 5:30 (yes, we wanted dinner straight after work!) there was no one else in the restaurant – which was a bit eerie in such a large space – but it only took about 30 minutes and the place was packed! There was a good mixture of patrons; couples, groups of friends and families – everyone seemed to be happy and there was a nice atmosphere.
Let me start this review off by stating that I liked Schnitzel Haus. The schnitzel I ate was fresh and the coating was nice (although not as crispy as I usually like). I liked the types of varieties they provide, it’s a good mix of different flavours that’s sure to please anyone (if they like schnitzel anyway) – and there’s even a Tofu schnitty for your vego friend! The service was lovely, our waitress was friendly and attentive (once we got her eye contact). The food came out quickly and hot.
I shared the Mexicana Schnitzel with my friend, Michelle, and we both enjoyed it. We swapped out the accompanying hot chips for mashed potato.
The tomato sauce did taste like a tomato paste, rather than a salsa, but the avocado and sour cream were both fresh and creamy, and the jalapenos were a spicy burst of flavour. I felt it was missing cheese though.
Luke had the classic with mushroom sauce, which was creamy and moreish.
I also got a side of garlic bread, which was probably not necessary but it’s garlic bread. The bread was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. I think it was sourdough, and it was well made, coated in a delicious garlic butter (although I would have liked it a bit more garlicky – personal preference).
While I enjoyed my meal here, I had issues with Schnitzel Haus.
My first issue was purely personal: for me a schnitzel is a day time food. If I am out to dinner and there is schnitzel on the menu, I never order it. This may seem weird, but while I like a good pub lunch, a schnitzel at dinner time feels like a waste of an order. If I am out to dinner, I would rather order something with a bit more finesse. I can make schnitzel at home – and I make a damned good one, if I do say so myself.
Secondly, while the food at Schnitzel Haus was good, it wasn’t an amazing schnitzel. I’ve had better at the local sports clubs and cafes – and if schnitzels are going to be your staple menu item, I would expect a more memorable schnitzel. The schnitzel I ate was good, but it wasn’t good enough to get me going back very often (especially with my aversion to night time schnitties).
Thirdly was my issue with prices – I know it’s not fair to keep comparing the Schnitzel Haus schnitties with sport club schnitties, but it’s hard to do when schnitty is a sports club speciality, and you can get an awesome schnitzel at a sports club but pay half the price of what you pay at Schnitzel Haus. At Schnitzel Haus, classic Schnitzels are $21.95, with chips and salad (a modest serving of both) and the specialty schnitzels (with toppings) are $24.95. I don’t consider $24.95 an appropriate price for schnitzel, or else I would expect a bigger portion size for that amount.
Now after all that you’re probably thinking you’d maybe rather go to a sports club for your next schnitzel; but I would like you to think twice about that. The Schnitzel Haus is still fairly new, with a lot of room to grow and perfect their business model – they are lovely people and seem keen to make this place work. I think with a little tweaking, Schnitzel Haus could be a great Southside institution. I would also always chose to support a local business – especially one on the small Southside restaurant scene – over a club that makes money from gambling and alcohol.
Go to Schnitzel Haus and make up your own mind, the worst you’ll get is an enjoyable, if not exactly memorable, meal in a nice environment. I can think of worse things.