Kitsch means different things to different people. For some it’s their Granny’s nasty flowery curtains and antimacassars, for others it’s simply Neil Diamond.
I’ve always baulked at the sheer concept of themed pubs. A Rose & Crown outside England just isn’t right, and while I’m sure Ireland has hundreds of ‘craicing’ pubs, thousands of garish airport lounge imitators make me glad someone invented grog shops.
So if you told me there was a German restaurant on the Sunshine Coast offering an authentic Bavarian experience, you might expect me to head to the nearest bottle-o, grab some cheap Pils, slap some oom-pah music on the stereo and dance round the front room in lederhosen to save myself the irritation. But that would make for a particularly embarrassing review.
Against my better judgement I tentatively sought out the family-run King Ludwig’s Restaurant near Maleny.
King Ludwig was a Bavarian famous for commissioning fairy-tale castles and palaces. Bavarian imports Klaus and Barbara Lutze certainly found the perfect location for their recreation.
From the outside the timber and stone building is merely impressive – but no palace, inside is far better though. The Klaushouse Mountain bar is the sort of place you could shelter from the snow, tuck into Schofferhofer and schnapps and sit it out until the sled arrives to take you home. Well, the weather’s hardly going to get that cold in Queensland, perhaps, but at least atop the Blackall Range you’re safe from floods.
Mine hostess Barbara, takes the orders, her strong accent sliced by an angelic smile as she recommends beer from a list of over 30 of Germany’s finest, including Oktoberfest specials. Meanwhile Klaus concentrates on the food, preparing an array of mouth watering unpronounceable delectations from a seasonally updated menu.
Few visitors stay indoors for long, however, they’re drawn by the view from the veranda; a veritable cluster of Glasshouse Mountains. What a place to unwind with a weizen.
Of course we’re nearing Oktoberfest season and there are lunch and dinner events with accompanying entertainment (be warned, you are expected to join in).
There are a few seats left in this year’s festivities, but if you miss out Barbara and her family run special events all-year round, take group bookings, and present beer degustations when requested. Or you can drop in all year round between Wednesday and Sunday for lunch and Friday or Saturday for dinner.
All-in-all Ludwig’s is a real gem of a place – truly unique. It quells my fear of theme because it isn’t just themed and this isn’t the Aventinus Eisbock speaking. The people are Bavarian. The food is Bavarian, and so too is the beer. In fact the only thing cheesy is the Käsekrainer.
King Ludwig’s German Restaurant and Bar
401 Mountain View Road, Maleny Qld 4552
Tel : (07) 5499 9377