Wednesday, 21 August 2013

:: a much anticipated visit to The Cuckoo ::

Nestled away high in the misty ferns of the Dandenong Ranges, lies Australia's oldest "smorgasbord" restaurant. It's a completely German/Bavarian affair, with absolutely no expense spared to recreate the feeling that you are actually dining in Bavarian festive style. The costumes, the décor, the beers (absolutely ginormous), the traditional entertainment, and especially the food.
With my father's family being from Bavaria themselves, I feel a connection to this particular European experience, and just lapped up every tiny detail.
{yes, it actually snows there. this photo found here}
We picked Jason's mum's birthday as the special occasion to make the 2 hour trip up to this Deutsch Wunderland. It had been on my must-visit list since the moment I heard about it.
{Willem nestled in his pram, makings the waitresses melt as they hurried by}
If badly-lit photos of food gross you out, you may have to skip the next couple of pictures. Nothing photographs well in near-candlelight (especially not food), but everything was so epic, I had to get the camera out regardless.
Firstly, they serve a big terrine of soup and buns per table. The soup of the day was potato and leek, and it was just delish. We then could make our way to the entrée spread, mains and dessert (in whatever order we liked really).
My entrée consisted of very traditional foods, as I couldn't resist. The black bread and meat wurst paté reminded me of my Oma & Opa, when I would poke my head in the screen door of their caravan around morning tea time when they were visiting, and they would feed me wurst and crackers. I also tried pickled herring stuffed with gerkin (cucumber pickle) for the first time. And I had to cut myself a few slices of smooth gouda cheese from the massive wheel, along with some fresh mozzarella balls. So good. 
There were 4 of these 'sections' of mains, like below. Absolutely, far too much.

I've actually decided to leave out the picture of my main, it looked a bit of a shamble! The giant slice of salami balancing on top is probably what made it look the worst, but I love salami and had to have one bit. I basically put one bite of everything on my plate (and went back for a couple more things). I had caeser salad, fried potato with bacon (the best German comfort food ever), goulash, marinated baked salmon fillet, stuffed cabbage roll, garlic prawns, fried fish in batter, hot kransky and I can't remember what else. There was roast beef, chicken, pork, duck which I had to skip, and 12 salads, a whole cold meats bar and gah! It just didn't stop.
The dessert selection was ridiculous. There was probably around 30 dishes to choose from, and there was a guy making hot pancakes and waffles to order on the spot

I had *ahem* 3 plates of dessert. Hannah! What a glutton.

I was very much done, yes. But I had been sugar-free for weeks in readiness for this!
Btw, how cute are this pair?
These are pretty cute too.
And it's not for me to say that these 3 are the most adorable all together, but if anyone else wants to say it, feel free.
Oh and one other highlight of the evening was this lovely husband and wife who both looked about 103 years old, spinning around on the dance floor at an absolutely alarming pace. Their feet landing perfectly in time, never out of step with each other and showing every other couple up. I would have loved to get a photo of them; they must have been dancing together since 17. I can only hope to have their phenomenal posture & pose, swiftness and grace at their age! Not going to happen.
We had the best night, and I'm already planning to go back on my birthday. I hope the un-natural way I had to sit in the car all the way back home (seatbelt half-off, back arched) taught me a lesson or two though.


  1. Whoa!!! That is a lot of food. Sounds like a gorgeous atmosphere! And yes you guys are tots adorable ;-)

  2. Oh my yummy tum tum! Argh! Those deserts! I probably would have had 3 plates too and then some for my handbag hehe.

    1. Oh, I failed to mention my handbag stash ... whoops ;) Just a cupcake or two that I couldn't fit in!

  3. This place looks amazing! I can't believe it was snowing there while it was sunny and warm here...glad you had a great night :)

    1. Oh it wasn't snowing when we were there (though Ballarat did get some light snow last week), that is just a picture I pulled off the net because I forgot to take one (it was dark anyway).

  4. This looks like such a fun experience! I almost died when I saw the first image with all the made me think about how it's coming our way sooner than we think!

    1. It's payback time for all those summer-sensation photos you tease me constantly ;)


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