8731 West Swan Rd, Henley Brook
Phone: (08) 9296 6354
Tradition In The Valley
Set in the picturesque Swan Valley and surrounded by luscious green lawns and ghost gum trees, Elmars in the Valley is a lovely place to roll up to on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
With German music playing quietly and the aroma of rich food in the air, this country-house-style building hosts a micro brewery, smallgoods shop and a restaurant.
The high roof of the large room gives the restaurant a very relaxed feeling, and the paintings by locals artists adorning the walls and Australian flags hanging from the ceiling give off a local feel, despite the restaurant’s traditional German roots.
We started off with Elmar’s Tasting Plate (Elmar’s Probierplatte), which was piled with cheese, rye bread, white bread, olives, mustard and four different kinds of sausage. The sausages were certainly not the variety found at any Sunday-arvo barbies, but instead each had an individual, rich flavour.
Even shared between two people, the Tasting Plate was very filling and satisfying, so to give ourselves some time before the next course we decided to try the beers that are brewed on site.
There are five beers available at Elmars, all created by master brewer Brad Harris in the brewery tucked in the rooms behind the bar. These beers are brewed according to the German Purity Law of 1516, which means they contain no preservatives or additives, and no carbon is added to create bubbles – instead the bubbles are produced during the brewing process from natural gases. All of the equipment in the brewery was shipped over from Germany by owners Elmar and Anette when they first decided to bring their beer-making skills to Australia.
We tried all five beers, and they each had a unique taste. The Ein Stein Pilsner is the most popular beer. Light and refreshing, it goes well with every dish on the menu. The Kick Back Weizen was a wheat beer with a very smooth taste, a slight banana aroma and tiny bubbles. The Over Draft Alt filled my senses and the Skippy Light, at 2.8 per cent, was a soft beer with not too many bubbles. The seasonal beer, the Dirty Harry, was a dark wheat beer with a strong and bitter aftertaste.
At this stage we were ready for some main meals. The Kasseler Smoked Pork Chop (Kasseler-Kotelett) consisted of a large sausage, mash, sauerkraut, gravy and a pickled and smoked pork chop. The chop was tender and tasty and went well with the smooth gravy and light, fluffy mash. The sausage had a very pleasing texture and a rich flavour while the sauerkraut was strong and juicy. The whole combination worked together to create an interesting and tasty dish.
The Pickled and Roasted Pork Shank (Schweinehaxe), Elmar’s Specialty, was huge and served with sauerkraut, mustard and tiny, new potatoes. The shank was a large chunk of pink, tender flesh and a layer of crackle which made for some very strong flavours.
Although we were already so full, we couldn’t resist dessert. Brought over to us was a beautifully presented piece of Chocolate and Macadamia cake, served with a scoop of ice cream and a raspberry coulis.
The cake was divinely chocolatey, soft and moist, with whole macadamias throughout.
There couldn’t have been a better way to spend a sunny Sunday – good food, good beer, good chocolate and a pretty good afternoon. Elmar’s in the Valley is definitely a place I plan to visit again.