Celebrating a friend’s birthday, a group of us spent a Saturday evening at the Rhein Donau Club in Myaree. The interior of the club is very much old school European and I doubt much has changed since it opened in 1959. Features of wood constructed booths, lanterns and alpine trimmings add to the European charm. I notice an emblem carved into the dining chairs.
Being non club members we paid a small entry fee at the reception counter. We entered the large dining hall discovering a band set up for the evening. Even better for our group! We took up one of the long tables near the edge of the dance floor.
A canteen style restaurant and bar operates within the club on most evenings and it is located near the entrance. One thing to note is the restaurant counter accepts eftpos however the bar only accepts cash.
The german cuisine menu does feature some rotating Australian dishes such as roast lamb and fish and chips. Dk went with the Schweinshaxe which is a slow roasted Pork Hock, this meal was substantially large when it arrived. The dish caught the eye of everyone at the table and we all had to try a small morsel of the pork. The pork meat was tender and juicy, falling off the bone, it was served with creamy mash potatoes, sauerkraut (sour cabbage) and a mustard sauce.
I love schnitzel, especially with a side of crunchy salty potatoes. When I travelled to Berlin a couple of years ago it was all I ate, Dk went crazy over the bratwurst and me the schnitzel. We had the best of intentions to be cooking our meals in our airbnb holiday apartment but when we discovered how cheap the pubs and small inns were, that never happened! The menu offers two different styles of schnitzel dishes. Ready for a big, hearty German meal I was looking forward to eating. The chicken schnitzel was topped with a slice of black forest ham and melted Swiss cheese. A side of salad and fries accompanied the meal. The dish was satisfying and with a couple of glasses of the German ‘champagne’ it all went down nicely.
As the evening carried on club members danced in pairs to the tunes of the band. The dining hall wasn’t full but most of the patrons were club members and our group would have been the youngest there. We did not feel out of place, in fact everyone was very welcoming and the band serenaded my friend with a big German happy birthday before handing him an extra large shot of schnapps with lots of encouragement!
Organising a group get together is always challenging but choosing the Rhein Donau Club proved to be an excellent choice, making the evening a free and easy one. Most of the group ordered meals from the kitchen and others who joined later ordered drinks from the window bar, this flexiablity was fantastic to have. The food was wholesome and reasonably priced, the drinks were cheap by Perth standards. It was a jovial kind of evening and the best part was that we could spend the whole evening at the club chatting, eating, drinking and if we wanted, dancing. Our party disbanded just after midnight.
During October each year on a Friday and Saturday night the club put on one serious Oktoberfest party, most likely the best Oktoberfest celebration in Perth! Traditional entertainment unfolds in the dining hall and the rear beer garden is a secondary area with a live band and a schnapps counter! The small air rifle range is open and its awesome fun. There is a food menu for most of the evening.
I have been to a couple of the Oktoberfest parties at the club and they turn out to be huge evenings with lots of food and big jugs of beer. I am always surprised at how well the restaurant copes with the crowds, the food has always been delicious.
For Dad’s birthday last year I bought my family along for the AlpenGaudi Evening. Alpengaudi means fun in the alps! The night was absolutely hilarious with yodeling, leg slapping and cow bell ringing. Also, a bit of a ‘schunkel’ which is linking arms with your neighbour and swaying to the music. The Edelweiss Dance Group kept the crowd entertained with some fast moving folk dances. Mum and dad loved the food and the atmosphere, it was definitely something different from our regular family roast dinners.
Today a handful of social clubs are still around – the Italian club in North Perth, The Polish club in Bellevue, the Croatian club in North Fremantle and the Rhein Donau club in Myaree.
The clubs are not just for European descendants but for everyone and anyone who enjoy music, food, and culture from the influences of Europe.
The operation of the Rhein Donau club is driven by the memberships. There are a few hobby groups that operate out of the club such as the Model Railway Group, WA Mandolin Orchestra, Schützengruppe (Air Rifle) and Tischtennisgruppe (Table Tennis).
Membership is $60.00 year or if you are a senior it is $35.00 however you certainly do not have to be a member to visit. It just means you pay the non member entrance fee. The entrance fee on a Saturday night covers the venue and entertainment costs.
The Rhein Donau Club run a number of events during the year from Mother’s Day celebrations to Christmas Markets.
110 North Lake Road, Myaree WA 6154
Tel: (08) 9330 6488