K’nödel European Dumplings

Rebecca Varidel
31st Jul 2016

Knödel are boiled dumplings, a popular traditional food of Central and East European cuisine, usually made from flour, bread or potatoes. Now Sydney has its own specialty Knödel eatery new to Surry Hills.

Owners Rico Bibrack (originally from Germany) and Christian Lwechster (originally from Austria) wanted to bring a bit of home to Sydney.

K’nödel is a small bright contemporary space seating with black and white and some pops of colour, one red chair, one red lamp, some lime green cushions, a European food slideshow projected on the wall. The European namesake K’nödel start and finish the menu, savoury to sweet. In between you'll find some other European traditionally specialties.

Our first savoury K’nödel binge offered small or large portions on the menu, suitable both for sharing or eating on your own. The deeply satisfying Spinach K’nödel with Parmesan and butter are tasty and filling bread dumpling sitting in a delicious cream spinach sauce. We mopped up all of that so next time we'll try these again, but with an extra side of the creamed spinach. In a crisp white bowl pan fried Fingerk’nödel dumplings countered luscious pulled pork with a tangy apple slaw its counterpoint. With a glass of gluhwein or a beer, that could be enough for dinner. Different again, Cheese pirohy swimming in butter delighted with really crispy bacon, shredded finely, onion and a dollop of crème fraiche, nudged ahead as our favourite of the night.

Eavesdropping on the next table, I heard Stephen and Shane talk about their braised beef pot, Tafelspitz ($25 per person) as light and warm and the long slow wonderful kind of cooking like Grandma would lovingly tend for hours. Tastier than Mum's food, Shane says because Grandma had the time to cook with love. Tafelspitz is served with a generous amount of broth, apple horseradish, chive sauce, and sides of creamed spinach and sautéed potatoes. Friends, I'm having that next time. Who's joining me because Tafelzpitz needs a minimum of two to enjoy.

And you know there has just got to be schnitzel. At Surry Hills, K’nödel serve it traditionally crumbed and with cabbage potato salad. Yum get in my tum (next time).

But I'd eaten so many K’nödel it was time for dessert. Oh my little dumpling, you are also a sweet thing. I posted my dessert on facebook:

"They are called Germ (which means yeast) k’nödel. They're filled with plum, doused with butter, topped with poppy seed."

The comments from Eastern European friends were soon overflowing.

"How divine. Memories of my Grandmother right there."

"They look like my Grandma's dumplings. Feel the need to cook some up right now."

"Feeding you inner Hungarian!"


"...Or made with potato dough, apricots, damson plums, in frothing nutsweet butter and sugar, add a side dish of fruit compote - that's my childhood. Main was usually a beef or chicken broth / noodle or vegetable or oat soup. Very simple. Basic. Nurturing."

The apricot dumpling my friend described is actually top of the dessert menu. It's described as Fruit K’nödel with sugar crumbs. The fruit will change with the seasons Rico explained.

There were so many more to try.

If you've ever been to Austria you would have tried the Mozart chocolates. They're everywhere! Even at the airport, haha. That's what the next Mozart K’nödel dessert, cherry nougat pistachio ice cream rolled in pistachio, reminded me of.

For the traveller or tourist of chocolate lovers out there - there is also a Sachertorte. Once I ate that famous decadent chocolate cake in the Sacher Hotel. Earlier, I had also ordered one online and had it flown to Sydney. Here's the next best thing. This one is made in Sydney by Kaiser Stub'n Chef-Owner, Robert Baier who has actually worked at the Hotel Sacher.

But the sexiest (yet to be tried) dish has to be HOT LOVE! (I'm not saying another word. You need, like me, to check it out for yourself.) Heisse leibe (HOT LOVE) is reported to be vanilla ice cream, macadamia brittle and hot rasperries.

Christian purchased Foodcraft earlier this year so it seems only logical that a dumpling version of the famous Tella Balls would find their way from Erskinville to Surry Hills. If you are after your nutella fix then Tella k'nödel served with crushed pistachios and vanilla sauce must be your sweet ending of choice.

Oodles of K’nödels. (You say the 'k' by the way like k-noodles.) Das ist gut!

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52 Waterloo Street
Surry Hills
+61 2 8021 4806

Mon – Fri 11.30am – 10pm

Sat 5.30pm – 10pm