Rudi Dietz has been running Stuyvesant's House with his brother Max, the chef, since 1973. In their cellar they have 4000 bottles and one of Sydney’s most unique dining rooms: there are two benches, a table, a large ornate bottle opener and a floor of gravel among the shelves of wine.
Upstairs in the regular dining room customers order some of the same dishes that appeared on Max’s first menu in 1975 (Rudi ran the restaurant for two years before he arrived). Dishes such as schweinshaxe (crisp-skin roasted pork knuckle with sauerkraut); seven kinds of schnitzel; several roasts; suckling pig; and schmalz-bauernbrot (rye bread with a lard-like spread). And bitterballen (veal and chicken meatballs); schnapper zuiderzee (white-wine-poached snapper with lobster, oysters and hollandaise); and a small selection of Dutch-Indonesian dishes.
For many customers here, though, the menu is largely irrelevant. Max will make any German dish requested (with 48 hours’ notice) however regional or esoteric, even some people want konigsberger klopse (mixed-meat dumplings with caper sauce) or reistopf (rice with peas). Others call and ask for potato or bread dumplings, or bratkartoffeln (fried potatoes with a lot of onion). Max even makes a Dutch-style bouillabaisse.
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