It’s difficult to know whether King Ludwig is going for the genuine beer hall experience or a piss-take of all things German. Both, clearly, have their merits. Unfortunately, though, it falls somewhere in-between, with this attempt at replicating the Germanic drinking tradition turning out to be a slightly too plastic, slightly too serious experience.
With branches already in Stanley and Tsim Sha Tsui, King Ludwig’s has recently opened its third establishment in Wan Chai’s Hopewell Centre. A lot of the essential German elements are here. Incessant oom-pah music? Check. Antler lighting fixtures? Check. Medieval-style banquet room? Check. Large breasted frauleins bearing beer? Kind of. But it also feels uncomfortably new, clean and formulaic, without crossing the line into fun. If it went one step further, incorporating high-armed sloshing, beer wenches, lederhosen-clad, thigh-slapping Arians and the like, then maybe, just maybe, they might have had a concept that we’d sign up to.
On the upside, there are big beers. Huge, in fact. As its name suggests, the main alcoholic reason one should consider stopping by King Ludwig is to indulge in an enormous brew. One litre steins are mandatory for any establishment claiming the name ‘beer hall’ and King Ludwig is no exception, with King Ludwig Draught ($95), Lowenbrau ($95), and the pick of the kegs, Maisel’s Weiss Draught ($128) all available in over-sized vessels. Non-beer drinkers can always indulge in a little bit of German cliché, by ordering one of the 25 varieties of schnapps ($40) on offer.
Just like its other incarnations in Stanley and TST, King Ludwig Wan Chai beer hall will have traditionalists up in arms. But on the other hand, there’s probably no better place to go if you want to revel in the cheesy-cliché that is the German beer garden. If only it were a little more ridiculous.
|Venue name:||King Ludwig Beerhall Wan Chai||Contact:|
Shop 1 & 2, G/F, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen’s Rd East, Wan Chai