Sunday, September 09, 2007

Wiener, Anyone?

The name of the restaurant at the corner of Cantonment Road and Neil Road has always caught our eye - "Wiener Kaffeehaus". Who doesn't like wieners, hehe? In actual fact, that's German for Viennese Coffeehouse.

We had plenty of time to take in the Viennese coffeehouse setting, while waiting for ES to appear. The decor was one of the highlights of the evening. I do so like these small intimate restaurants that have personality, and better still, remain comfortable and casual. Reminded me of the restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City. If only we had more of these...

The menu was also sufficiently extensive for us not to order any wieners. We opted for:

alt wiener suppentopf (traditional Austrian soup)

We didn't so much order this, as we were ordered to have this. Anton, the owner and head waiter, insisted that we start with this, while waiting for ES to arrive. We watched, bemused, as a terrine duly appeared on our table, just like every other table in the establishment. Filled with beef broth, vegetables, meat and pancake noodles, the soup tasted somewhat like Bovril but was tasty. We each had two bowls of this, leaving the last one third for ES.

potato salad

We also liked the potato salad - lots of crunchy onion bits and tart enough to be appetising rather than stodgy.

schnitzel semmel (pork cutlet sandwich)

I thought I ordered a wiener schnitzel, which would have consisted of the pork cutlet and herbed potatoes, but this was served instead. I didn't really mind so tucked in with gusto anyway. The cutlet was juicy and surprisingly unsalty, and went really well with the raw onion and bun.

roast pork with sauerkraut (pickled cabbage) and dumpling

This was HM's order. We didn't love the dumpling but had to admit it all went so well together - the cumin-laced sauerkraut, the brown gravy, the roast. I would have preferred the pork to be less dry but HM was happy with it.

meat loaf served with egg and spinach sauce

Eventually, ES arrived and had this - atas (upmarket) "junk food"! A warning to small eaters: the portions here are substantial; ES could not finish her food, not after she had had some soup and potato salad.


apfel (apple) strudel

We finally got to dessert which of course meant the two Austrian signature desserts. The sachertorte (Austrian chocolate cake) was a little dry for our taste but the apple strudel was pleasant enough.

Wiener Melange (like a cappucino)

Black Keys (like a latte)

We finished up with, what else, coffee, which was unexpectedly delicate-tasting; we expected it to be stronger. It was a fitting end to a fun evening exploring a more European sensibility, and a reasonably priced one too ($93 for the three of us). We'll be going back for more.



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