Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Germanic Indulgence

Food and travel guest blogger hkLifestyleGeek gives us her next scoop on fantastic restaurants around town and travel tips. Contact her at hklifestylegeek@hkfashiongeek.com 

Who goes to the east side of Hong Kong island these days? Being one more familiar with Central -- because let's face it -- most of the action is there -- I was lured out of my comfort zone and headed out to Sai Wan Ho -- or Soho East.

There's a new German restaurant here called Berliner and it's attached to Wildfire, which means if you don't want bratwurst you can order pizza. Or you can sit in Wildfire and have your apple strudel. Either way you can sit and watch the world go by in the open restaurant, or have onlookers check you out.

It's not too difficult to find, just head to the waterfront where you'll find a string of restaurants which make you wonder why you haven't been to this laid-back area before.

In any case, the decor of Berliner seems straight-forward, with a few beer steins on the shelves, simple European decor complete with faux carved stone blocks on the bar, and German Oktoberfest-like music (that gradually changes into 80s pop later in the evening).

The menu is an Oktoberfest fan's dream come true -- lots and lots of sausages, sauerkraut and beer. Berliner offers the largest selection of German beers both bottled and on tap and of course schnapps and Reisling. At the server's suggestion I tried the Weltenburger Kloster Anno 1050 -- yep it was first made in 1050 and it still tastes great. It's an easy-drinking beer that's very refreshing.

For starters the pumpernickel with smoked salmon, potato salad, capers and dill (HK$78) is refreshing and probably the lightest dish on the menu. It's a tad difficult trying to squeeze the mini tower of food into your mouth so best to use a knife and fork.

Another appetizer is the sausage salad with onions, pickles, eggs, potatoes, lettuce and Emmenthal cheese (HK$76) but it seemed average and didn't have much flavour to it.

However, be sure to try the six pretzels (HK$68) that come stacked on a wooden platter with a stake and is toasty warm.

For a bit of spice to the meal, have the goulash soup with paprika croutons (HK$58). It's a hearty soup filled with carrots, celery, peppers and a touch of chilli ideal for winter, or induce a sweaty brow on a hot day.

Then get ready for meat galore in the mains. A good one to share is the sausage platter of bratwurst, rogenberger, nurnberger and white Munich served with sauerkraut and roasted potatoes (HK$179). Dig into the sausages and the serving of sauerkraut is hardly stingy.

Another favourite is the roasted pork knuckle with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut (HK$169). This is definitely the main event, a giant hunk of meat, roasted until the thick skin is crispy golden brown, the meat tender and delicious.

If you have room for dessert, the signature one for Berliner is of course the homemade apple strudel (HK$58). It comes with a scoop of real vanilla ice cream and while the pastry is perfectly flaky, the diced apples are a bit on the dry side and could have a bit more texture like chopped nuts or more flavour like cinnamon.

In any case Berliner is a great place to hang out and listen to the soundtrack of your youth (if the 80s was your era). Sit back, enjoy and indulge.

Shop 2B-07
G/F, 45 Tai Hong Street
Lei King Wan, Sai Wan Ho
2121 8969

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