[Rothenburg, Bavaria, Germany] Burgerkeller – No Burgers Here, Just Great German Cuisine

28 11 2013

More than midway into my exchange program in Germany, the German towns that have left the greatest impressions so far are the little towns dotted along the Romantic Road (a German invention of the post-war 1950s when the country was eager to rebuild its tourism industry) that stretches from Fussen in the South to Wurzburg in the North. This was also where I had my most memorable German meal to date, in a medieval-looking little town called Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

While the cuisine in Rothenburg is marketed as Fraconian (an independent region before it merged with Bavaria), I found it pretty similar to Bavarian cuisine, with staples such as Potato Dumplings instead of rice or potato mash.

Translated to mean Burger Cellar, I was initially highly skeptical about Burgerkeller’s abiliy to serve up authentic German dishes. We later found out that Burgerkeller was a slight misnomer. The restaurant was located in a cellar but no burgers were served here. The dim lighting and small-scale of about 10 tables added to the intimacy of the restaurant. Floor operations were handled by just 1 captain, which he did excellently. He patiently took our orders, never rushed nor gave us any dirty looks despite our incessant flow of questions regarding the dishes on the menu and still found time to go around the restaurant checking in on guests to ensure that everything was going smoothly. Kudos to the service!

Food here was exceptional as well. We took an adventurous leap and ordered the Bavarian Liver Dumpling Soup (3.80 Euros), which came as a liver meatball over a savory base. I didn’t take too much to the soup base but the liver meatball was pretty tasty and really delicate.

Our favourite main came rather unexpected – the Smoked Blood and Liver Sausages and Roast Sausages on Sauerkraut and Potatoes (9.30 Euros). I have had blood sausages before and thought I had a pretty good idea of how they should taste like but the ones here were really mind-blowing. Just when I thought that was it, I took a bite of the liver sausages and realized that it was even tastier, with a more mousse-like texture compared to the chunky texture of the blood sausages.

Coming in a close second was the Pork Knuckle on Sauerkraut and Potato Dumplings (12 Euros). I’m guessing the pork knuckle was boiled and perhaps baked given that the meat was awfully tender but with a light charred (but still moist) exterior. The taste reminded me much of canned stewed pork, just that the meat was much more tender and less fats had dissolved upon cooking (which I imagine was due to well-timed cooking).

I would have been more impressed by the Roast Pork in Dark Beer Sauce with Potato Dumplings and Red Cabbage (9 Euros) had it not been for the pork knuckle. It was pleasant initially but the meat became tougher after being left alone for some time.

Possibly the most uncharacteristically German (and least impressive) item we had was the Fried Pork Steak covered in Basil, Tomatoes and Melted Swiss Cheese on Potato Wedges (10.50 Euros). It felt like something we could have gotten at a Hong Kong Café. The only saving grace was the Wedges, which is definitely in the top 5 percentile from what I’m used to having.

Although we were stuffed and had initially agreed to skip desserts due to our heavy late lunch, we had enjoyed the food so much that we couldn’t possibly leave without at least sharing their dessert so we ordered the only dessert item on their menu which was the Fresh Warm Apple Strudel with Vanilla Ice Cream and Whipped Cream (4.50 Euros). Again, it was one of the better apple strudels we have tried so far in Germany.

For beverages, I ordered the Untereisenheimer Sonnenberg Kerner von leichter Sube (4.20 Euros), a semi-sweet wine. It really suited my tastes, so much so that I ordered a 2nd glass and will actively attempt to look out for it in Singapore.

My initial view on German cuisine was that it is unsophisticated and haphazard. Burgerkeller did much to change my perception and I’m truly grateful for the experience. Do take the chance to drop by if you are around the area.

PS: Later found out from a German friend that Burger actually means citizen. So, Burgerkeller should be translated to mean Citizen Cellar rather than Burger Cellar which I mentioned erroneously above.

Burgerkeller

Herrngasse 24, 91541 Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Bavaria, Germany

Tel: +49 9861 2126





[Amsterdam, Holland] – Of Pancakes, English Breakfasts and Chinese Roast Meats

20 11 2013

While there are many coffeeshops in Amsterdam, not many actually sell coffee so it was great that we managed to find a decent cafe called Greenwoods that served a proper English Breakfast. I’d imagine it would be a great way to perk yourself up after a visit to the coffeeshop that does not sell coffee.

Ground Floor of Greenwoods

I had the Full English Breakfast (9.95 Euros), comprising two eggs with bacon, sausages, grilled mushrooms & tomato, baked beans and toast while friend JS had the Eggs Royale (8.95 Euros), comprising two poached eggs with smoked salmon on toasted English muffins topped with Hollandaise.

My toast was crisp but at the same time rather airy, the grilled mushrooms were flavourful, the eggs poached to perfection and the Hollandaise sauce rich and smooth. Nothing short of excellent.

Full English Breakfast

Eggs Royale

Another plus point was that while the cafe was pretty popular, the staff were uber friendly and I never once felt rushed during the meal.

Another cafe that’s hugely popular and also worth visiting is The Pancake Bakery, which has the widest selection of pancakes I have ever seen. Initially I was a little bummed, mainly because I perceive a restaurant with a wide menu selection as a jack of all trades but master of none. Thankfully, I was painfully mistaken this time around.

Question marks all around whenever someone asks about what foods are authentically Dutch. Well, something I learnt from this trip is that the Dutch invented a type of mini-pancake called Poffertjes. We had the Poffertjes with Honey, Nuts, Mandarins and Whipped Cream (7.10 Euros) and it was wonderful. Compared to the other pancakes we had here, this one was more on the fluffy side, with the texture of hotcakes but with a lighter body and less floury taste.

If you like Hawaiian Pizza, then you will surely love the Pineapple and Bacon Pancake (9.95 Euros). It was my favourite of the 3 pancakes we ordered. The bacon wasn’t overly salty and there was a pleasant smoky tinge (from the bacon) lingering within the batter.

Pancake with Apples, Cinnamon Ice Cream, Cinnamon Liquor and Whipped Cream (12.15 Euros)

Having had to skip lunch to make it for a bicycle tour of the city, we were pretty famished when it was over and couldn’t wait for our pancakes to arrive. So while waiting, we had some Taco Chips with Melted Cheese and Chili Sauce (4.65 Euros) to nibble on. Was appreciative that the cafe took the effort to toast the chips before serving.

For tourists, do remember to flash your Holland Pass to enjoy a drink on the house.

Zaanse Schans Windmill Village

PS: This advice is mainly for Asians in Europe hankering after a decent Roast Meat and Roast Duck Rice. Say goodbye to 4 Seasons in London, Amsterdam’s Nam Kee is the place to be for Roast Meats. It might just run some stalls out of business if it ever opened shop in Singapore.

Nam Kee

Zeedijk 113, 1012 AV Amsterdam, Netherlands

Tel: +31 20 624 3470

The Pancake Bakery

Prinsengracht 191, 1015 DS Amsterdam, Netherlands

Tel: +31 20 625 1333

Greenwoods English Tea Room & Restaurant

Keizersgracht 465, Amsterdam 1017 DK, Netherlands

Tel: +31 20 420 4330





“Cyber-Monday” debuts in Singapore – Discounts on Online Websites

13 11 2013

Better known as “Cyber-Monday” in America, Singapore has also launched a similar month-long campaign called “Online Revolution” that kick started yesterday (11 November 2013) and ends 11th December 2013. The campaign aims to increase awareness of cross-category online-shopping and several online retailers participating are offering pretty decent deals during the month.

Foodpanda.sg, the largest food delivery company in Singapore, will be giving a 25% discount to first time users (Voucher code: FPVISA25) and a 10% discount to returning customers (Voucher code: FPVISA10). Additionally there will be an exceptional 40% off flash-sale for the final day on 11th December.

Other major online retailers that are offering discounts include:

Budget carrier Scoot (15% off selected fares to Australia and China. Voucher code: eREVVISA) or (20% off selected fares to Australia and China for Visa Cardmembers only. Voucher code: eREV2013)

Online fashion retailer Zalora (15% off storewide. Voucher code: ZONLINE) or (15% off storewide + $10 Cashback for Visa Cardmembers only. Voucher code: VISAONLINE)

Online coupon website All Deals Asia (6% off storewide. Voucher code: REVOLUTION6)

Online Grocer Red Mart (10% off storewide. Voucher code: VISA10)

Beauty & Cosmetics Retailer Bellabox (50% off Bella Box)

Happy shopping!








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