Wednesday, 23 December 2015

A Royal Feast At Kaiserhaus

I visited Kaiserhaus at the newly renovated Capitol building last week, at the recommendation of Jerome.  I usually disliked the rather heavy fare served at German restaurants where meat, more meat, and even more meat and potatoes were the staple.  However, Jerome swore that this one was different. And he was right.

We had an exceptional dinner which served a gastronomical delight from the former Hapsburg empire stretching all the way from Austria, Hungary, Bohemia, Northern Italy, right up to the Balkans.  So that was where I was wrong.  This was not a German restaurant.  The food was exquisite.  The veal Schnitzel was fried to a delicate crisp and the Debrecen Kolbász  or Hungarian Paprika Chicken Sausage which Jerome loved too, was bursting in a symphony of spicy, salty flavors that broke into a waltz on my tongue at the first bite. 

One of the not-to-be-missed dishes that you have to try at least once, would be the Austrian national dish called Tafelspitz.  A favorite of Emperor Franz Josef I, this comprised of tender grain-fed beef rump,  and mixed root vegetables, luxuriously creamy bone marrow, a crisp rosti and velvety creamy spinach served in traditional copper pots. The Tafelzpitz was accompanied by freshly toasted rye bread and homemade horseradish sauce.

Jerome also had the Backhendl which was a Viennese favorite. Also known as the Backhähnchen, this dish that dated back to the 18th century was once prepared primarily for the aristocrats and upper echelons of society. Today, this dish is very much enjoyed by many in Munich during the annual Oktoberfest. The version here at Kaiserhaus used organic chicken and came served with a refreshingly piquant potato salad and mâche, which was a European salad green that grew in small rosette-shaped bunches.

This must be the only European restaurant of its kind in Singapore that had Gabelkraut on its menu. A mildly sweet variation of the Sauerkraut, this was included as a side in the Debrecen Kolbász. Named after the city of Debrecen in Hungary, this was a smoked Hungarian chicken sausage, heavily spiced with paprika, marjoram, garlic and pepper. In addition to the Gabelkraut, this also came with mash and Lecsó, a bell pepper based Hungarian version of the traditional French Provençal ratatouille.

No meal here can be truly complete without a serving of their wholesome desserts. For this, we opted for the Zaunerstollen, a nougat praline with wafer, hazelnut and chocolate, that was handmade by Konditorei Zauner (Zauner Confectionery) using a recipe from way back in 1905.  It is noteworthy that Kaiserhaus is the one and only restaurant in this region that offered the traditional range of treats from Zauner. Established in 1832, this family-owned confectionery was listed as the purveyor to the royal court during the reign of the Habsburg Empire and the preferred supplier of confectionery to the imperial family of Austria.

The most important thing that I almost forgot to mention, is that when you do dine at Kaiserhaus, sharing the meal is highly recommended because the portions are usually huge.  After that, do wash that enormous dinner down with a pint or two of Hirter craft beer.



About The Writer:

This blog post was co-written by my brother Jerome and I. Although we are siblings who grew up 11 years apart, shaped by differing experiences to see the world from different perspectives, we do share a common obsession – FOOD.  We celebrate our passion for life with food.  However, our attitudes to food are quite different and the way we celebrate our love for food are also quite different.  Jerome lives to eat and hoovers everything edible that crosses his path.  As he shovels food into his mouth with that fork in his right hand, he takes photographs of what he eats, and posts pictures and notes up on Facebook with his left.  Often, his beautifully written prose about what he had eaten would be 7 paragraphs in length and would not have any punctuations in between because he had been too busy multi-tasking. 

I, on the other hand, eat to live. It is not just about my attempts to eat healthily. As I am a “cam-whore” and “social media hussy”, I spend about half an hour styling my food, taking photographs, writing notes and posting them across my social media platforms before eating them, right after the hubby has paid for the bill and is about to head out of the restaurant.  I enjoy reading all my posts about what I had eaten because I know that I had lived fully in spite of watching what I eat.  Welcome to the foodie world of the quirky Ong siblings.