The buzz: German restaurant close to the Bund, manned by former Münchener Freiheit chef Dai. Trained in Europe, and with five years experience cooking German and Austrian food in China, Dai has returned to the kitchen to dish up more Teutonic fare.
The décor: Stark white with modern art on the walls; smart place settings and crisp tablecloths. We were expecting more of a wood-panelled brauhaus, but after the initial surprise, we were happy with the luxe. The place itself is a bit tricky to find: head down the alley beside the Starway hotel on Yan’an just south of Sichuan, and you’ll see the sign.
The food: Top quality. We started with Dai’s salad (¥52) which consisted of juicy chicken breasts and bacon on top of mixed leaves with a poached egg. Next we tried the Nuremberg sausages, mashed potato and sauerkraut (¥68), and the roast half chicken with fries (¥72). All well-cooked and nicely presented on square plates. Also on the menu are German and Austrian classics like Weiner schnitzel, pork roast, and meatloaf, as well as a selection of pastas. For desert we had the apple strudel with vanilla sauce (¥48) and the orange crepes (¥46).
The drinks: Traditionally German: schnapps, Henkell trochen sekt, dark and blond beer. We had the Hofbrau Helles (¥30 for 0.5L) and the Franziskaner Weissbier (¥40 for 0.5L).
Why you’ll be back: German food has a reputation for being stodgy and not exactly palate-tingling. Fair’s fair; it doesn’t set your taste buds on fire, but for hearty comfort food it hits the spot. Plus, it’s something a bit different. Dai’s décor is fancy enough to be date-worthy, but the prices aren’t prohibitive.