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The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Friday, 3 February 2012

German @ Berliner (Olympian City), Hong Kong

As an avid food enthusiast, I consider Hong Kong to be a delicious playground for gourmands. I have had the delight to experience hard-to-obtain European cuisines like Scandinavian and Swiss food, as well as the more prolific Italian and French cuisines. I can now add German food to the growing list of cuisines I first tried in HK. When I think of German cuisine, the first three things that come to mind are sausages, beer and sauerkraut. I love sauerkraut (as I do for pickled vegetables in general such as the Korean kimchi, Japanese tsukemono and Chinese suan cai), but I'm generally not a big fan of sausages (or processed meat in general) or beer (am allergic to alcohol), so needless to say German cuisine held little appeal to me. However, I always try something at least once, and last weekend I walked away from my first German food encounter with a full belly and a smile.

Entrance to Berliner and the dining area. There is also an al-fresco dining area outside of the complex:

We were in Olympian City checking out the area, and we were impressed with how large and well-equipped this area is. Olympian City 3 was newly opened in 2011, and Berliner was one of the restaurants that opened on the ground floor of the new complex. I liked the open layout of the dining area, and the alfresco area would be lovely during the warmer months. Service was friendly and attentive, and it was easy to ask the staff allergy-related questions. The menu was relatively small but it stayed true to the German cuisine and the dishes were affordably priced. I heard that Berliner is not the cheapest German in HK, but we were happy with the food quality and the level of the service.

I love restaurants with an open kitchen! I enjoy watching the chefs in action (and it's always useful to see how clean the kitchen is):

We ordered one pretzel for the boy, but we ended up eating a lot of it, so we ordered two more. These were excellent! Fresh and warm, the pretzels were very, very moreish:

Chef in action! Actually the first guy was camera-shy, so he pulled over this guy which you see cooking the Berliner Bratwurstschnecke. Chicken and pork knuckles were spit-roasting in the oven behind him:

Wurst Platte - sausage platter of bratwurst, regensburger, n├╝rnberger and Munich weisswurst, served with sauerkraut and roasted potatoes. All were substantially meaty, with none of that nonsense filler ingredients that are often found in packaged sausages. The sauerkraut were addictive and I think I hogged most of it (besides, hubby was happier with the roast potatoes):

One of the house specials was the roasted pork knuckle. The waiter informed me that only the mini version was available, and when the pork knuckle arrived, I exclaimed in surprise because it was so big. Apparently the normal pork knuckle dish is twice the size.

Mini Schweinshaxe - roasted pork knuckle, with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut. Once again I hogged most of the sauerkraut:

A waitress saw the bewildered look on my face as I stabbed ineffectively at the pork knuckle, and she offered to help carve it for us. She did a much better job than I would have otherwise:

The pork knuckle was surprisingly meaty. We expected more gristle and tendon, but the flesh was tender and flavourful, and the crackling was amazing:

Raspberry Schnapps - wow, this baby was strong! LIterally knocked me off my seat when I took my first sip. We'd never had schnapps before so didn't know what to expect:

Dessert was Apfelstrudel apple strudel served with vanilla ice cream and berries. This was delightfully light but indulgent at the same time, and it was nut-free so the boy could enjoy some too:

We really enjoyed our German lunch, and the 3-year-old had great fun eating too. I'm glad that I'm able to eat German food without having to wait for Oktoberfest to roll around. Berliner is worth a try if you're in the area.

Berliner
Shop G18, G/F,
Olympian City 3,
1 Hoi Wang Road,
Tai Kok Tsui, West Kowloon
Tel. +85 2 2148 5388

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