Although the annual Oktoberfest celebration has been cancelled in Munich, Germany, due to the pandemic, Singaporeans can still get a taste of this feast of food and drink with a special menu at Brotzeit
Considered one of the largest folk festivals in the world, Germany’s Oktoberfest has always been a well-known feast of food and drink. Every year, this celebration — which dates back to the 1800s — is held in Munich on a large scale; but this year’s festivities have been cancelled due to the pandemic.
Still, for German restaurant Brotzeit, the pandemic is not about to stop them from bringing a taste of the Oktoberfest to Singaporeans. From now until 25 October, they’re serving up a special Oktoberfest menu that will no doubt delight the foodies.
What’s also new to Brotzeit is Group Executive Chef Lorenz Raich, who joined the team in August 2020. Formerly head chef at Chef’s Table by Chef Stephan Zoisl (over at Tras Street), Austrian-born Raich has a wealth of culinary experience in highly lauded boutique venues, famous Michelin-starred restaurants as well as five-star hotels. His fine-dining background shows in the menu he has crafted, which is pleasantly refined, considering that German (in particular, Bavarian) food can sometimes be really heavy (think lots of meat and potatoes).
For starters, we tried the Kalter Schweinsbraten or Cold Roast Pork ($16++), a dish which is usually made with leftovers from the huge roasts enjoyed by the family on weekends. Brotzeit’s Kalter Schweinsbraten is, however, freshly made from pork collar, marinated overnight in Brotzeit’s own secret 12-spice mix, slow-roasted on a bed of root vegetables and Brotzeit’s lager, and then chilled. The thinly cut slices of pork are served with rocket leaves, mustard aioli, crispy pork skin and house-pickled daikon (radish) cubes that cut through the meatiness of the pork.
Personally, the Asian in me can never quite get used to cold cuts of meat (hot food is nutritious, we all know that) but I truly enjoyed this. The tartness and mild heat coming from the mustard aioli and pickled daikon complement and lift the meat, which is well-marinated and just plain tasty.
Along with the cold roast pork, we had a selection of preserved or smoked spreads, with mini-pretzels and lettuce ($22++). Here, we got three different spreads: Duck Confit, Chicken Truffle and Smoked Trout. A tasty little nibble before the main meal, this was fun to share and the duck confit in particular was a hit for me — salty smoked duck meat, shredded finely and paired with a crispy pretzel and crunchy lettuce? Yes, please.
More nibbles are on the menu, with Knusprige Schweinsohren or Crispy Fried Pig Ears ($12++) and Pork Crackling ($6++). As a huge fan of pork crackling (especially with beer), this is a no-brainer — a fun and tasty snack that’s worth the calories (and cholesterol).
For mains, we were treated to the Riesenbrezn, or Giant Pretzels ($28++), which is a “oooh”-inducing 23cm long and 18cm wide. Sandwiched by this giant pretzel are farmer’s sausage, custom made for Brotzeit with their own recipe, hot mustard, lettuce, tangy red cabbage and pickles. We also tasted the Knusprige Schweinsschulter, or Crispy Roasted Pork Shoulder ($45++), a golden-brown, crispy-skinned wonder that will truly please those who love a good roast pork.
The boneless pork shoulder is tied with a butcher string and marinated overnight with Brotzeit’s 12-spice pork knuckle spice mix, then lightly steamed and roasted until the skin is crispy and crunches pleasingly when cut. It is served with housemade potato dumpling, roasted autumn vegetables and pork jus.
Now, potato dumplings are usually stodgy and somewhat plain (though I like them just the same) but Brotzeit does these really well. These were deliciously buttery and were perfect with the pork and vegetables.
The third main dish we tried was the Geröstete Schweinsleber, or Roasted Pig Liver ($26++), served with poached apples and mashed potatoes. This was perhaps the only dish I did not enjoy, since I don’t really like pig’s liver, except perhaps when in a pâté. Still, this would probably please fans of pig’s liver: a 180g hunk of liver is seasoned and lightly coated with plain flour, then seared with yellow onions on high heat for a few seconds. The poached apples, in addition, serve to cut through the richness of the liver, which for me, is much-needed.
Finally, dessert.We sampled Gebackene Apfelradln, or Battered Fried Apple Wheels ($11++), which is a really homey and traditional dessert served in Germany. I have had several fantastic iterations of this dessert in a few restaurants and Brotzeit definitely more than meets my (admittedly) fussy expectations.
Fuji apple slices are coated in a small amount of plain flour before being coated in a beer batter, then deep-fried and coated with sugar and cinnamon, and served with vanilla crumble and vanilla ice cream. I have a sweet tooth that just won’t quit, and I could happily polish off this entire dish myself, no matter how stuffed I already am from the mains and snacks.
Unfortunately, we did not get to try the beer which Brotzeit has specially imported from Munich. This year, Brotzeit has the Oktoberfest brew from Hofbräu ($16++ for a pint), founded by William V, Duke of Bavaria in 1589 and still a traditional Bavarian-run brewery today.
Sure, purists could argue that Brotzeit isn’t as “authentic” as what you will get in Germany, but does it truly matter when the food is just plain tasty? All in all, it is worth just making a reservation at Brotzeit soon for a hearty meal and drink with friends; and really, isn’t that truly the spirit of Oktoberfest?
(also in Vivocity, Katong and Westgate)
252 North Bridge Road, #01-17 Raffles City
Shopping Centre, S179103
Telephone: (65) 6883 1534
Mon–Sun (including public holidays and eve of public holidays): 11am to 10.30pm