So I was travelling again as you could probably gather if you follow my Instagram and Twitter feeds. This time work took me back to the Bavarian city of Munich for a week. I love this city – my first and only visit was about 10 years ago when my brother and I spent a wintery week there indulging in everything Bavarian and Christmas. This time there were no Christmas Market stands and the weather for the most part was quite pleasant; oh yeah, and there was mostly work too, forgot about that. And I now have a little bit more spending money than an impoverished student (I still shop like a student though – I brought home 1.2kg of Ritter Sport).

Surprisingly (or perhaps not, I don’t know), not much has changed about the city in over a decade. Sure there are a few more international high street shops but there are still lots of independent shops and little cafes. I think even the food scene has improved somewhat.

Our first evening’s dinner was at Kuchlverzeichnis, a very traditional Bavarian restaurant with, yes, lots of pork on offer. We all shared a few starters first. There was a traditional platter of Bavarian snacks (I really enjoyed the obatzda), …

Pork Platter

…a venison pate served with a berry and horseradish compote,…

Venison Pate

…and shredded duck in aspic. All excellent and all plates cleaned.

Duck in Aspic

For my main course, as soon as I saw schnitzel on the menu, I couldn’t look away. But instead of the traditional Viennese style veal schnitzel, I went with a Münchner Schnitzel, a thin pork cutlet first coated in mustard before being crumbed and fried.

A Munich Style Schnitzel

We had to try a traditional Bavarian Cream, here served with fruits. It’s simply a pastry cream thickened with gelatin, nothing much to shout about.

Bavarian Cream

Kuchlverzeichnis
Rosenheimer Str. 10
81669 München, Germany

On some afternoons, I hopped over to True & 12 which seems to be considered one of the best ice cream places in the city. The flavours were indeed pretty fabulous! Here’s a chai latte and mango+ginger…

A bit of ice cream this afternoon - chai latte and mango+ginger flavours!

…and ‘Happy Monkey’ – a banana ice cream with chocolate chips, caramel and cinnamon sugar.

A scoop of 'Happy Monkey' - banana ice cream with chocolate chips, caramel, cinnamon sugar. Happy happy!

I really liked that scoops were sold individually, so you could have just 1 or 100.

True & 12
Rosenheimer Str. 14
81669 München, Germany

One particularly memorable teatime was spent at Konditorei Wölfl where we had a difficult time choosing just one cake from the myriad of homemade choices. I settled for a Prinzregententorte, a Bavarian cake made with thin layers of sponge cake interleaved with chocolate buttercream and covered with a dark chocolate glaze. It was as amazing as it looked and sounds and their other cakes also got the thumbs up from my colleagues. I hear they get queues down the road on weekends and I would recommend trying to get there on a weekday if possible.

Kuchen

Konditorei Wölfl
Kellerstraße 17
81667 München, Germany

A few days in and the pork levels in our bodies were already starting to get a bit high. We took a break one evening with Afghani food at a place nearby – Chopan (to go). Massive plates of basmati rice pilau and tender lamb and heavily spiced spinach ensured that we left satiated, our tastebuds enlivened again.

Narendj Palau

Chopan (to go)
Rosenheimerstraße 6 + 8
81669 München, Germany

Sometime later during the week, a few of us were getting a little tired of the sandwich lunches and we left in search of a kebab. Oh yes, this was my first German döner kebab and now I understand what the fuss is about. I mean, look at all that salad! It’s, like, fresh and whatnot all on top of some quality meat (by quality, I mean I can identify it as meat, unlike those elephant leg doners).

Today for lunch, we sampled that super German specialty, the döner kebab.

It was back to Bavarian food for a couple more nights and our meal at Haxnbauer was memorable mainly for the ridiculous amounts of meat before us. Between five of us, we first shared a platter for two. Goodness, if this was for two, then surely this was for two as a main course.

Starter Platter

While I was freaking out about the size of the knuckles and thinking of ordering slices, the others were keen to order by whole knuckle (warning: this is not a budget move by any means). When you state that preference, your waiter will come along with a platter of knuckles, with prices stuck on toothpicks, from which to choose. One veal knuckle and one pork knuckle then. These were whisked back into the kitchen for slicing before being presented to us yet again. Both were excellent but my favourite was the pork with its crackling, of course.

One Veal Knuckle, One Pork Knuckle

We eschewed the usual sides (sauerkraut and mash) and went with an eclectic mix: potato pancakes,…

Potato Pancakes

… red cabbage with apple,…

Red Cabbage with Apple

…pickled cucumber with dill,…

Pickled Cucumber with Dill

…and creamed mushrooms.

Creamed Mushrooms

Of particular note were the cabbage (a little sweet and a perfect pairing to the pork) and the mushrooms (like a chunky cream of mushroom soup).

No, we didn’t have dessert; actually we had to pack up meat leftovers. Booking recommended.

Haxnbauer im Scholastikahaus
Sparkassenstraße 6
80331 München, Germany

More in Part 2!

Oh, the summer is leaving us this year but I can still reflect back on some great al fresco meals we’ve had – ok, who am I kidding? I have a bit of a photo backlog from this summer and I’m finding a few gems here and there to share with you. Like that day we went bicycling along the Thames and the path was so pebbley that I thought either one of my tires would get a puncture or my teeth were going to jiggle out. And then we came home and used Google Map Pedometer to map our ride and it turned out to be 30km – nice. Only when I thought about it, it felt like much longer since we were negotiating all those pebbles.

At about lunchtime that day, we’d reached Richmond – no coincidence since I’d timed for us to arrive there for our midday meal. We were headed for Stein’s, a consistently busy beergarden on the Thames serving Bavarian food and beer. It was a fine day when we got there but do call ahead if the weather’s bad (as suggested on their website). I can’t remember if they had outdoor heaters.

We parked nearby, secured our table, and I joined the long queue for food. The queue moved at a snail’s pace, what with the people wishing to practice their German, people unclear on what to eat, people unclear on the drink policy (drinks are only served with a main meal and a pretzel is not a meal!). Drinks you collect immediately but the food is brought to you when it’s ready. To drink, I had an Almdudler sparkling herbal lemonade imported from Austria; no photo of it but it tasted like a slightly gingery lemonade – gorgeous stuff.

Bayerische Schlachtplatte

To eat, we ordered the Bayerische Schlachtplatte – a Bavarian Sharer platter for 2: A selection of grilled Nuernberger, Thueringer and Polnische pork sausages & bacon, served grilled with lots of sauerkraut and potato mash, all with a little Bavarian flag on top. While the little Nurnberg bratwursts weren’t up to scratch, the Polish style one and the big Thuringer bratwurst were both delicious, as were the Polish sausage and the bacon. The bacon was actually sublime – porky and meaty and a far cry from the watery specimens found at most supermarkets. The big slab that looks like Spam is Leberkäse (don’t worry – no liver and no cheese in it) and it was very moreish as it wasn’t as salty as the version I’ve tried previously. The sides were alright – nothing can compare to the memory of the porky sauerkraut I tried in Munich!

Bayerische Schlachtplatte

The platter might look huge but we managed to put it away rather easily and also found space for a slice of mediocre Sachertorte. A number of cakes are on display for dessert and are joined by a few others listed on the menu – I’m up for trying the Dampfnudel mit Vanillesauce next time! Actually, what I’d like to do is gather a group of friends to try Die Grosse Bratwurst Sause (a whacking huge platter) for 6-8 people!

Stein’s
Richmond Towpath
Rear of 55 Petersham Road
Richmond TW10 6UX

Stein's on Urbanspoon