Mr. and I went to a food blogger gathering at Deutsches Haus Restaurant. As it’s the dining room of the Vancouver Alpen Club, I was looking forward to a treat to some authentic German food.
When this dinner was first initiated, the sole purpose was to try the festplatte. It’s a German meat platter for 4 people. How meaty, you ask? Here’s the list:
- 1 eisbein (pork hock)
- 2 kassler (pork loin)
- 2 bratwurst
- 2 leberkäse (meat loaf, similar to bologna sausage or spam)
- 1 schweineschnitzel (breaded pork schnitzel)
Plus mashed potatoes, dumplings, red cabbage and sauerkraut – that’s a huge variety of food for $20 per person! I automatically opted in for this while Mr. ordered a Zigeunerschnitzel on his own. All pork schnitzel dishes were on special that day, $15 including a pint of Warsteiner Draught (instead of $18-19 a plate + ~$6-7 a beer) – that reminds me of the Long Table Series at Irish Heather.
Verdict? According to Karl, the food was prepared authentically. With the festplatte, the portion size was generous. My group barely finished the entire platter, and we’re the only group that could finish it. Bratwurst and Schnitzel were highlights of my meal. A thin slice of meat, the schnitzel was very crispy on the outside yet not at all dry inside. Bratwurst was very tasty as well. I was somewhat torn about the eisbein. The meat was flavourful and melted in your mouth, but the skin was a little disappointing. Because the ham hock was boiled to perfection, the skin was soft and kind of slimey,with a huge layer of fat tucked underneath. It’s not the most appetizing looking but us Chinese certainly didn’t mind it and finished it all. The lowest point of the platter was definitely the dumplings and I think most people at the dinner would agree with me; they were doughy and flavourless.
Mr.: This was my first experience at a Deutsches Restaurant, and my first time having Schnitzel and Spatzle. I like my bargains, and couldn’t find a reason to say no to this. Quantity wise it was just right—not overwhelming but I left feeling satisfied. The meat was tender and the crust crisp. Although I’ve never had a “schnitzel”, I’ve had dishes of a very similar nature but with different names. I liked the Spicy Gipsy Sauce, just wished there was more of it. The Spatzle, or German egg noodle, was a little less familiar. I liked the slightly seared texture from being pan fried, but wished there was something to go with it (thus the wish for more sauce). Overall all the food was good but it was also quite plain-jane. I’ve had similar things before that were done better.
If you follow my posts closely, you’d notice I’m quite picky when it comes to service quality. There are usually some underlying problems with group dinners: mixing up orders, splitting bills, service time, etc. You know they will happen but it all depends on how the restaurant handles them. In this case, in Mr.‘s own words, “Service had all of the German hospitality and warmth, and none of the efficiency”. The most disappointing incident was the billing. From the very beginning we’d told the server we wanted separate billing. Three hours later, they still needed another 15 minutes to figure out how to split a $80 platter into 4 on their cash register. 1) I was surprised that they never had this problem before since this platter is meant for 4 people; 2) why couldn’t they use the 3 hours of dining time to figure that out. On top of that, they held us up by having all 17 of us lined up at the cash register and paid individually. That’s another 30 minutes right there. If I knew this would happen, I would’ve suggested getting one big bill and split it among ourselves.
On a side note, I heard rumours that there was rodent sighting at the restaurant the day we were there. (Update: Although pest issues pose concerns among diners, restaurants are required to implement pest control plans and they are being inspected on a regular basis. For the record, Vancouver Coastal Health did not find any pests the last two times they inspected the Deutsches Haus. I can’t verify the rumours myself but I felt the need to report it here and let you the readers to evaluate this rumoured incident.)
Deutsches Haus Restaurant at Vancouver Alpen Club
4875 Victoria Drive, Vancouver