April 24, 2011

Invited Review : Weissbräu German Bistro & Bar @ Straits Quay

Having the privilege to be invited by RoundU through Jason & Gill to attend this invited review, I was given a proper chance to sample all the gourmet offerings at this German bar & restaurant. I must say that of all the invited reviews I've attended thus far, this tops as one of those which I truly felt the sincerity of the owner and those preparing the culinary creations. We were first introduced to Wayne (Left) who is the owner of Weissbräu, he is a warm and humorous bloke indeed! We also got to know Denver (Right) - a somewhat shy but very attentive and informative restaurant manager.
Let's get to the good food!

San Pellegrino - Acqua Panna 1000ml [RM 24]

We were served with Acqua Panna to quench our thirst with and start off the afternoon. Being a natural mineral water from Italy, Acqua Panna takes its name from the famous Villa Panna in the hills of Tuscany, where the water was first discovered. I think this is by far the most expensive minteral water I ever tried and it is indeed refreshing with hints of sweetness in it. Good water :)

German Sour Bread

The bread is freshly made in the kitchen on a daily basis to ensure that they are of top quality for the enjoyment of customers. The sour bread had a nice and aromatic crust yet a chewy inner texture.

Mussel Seaman [RM 28]

This is a hearty pot with pure mussel which was prepared with white wine, garlic, shallots and vegetables in Hot Pot. I first tried the broth in the hot pot and was immediately hooked onto the sweetness from the mussel paired with a good touch of white wine. Next I noticed how huge of a size these mussels were! And Denver further explained that these are New Zealand mussels which are famous for its quality and rich taste. Now bearing in mind that I was never a mussel lover, I have a lot of reservation towards this dish but for the sake of reviewing it, I had to taste one. I normally put a mussel into my mouth, quickly chew it and swallow it. But I took my time with this one and bit half of the huge mussel first and slowly tasted it in my mouth.... And I must say that I was pleasantly surprised with how nice the mussel tasted! There were no smell to it, the mussel was super fresh and had all the goodness from the broth it was prepared in. And I clearly remembered helping myself with another one of these babies as they were that good! Must bring hubby to try this out for sure - Recommended!

Honey Baked Ham Sandwich [RM 21]
served with Cream of Pumpkin [RM 16.80]

I am a hardcore ham fan and finds a lot of pleasure chancing upon good ham. The sandwiches here at Weissbräu comes with a variety of bread choices to the customers' taste buds, namely Croissant, French Baquette, Italian Ciabatta, White or Wholemeal Bread. We were served with German Laugen Bread for our sandwich and I enjoyed every bite of the bread. Check out the overflowing ham on the sides of the bread! We were informed that these are high quality honey baked ham and I can second that as the ham were light, non flaky, had good proportions of meat vs. fat and had really solid ham taste to it. Simply put - they were just heaven-like!

All the soups here are prepared the traditional way - with fresh ingredients and no MSG added. The cream of pumpkin comes highly recommended especially by Denver. Just one spoonful, I can almost taste the sweetness of the pumpkin and not just another diluted pumpkin-like taste served by other restaurants.
Honey Baked Ham Sandwich [RM 21] served with Tomato Soup with Basil [RM 16.80]
Compared to pumpkin soup, I personally love the tomato soup slightly a bit more. Simply for the reasons that tomato soup opens up our appetites and the version served here had just the right amount of basil giving an edge to the supposedly sour-based soup. It was perfectly blended at the right thickness which I find sheer delight in enjoying. Highly recommended!
Spaetzli with Ham and Cheese [RM 24]
Spaetzli is a homemade German egg noodle tossed in butter and it comes with a variety of choices such as ham, cheese, mushroom, ham&cheese, carbonara or plain.

Having tried the plain version in my previous visit before, the ham and cheese version offered a somewhat multi-layering in terms of the taste of egg, ham and cheese which my tastebud. The lightweight texture of the homemade noodle is something one can look forward to for a light meal.

Emmentaler [RM 38]

Emmentaler is a pork sausage dish which comes in a lightly crisped skin filled with Emmental cheese - a type of aged cheese used together with herbs in the preparation of the sausage. Undoubtedly, the taste of the emmentaler was unique - chewy and had hints of the aromatic aged cheese within.

The dish comes with 2 sides and ours was served with buttered market vegetables and potato salad. The buttered market vegetables were not too greasy and the potato salad was special as there were traces of pickles within. I didn't like pickles but it did not overpower the potato salad any bit but in turn complemented it.

Other side dishes that one can order to go with this dish are Spaetzli, Roesti, Sauerkraut.

Side dishes - Spaetzli - Plain & Mashed Potato

For those who prefer lighter version of Spaetzli, this plain version is just right. I love how the mashed potato was so light in texture yet so full in flavor - must try for mashed lovers.

All additional orders of side dishes are charged at RM 9 but I reckon that the portions of the side dishes served here can easily fill 2 instead of 1 stomach :)

Crispy German Pork Knuckle [RM 48]

We are now getting more and more accustomed to the many versions of pork knuckles served by restaurants here in Penang and I have to say, my first encounter of the pork knuckle here was not a good one. After listening to what Wayne and Denver was sharing as to how the knuckle was prepared, I had a whole new insight and knew how to appreciate this particular dish so much more.

The pork knuckle here is prepared using their secret recipe made up of herbs to cut down the fat as well as minimizing the pork smell. These were prepared over many hours and in the end deep fried to perfection. Indeed, the knuckle served here is not as oily as the ones served in other restaurants and the skin was deep fried to perfection and was uber crispy! I loved every bite of the crispy skin. The meat portion was not as tender but I rather give this up to enjoy a less oily affair of a good ol' pork knuckle. I can really taste the flavor of herbs present in the knuckle itself from its skin down to the meat.

The side dishes that came with our pork knuckle was Sauerkraut and Roesti. As Wayne aptly puts it, Sauerkraut is the German version of Kim chi :) as no German meal is complete without a helping of this signature sourish vegetable. Roesti is a potato version of hash brown as it is made up of potato, prepared in a criss-cross mashed net manner. It's a well-prepared side dish indeed as I can definitely foresee this being something which can be easily over-cooked.
Flammküchen (Pizza)

There are 2 types of pizzas offered here at Weissbräu - original German which is made up of sour cream and onion base; and Italian Touch which is the version we are all very familiar with - tomato paste, sour cream and mozzarella cheese.

In my previous 2 visits, I have sampled both the original German (seafood) and the Italian Touch (Salmon) and I did not like the original German version a bit.
Flammküchen with Lightly Curried Chicken - Original German [RM 24]

Flammküchen with Lightly Curried Chicken - Italian Touch [RM 28]

But this round, I have to give it to the original German version which was prepared with lightly curried chicken way much more than the Italian! I was puzzled with my own preference at first too but the more I gave thoughts to it, the more it made sense as the chicken itself had a stronger taste and naturally complemented better with the original sour cream and onion base. The Italian touch, on the other hand goes better with ingredients which are not too strong in flavour e.g. Salmon :)

As we thought we were about to end the day with the German beer and dessert, we were surprised to be served a handful of 2 types of homemade sausages!
Smoked Pork Sausage - Chilli / Herb [RM 34]

These sausages are not in their menu but we can definitely order this the next time we visit Weissbräu. By the glance of it, it did not look impressive and we couldn't really tell them apart. But once we sank our teeth into these sausages which were prepared using sheep casing, we could almost tell these sausages are made with the best quality meat with generous herbs and spices. The chilli sausage was one eye-opener for me as it was pretty spicy! I think this is by Wayne's request since Koreans basically love their spiciness :) The herb sausage did not pale in comparison with the chilli version as it offered us a much toned down enjoyment of the German meat pleasure.

Chocolate Mousse topped with Pear [RM 14.80]

This is a new item on their dessert menu and I was saving a tiny spot in my stomach to fit this in and boy, was I not disappointed at all. From the picture this looked normal but it only took one tiny sample for me to immediately fall in love with the mousse. Paired with the pear which is not too sweet, this was a match made in heaven. I am a huge lover of ice cream, gelato, and mousse tops my list anytime. The texture of this chocolate mousse is not as light as normal mousse, but is more towards those of a gelato. Trust me, it's not a bad thing at all as the more you indulge in it, the deeper you get sucked into the richness of the chocolate. Just as I was wondering what made the chocolate so velvety thick, Denver shared with us that it is made with Belgian chocolate and with VSOP! Where on earth can we get a chocolate mousse this luxurious without having to go to fine dining establishments? Here! I told Wayne I'd definitely be making come back just solely based on this dessert itself, being on top of the list of all the other great food.
Uber highly recommended!

Erdinger Weissbier [RM 17 for 300ml & RM 29 for 500ml]

As I'm not familiar with beer, I can only say that this tasted much better in comparison to what we can normally get off-the-shelf in major stores :)

In all, I'd give a good thumbs up for the effort, food quality, preparation, presentation, service and ambiance. We definitely need more establishments as such to add flavor and passion in offering genuine good food which is lacking in our times. Please, don't take my word for it, do hop on to Weissbräu and experience it yourself - I'm pretty certain you will not be disappointed.