Old German Beerhouse
“This is an oasis in a chaotic city,” says Frank Boer, Manager of the Old German Beerhouse. “We have no loud music, no hawkers and no ladies of the night in search of business. On draught we have four imported German beers, and four local beers. When we pull a beer, we fill to the mark on the glass, with German beers in particular there has to be space for the head.”
The Old German Beerhouse started in Sukhumvit Soi 23 then moved to its current location in Sukhumvit Soi 11 in November 2003. It is a typical and authentically styled German beerhouse with seating for about 200, with 60% of the seats on an open covered terrace at the front with the remaining 40% inside with air-conditioning. Elegantly correct yet pleasingly comfortable, it is decorated with dark wood furniture, cherry red cotton place mats and loads of German memorabilia. “I have been in Thailand 24 years,” Boer says. “My fi rst three were running a restaurant in Hua Hin, I then came to Bangkok to work for this company and later I became a partner. German food is very tasty and has global appeal, likewise both Asians and Westerners like to drink German beer.”
Chef Stephan Bouwman from Hamburg has been in Thailand for eight years, his fi rst seven were working for top hotels in Phuket. The day we met him, was his first year anniversary in Bangkok. “Pork and potatoes are key ingredients in German cuisine,” he says, “we are sourcing the best of both by committing to a long term relationship with our suppliers. A local farmer exclusively raises the pork we need. Good locally grown potatoes are available in Thailand if you are prepared to be selective. We have a dedicated potato grower who due to chemical free nature of the soil is producing better potatoes that I can find back in Germany. Likewise we have a German butcher who makes 14 different sausages. We must have consistency, our buying policy is quality fi rst, then price. We are prepared to pay just a little more to provide our customers with the best quality.”
The fi rst dish I tasted was Crispy pork knuckle with sides of sauerkraut and farmers potato. Pork knuckle is a typical southern German dish and is now available throughout Thailand. A very crisp skin is achieved by slow grilling on the rotisserie at the front of the restaurant for two to two and half hours. The result is a brittle crisp skin with succulent moist meat underneath. Bouwman explained that before grilling the meat is injected with herbs and salt and that this style cant be found anywhere else in Bangkok and was at pains to point out the crisp skin was not the result of deep frying.
Then came Lamb shank in red wine sauce on a bed of mashed potato with green beans in gravy. Succulently tasty, the lamb was almost falling off the bone. The silky smooth mashed potato contrasted perfectly with the richness of the garlic and olive gravy. This was delicious comfort food, perfectly cooked and elegantly plated.
Finally I had Crispy poached Norwegian salmon fi llet on a bed of spinach mashed potato with a white wine cream sauce. The skin was removed from the fi llet before it was seared on a hot griddle to make a crisp top leaving the flesh underneath moist and tender. The spinach potato mash was a great combination in itself and worked perfectly with the fl aky fi llet. The subtle favor in the light white wine cream sauce pulled the dish nicely together, leaving a light, comfortable and very tasty dish.
“We serve five-star food at three-star prices,” Boer tells me as I finish my meal. “German food takes long preparation time. With the pork knuckle if we have it, we can serve it, but if a group of six or more want the dish, they should make a reservation to avoid disappointment. We do outside catering for the German Embassy and about 90% of the German companies in Bangkok.”
Old German Beerhouse
Grand President Tower III
11 Sukhumvit Soi 11
Email: [email protected]
Average price THB 260
All credit cards taken
Opening hours 8am-1am