Singapore’s first and only Austrian restaurant, Kaiserhaus, has opened in Capitol Building, serving both lunch and dinner daily. The restaurant opens at 10.30am and closes at midnight every day (except for Fridays and Saturdays when it stays open until 1am).
Not only is the two-level restaurant situated in one of Singapore’s most beautiful whitewashed colonial buildings, it is handsomely furnished with upholstered chairs and chandeliers, occupying ample space on the second and third floors of the neo-classical Capitol Building. Kaiserhaus is tucked out of sight in a corner, though, so you might have to follow the signs carefully to find the main entrance.
This restaurant doesn’t serve only strictly Austrian fare, it also has some dishes and influence from the greater Central Europe area.
For starters, do try the Tafespitzsulze / Gourmet Beef Aspic ($15) which is served with two kinds of bread – a kaiser roll and a slice of rye bread – and also comes with a small portion of salad made up of cherry tomatoes, baby pickles and quail eggs. The beef-in-aspic slices are wonderfully flavourful with the right amount of sourness.
The Crispy Fried Mushrooms ($12) also didn’t disappoint. Crispy, with no oiliness, these button mushrooms were delightful and tasty. This starter comes with a special Austrian potato salad that has a superb tangy vinegar taste.
For the mains, there’s Austria’s national dish, Tafelspitz / Gourmet Beef ($38 for one, $76 for two), which is beef served in a bouillon (broth). The beef is cooked for many hours, and literally melts in your mouth – yes it’s that tender!
In addition, the broth contains a bone with marrow. The marrow is traditionally spread on the toasted rye bread supplied. The fatty and rich marrow is truly divine when eaten in this way.
Other sides that come with the Tafelspitz include rosti potatoes, spicy horseradish sauce, and creamed spinach that is so well done that even if like me you’re not a fan of spinach, you’ll find yourself reaching for this deliciously creamy accompaniment.
Also found here is another of Austria’s national dishes, one that is better known the world over: none other than the humble Wiener Schnitzel / Viennese Schnitzel. Here you have a choice of veal ($38) or pork ($29). We chose the veal and found it to be bursting with flavour, not oily even though it is deeply fried, and tender too.
This dish comes matched with the vinegar-based potato salad (the same one that comes with the beef aspic), along with a lemon-cranberry ragout.
For dessert, you shouldn’t miss the appropriately named Emperor’s Pancakes / Kaiserschmarrn ($15), which are caramelised shredded pancakes with rum-soaked raisins and plum compote. I found the compote much too sweet, but the pancakes were simply divine, both in smell and taste, and good enough to devour on their own, without the sweet side sauce.
If you love ice cream and all things cold for dessert, then opt for the Mozartknodel / Mozart Dumplings ($13) which are balls made up of marzipan and nougat pralines, then rolled in sweet crumbs to make a crust. These dumpling balls are served with a dollop of pistachio ice cream along with some marinated raspberries.
There is an extensive selection of wines, beers, spirits, mocktails and cocktails, soft drinks, and fruit juices as well as tea, coffee and chocolate.
They don’t have any ice wine / eiswein here which is a shame as Austria is a known producer of this type of dessert wine, but do try the Sämling Beerenauslese from Austria’s very own Gasellmann Estate ($12 for a glass, $95 for the bottle) which is also a late harvest sweet wine, or the Schönbrunn cocktail ($16) made up of limoncello (a lemon liqueur from Italy), vodka, thyme and passion fruit purée. And for the teetotalers, we suggest the Omi’s Apfelstrudel Saft ($5), a refreshing concoction of apple strudel juice with cinnamon.
In conclusion, if you crave the tangy sour stuff like I do, then you will absolutely fall in love with the dishes at Kaiserhaus, for vinegar is used abundantly in its cuisine.
But even if you don’t especially love sour, but love good food, Kaiserhaus will appeal to you as all the dishes we tasted are nothing short of delicious.
Also, the portions are huge. So if you have moderate appetites, I would suggest splitting two mains amongst three people if you’re also having starters like we had. Even the starters are of a good size, and the Gourmet Beef Aspic can easily be a light meal on its own.
So if you are eager to dine on some highly delectable Austrian dishes, or if you love your food tangy or vinegary, or if you simply want to get the most out of your dollar, I would strongly recommend Kaiserhaus for your next meal. You won’t be disappointed.
Address: 17 Stamford Rd, Capitol Building, #02-06 (entrance), #03-06, Singapore 178907