If you ask me what I know about German cuisine, all I can tell you is sausages, bratwursts, sauerkraut, spätzle and pork knuckles.
And all this is just from memorising Brotzeit’s menu. You would think that the Singapore of old wouldn’t have any room for European cuisine, but that’s where you’re wrong.
Sitting in a quiet corner of Joo Chiat, is Werner’s Oven.
The owner of Werner’s Oven is actually German and considering that I’ve never really had proper German food, I decided to head down to check out the food for myself.
I was a little confused when I stepped into an empty restaurant, save for the one couple sitting near the door, waiting for their food.
The restaurant had a standard seating area, and to the right was where they had the bread and pastries. Being a bread lover, I naturally gravitated towards the display.
Displayed were the different German breads available, from Kraftkorn to Spelt bread, they had it all.
For those who don’t really know how to appreciate sourdough, they have donuts and muffins for sale too.
The artisanal breads were priced from $6 to $7.20 while the donuts and muffins were priced from $2.20 to $3.
After ogling at the different bread and pastries, I chose a table, perused the menu and proceeded to the counter where I was recommended a Jägerschnitzel ($26.80) while I added a Beef Goulash ($9.80).
Not going to lie, the food was quite pricey.
The food took a while to arrive, around 10 to 15 minutes. It’s probably because the food is only prepared upon order.
My Jägerschnitzel consists of 3 thick pork escalopes covered generously with mushroom sauce, a side of broccoli and cauliflower, and a large serving of spätzle.
I’m not sure if it’s because I left the Jägerschnitzel out for too long, but the pork became tough and it was still rather gamey. The salvation came with the sides of spätzle, broccoli and cauliflower. I love my vegetables, so no complaints there.
For those of you who don’t know what spätzle is, it’s like a tiny, coarse kind of egg noodle. It’s carbs, basically. In terms of taste, it reminds me of a cross between Mee hoon kueh and french toast. I love it.
The Beef Goulash came in a standard serving; the same size as a “Soup of the Day” at any Western cuisine establishment, though the price was honestly steep for a bowl of soup.
The good thing is, you get your money’s worth of ingredients in that bowl of soup. It was loaded with carrots, celery, and beef.
Now let me just dedicate a tiny paragraph to the humble bun that came with the Beef Goulash. This little guy, blindsided me because I was not expecting this much effort in a bun that comes with soup (looking at you, Soup Spoon).
This bun, came toasted beautifully, and the best part was the butter that melted during the toasting, seeping into the wonderfully baked bread. Honestly, I’d just get the soup for the bun. Though if I had to pay $9.80 for another bowl of soup, I’d rather starve.
The meal left much to be desired, but I’m going to give Werner’s Oven a second chance, since I did go in at a weird timing. I trust that a brand that has been around for so long, can serve food of a better standard.
But one thing that warms my heart here, are the aunties working there. Though it’s a traditional German restaurant, the staff are still very local, conversing in Teochew and Cantonese, then effortlessly switching to English when communicating with customers.
And they’re so nice! It’s like going to Grandma’s for a meal.
All in all, the food here has room for improvement, but the service is great. You can even choose to come in between 2pm to 6pm to play any of the boardgames that they have. Talk about keeping up with the times.
If you’re in the area, do pop in to get their breads because if there’s one food that’s consistent, it’s the bread.
Address: 49 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427773
Opening Hours: Tue – Sun: 8.30am – 10pm
Contact no.: 6442 3897
(Header Image Source: DiscoverSG)