Stammtisch, Swiss-German Food

I had dinner at Stammtisch last night, my 2nd visit in 6 weeks. The first thing that strikes you upon entering the restaurant is the cosy decor. The ceiling is riddled with Swiss flags and the walls were decorated with various paintings of the Swiss Alps and chateaus.

The restaurant derives its name from a German term whereby a table is usually reserved for regular patrons at a restaurant or pub. The table is designated by a reserved sign ("Stammtisch" sign) in the middle of the table. We were seated at one such table last night (complete with the "Stammtisch" sign and bell to ring for service) because the Swiss dining companions were regulars. I remember being told by a German on my first visit that a Stammtisch is a term for pubs in German towns where almost all of the men in the nearby villages would converge on a Sunday afternoon. If they were late in returning home, their wives would call the pubs and have the owners send the errant husbands home. It was a most amusing story.

On my first visit, when I ordered a Cheese Fondue (traditionally prepared with melted Emmenthal and Gruyère cheese with White Wine and a dash of Kirsch) to share with my Singaporean friend, we had to coax the Germans and Austrians to try it. On my second visit, the Swiss were all for it and 2 of my Singaporean friends had their first taste of Cheese Fondue.

As is the tradition with eating fondue, we had a pact that whoever lost their piece of bread in the fondue pot would have to buy a round of drinks for all at the table. Naturally, everyone made sure that their chunks of bread were securely speared onto the fondue fork.

We also ordered a small portion of Steak Tartare to share. FW had most of the Steak Tartare because she was craving it. We had requested for it to be spicy and found it to be very flavoursome. The other girls were happily tucking into the salads. One of the girls ordered the Wiener Schnitzel. It was too far away from me to snap a pic and as was saving my appetite for the mandatory pork knuckle, I declined to sample it. However, I could not resist "tasting" some of the creamed spinach that came with it as I love the dish. Stammtisch makes good creamed spinach, so I took quite a few spoonfuls.

Next, we had Roasted Pork Knuckle with sides of Sauerkraut (fermented sliced cabbage) and baked potato slices. I think the Roasted Pork Knuckle at this restaurant has to be the best in Singapore! The skin was very crispy and the meat was so tender, it was falling off the bone. Not being a big fan of pork, I actually enjoyed this dish immensely because the "piggy" taste was not strong and the flesh was succulent. I also like the fact that the pork knuckle here came sliced as it makes it easier for us to eat it as opposed to having to carve it up yourself at most other establishments. I love the side of Sauerkraut as its tart flavour helps to whet the appetite and to enhance the sweetness of the meat. This is a MUST-TRY!

The owner, Mr Bernhard Weber, was the former executive chef of Marina Mandarin. Here he is asking if we would like to order dessert. He's such a friendly chap! He's constantly popping by around the tables to ask if the food's fine etc. It's a very warm and cosy environment. It almost feels as if one's dining at an uncle's home.

How could we go without dessert? We ordered the Apple Strudel with Vanilla Ice-Cream. I love this apple strudel as the apple slices are firm and infused with the fragrance and flavour of cinnamon, one of my favourite spices!

We also had the Warm Marinated Strawberries topped with Whipped Cream and Almond Flakes. The strawberries had been cooked in a syrup, which resulted in a strawberry-infused sauce. The inherent tartness of the fruit was removed during the cooking process. As we were all pretty stuffed, we shared 2 desserts amongst the 6 of us. It's a good thing that the dessert portions here are of a decent size which allowed for all of us to indulge in a sweet ending to the evening without consuming too much. This is definitely a place to head to should the craving for German or Swiss food hit you.


805 Bukit Timah Road,

#01-04 Sixth Avenue Centre,

Singapore 279883

Tel: 6468-1649

Operating Hours

Lunch: 12.00 p.m. to 2.30 p.m.

Dinner: 6.30 p.m. to 10.30 p.m.

Closed on Mondays

* This article was published by AsiaOne Wine, Dine & Unwind on November 15, 2006.