Paulaner Brauhaus

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Crackling Roasted Pork Knuckle with Sauerkraut and Pretzel Dumplings. [Photo: Marie Bollrich]

There's nothing worse for me, as a proud Englishman, than going to a British-style restaurant abroad and tucking into food that would make the worst cook in my country blush. Any Beijing resident interested in sampling genuine Bavarian cuisine should therefore be pleased to know that the Paulaner Brauhaus is not just popular with locals, but also with German natives keen to enjoy a real taste of home.

Except for a few minor tweaks on the salt and spice front, Executive Head Chef Thomas Ranninger employs the very same recipes that are used back in Bavaria. The restaurant even has its own underground butchery, where its signature sausages are created from scratch.

Ranninger himself oversees the menu, which features classic dishes as well as seasonal specials. Being a rather hungry and adventurous chap myself, I recommend going straight for the meaty jugular with a traditional Bavarian Butcher Platter that features (take a deep breath if you plan to recite this out loud): smoked pork loin, pickled and crackling pork knuckle, Bavarian meat loaf, Frankfurter and Nurnberger, roasted veal sausage, mashed potato, and a generous helping of sauerkraut. During my last visit, I also managed to down a tankard of dark beer, two pretzels smeared in a sublime home-made pork fat and pine nut spread, and a shot of schnapps. No wonder I had to push the table out a couple of inches as I began flicking through the dessert menu.

For those who don't fancy rolling out of the Paulaner Brauhaus after consuming a vast but delightful platter of meat, there are a whole range of signature classics to choose from - crisp salads, soups, hearty goulashes and stews, those home-made sausages...

If you want to enjoy a Bavarian feast, big or small, be sure to make your way to the Paulaner Brauhaus at: Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Centre, 50 Liangmaqiao Road (Tel: 6465 3388 ext. 4212)

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