|Authentic flavors from Austria at
By Douglas Habecker Translated by Ann Lee
65, SanFong Rd; (04) 2525-4360
Hours: 11:30 am-2:30 pm, 5-10 pm (last order 8:30 pm), closed Mondays
Credit cards accepted. 10% service charge. Reservations recommended.
A downtown street in Taichung county's Fongyuan city may seem like an unlikely setting for a dedicated Austrian-German restaurant, but that's exactly where central Taiwan's longest-running Teutonic eatery has been located for the past eight years. Thanks to the commitment and vision of owner/manager Miss Chiu, Weinerhaus remains a favorite culinary escape for local and foreign diners alike.
There's no avoiding the fact that this is every inch a German-style restaurant, thanks to the spacious, authentic-looking ambiance--complete with high wooden ceiling beams, rustic iron chandeliers, long tables, wooden floors, big windows, Austrian photos and prints, shelves lined with wine bottles, and German background music--all leaving one half-expecting to be served by a burly beer maid.
More importantly, Weinerhaus delivers on the food side, too. Chiu says that her restaurant focuses on Austrian cuisine that, she says, uses more delicate, higher-quality ingredients than German food, which tends more toward big portions and heavier sauces. This makes Austrian dishes more compatible with Taiwanese palates, she adds. To freshen up her recipes and get new ideas, Chiu spends a couple weeks in Austria each year, sometimes with staff members.
Consequently, most of the main courses lean towards Austrian dishes, such as Simmered Fresh Beef Rib Steak (highly recommended by the owner), Roast Rack of Veal with Fruits Mustard Sauce (NT$590), and Hungarian Goulash (NT$590). German dishes include, of course, Roast Pig Knuckle with Sauerkraut and Mustard (NT$590), as well as Chicken Cordon Bleu (NT$390) and homemade White Sausage with Sauerkraut and Mustard. These may all be ordered a la carte or as part of set meals.
There are also NT$220 Business Lunch specials with main courses like the very tasty Coffee Goulash, with actual coffee added to the stew for a richer flavor (an authentic recipe "secret", says Chiu), plus various soups, salads (NT$150), appetizers, and desserts (NT$120). German beer fans will appreciate the fact that Weinerhaus was recently Taiwan's first outlet for on-tap Krombacher Premium Beer (NT$150). There are also plenty of Austrian and French wines and a wide range of coffees, fruit/herb teas, jiuces and other drinks.
The 44-seat restaurant's longevity comes from the steady stream of diners, including many Taiwanese and foreign business people. If you haven't visited yet, take the short trek out to Fongyuan and see for yourself why so many Weinerhaus diners leave with a satisfied smile and perhaps even a declaration of "sehr gut!"