June 17, 2018

Druckwasserwerk, Frankfurt…hearty German cuisine that hits the spot

To the uninformed first-timers, Druckwasserwerk might be dismissed as a huge 19th-century machine hall. Indeed it once housed the steam engines needed to operate the elevators and cranes in the nearby port. Today, what makes it special is the industrial-scale ambience.

The beautifully fried wiener schnitzel – wiener veal schnitzel, potato, cucumber, wild cranberries – stands out. The Schnitzel is perfectly crisp on the outside and inside, filled with cut-with-a fork meat. It’s a monumental plateful, as in you could use it as a headstone when the time comes. There are always specials, and they are always worth considering. The kleine pastasackchen –  truffle filling, Roquefort cream was comfort-food heaven. The small cake of conched Swiss chocolate with liquid core, blueberry cream and chocolate fondant dessert was very good too.

Nothing sophisticated. Just good bourgeois food. And sometimes that is exactly what is needed. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 28, 2015

Atschel Applewine Restaurant, Frankfurt…eat like a Frankfurter while surrounded by Frankfurters

If you’re looking for a fun meal and a truly German atmosphere…..if you want to eat like a Frankfurter while surrounded by Frankfurters…..if  you prefer to sit on communal benches, eat hearty local food and drink sour and tart German apple wine…..if you yearn for some unconventional hospitality typical of Frankfurt, which is a bit rough and ready…..head on down to Atschel Applewine Restaurant – a small and cosy apple wine tavern with a garden at the back.

All the schnitzel I’ve ever had were Weiner Schnitzel. This time around, I ordered the Frankfurter Schnitzel (breaded pork with fried potatoes and Frankfurt green sauce). The people of Frankfurt spruced up the dish with their “Green sauce”.   Green sauce contains only regional herbs. No dill and no foreign imports! I thought it was a very nice addition to a classic. You won’t be able to find this on a menu anywhere but in Frankfurt. I can hear your collective “ooooh” from here.  I had that same moment. The show stopping grilled knuckle of pork with sauerkraut and bread was so crispy on the outside and fork tender on the inside. The meat was butter soft. Be sure to give some skin to each person, that is one of the best parts. The schweinemedaillons (Pork medallions with sliced apples and calvados cream, fried potatoes and salad) were thick rounds cut from the tenderloin –  the flavour could have been much better.

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Frankfurt is a city of cider. One place where you can become an authentic Frankfurter (that’s a native of Frankfurt, not the sausage), it’s in Atschel. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…


June 13, 2015

Apfelwein Wagner, Frankfurt… full to the brim of porky goodness

To me this felt like a great typical German experience with great pork fest. Its a shared table experience which is unique and worth the experience to meet new people even if its just a nod hello as you join them at their table. Indoors and outdoors, the décor was fabulous; head to toe everything was made of dark aged wood and had that old German tavern feel to it.

Food is hearty, robust German fare in large portions at fair prices. I had the gegrillte schweinshaxe (roasted ham hock or pork knuckle) and downed that with a glass of apfelwein. Apfelwein is like cider, but without bubbles…. and with less flavour. The schweinshaxe was beautifully crispy, yet tender inside. Gross though this may sound, but the combination of pork fat and crisp was just too good.

Wagner is the authentic traditional Frankfurt experience in this financial hub of Germany. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 31, 2015

Wertheim Village, Frankfurt…you’ll find offers to make you salivate

There are many deals to be had for the serious bargain hunter who is willing to venture an hour outside the city limits and commit themselves to a designer clothing fiesta at discount store prices. Wertheim Village is an adventure for anyone who has champagne taste on a beer budget, or can’t bear to buy anything at full price.

This sprawling Franconian style outdoor shopping center boasts over 110 brands and popular stores such as WMF, Zwilling J.A. Henckels, The Body Shop, Lindt, Calvin Klein and Geox. Bargains on upscale merchandise as bags by Kate Spade and Coach to fashion by Hugo Boss to Polo Ralph Lauren. The downside is that searching for bargains works up an appetite, however, there are not that many places to eat here.  Like all other shopping malls in Frankfurt, the outlet is closed on Sundays. With regards to getting there, if you choose the “express option” you will be taken in a luxury coach in central Frankfurt to Wertheim Village and simply meet back up with your host at the prearranged time to return to Frankfurt.

Take a trip to Wertheim Village and you’ll find offers to make you salivate. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 15, 2011

Lufthansa, Frankfurt…cabin crew always had a smile on their faces. They got me to my destination in a good mood.

Having the luxury to fly to different parts of the world means that I get to experience different airlines and their respective services and this particular flight on Lufthansa LH1426 from Frankfurt to Sofia on 3rd March is definitely on my top 3 list!  

I stepped inside a half-empty plane greeted by  smiling, impeccably groomed flight assistants. One thing that really stood out for me was that the flights attendants were extemely friendly, very attentive to getting you whatever you need throughout the flight.  They were a pleasure to have around, they were very helpful and kind and always had a smile on their faces. And, oh yes, they were nice to look at too.

They got me to my destination in a good mood. Danke Schon, Lufthansa!!! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

November 12, 2010

Sheraton Frankfurt Hotel & Towers Conference Centre…5-star prices for a 2-star product

Filed under: Germany, hotel, Travel — Tags: , , , , , — PEr @ 8:43 pm

The hotel is located just over the pedestrian walkway from the airport which is great if you’re just there for an overnight layover like I was. It connects to the train station for a quick trip into town.

While it is conveniently located to the airport, which is a plus, the quality leaves a lot to be desired. The hotel is on the expensive side for the quality of the rooms and the hallways. I could not get the phone in the room to work and repeated calls for help were not answered. The room was very dated and the towels in the bathroom were probably placed in service 3 eternities ago. (see photo)

Due to its convenient location I can recommend it if you are tired and want to get to the hotel quickly. However, if you have the time a different hotel would be a lot better. This is still the true truth, because I am still saying it as it is…

November 7, 2010

Russian visa…have someone who reads Russian check your visa. Will save you money, stress and time.

I now have something in common with William Browder (CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, the largest foreign investor in the Russian stock market and the adviser to the award-winning Hermitage Fund), Michel Jean Legrand (French Oscar-winning composer, arranger, conductor, and pianist, famous for conducting the music for Umbrellas of Cherbourg) and the Dalai Lama (Tibet’s spiritual leader). We have all been refused entry into Russia.

If you’re traveling to Russia, you will most likely need a Russian visa. Many people think that it’s super complicated but it’s not true. However, when you get your visa it is necessary to check all information….even though everything is in Russian. You can’t imagine how much money, stress and time you can save by doing just that.

I got my Russian visa in the Russian consulate in Singapore. The error they made was they indicated my nationality as “Singaporean” on my Malaysian passport though I had completed the application form correctly.

I was denied entry when I arrived at passport control in Domodedovo airport in Moscow. They brought me to the consular office where the officer cancelled my visa and re-issued me a new one for US$10. The error he made was that he issued me a single-entry visa instead of a double-entry one which I had originally paid for and obtained in Singapore. Double-whammy. Once again, everything was written in  Russian and I couldn’t understand even if I checked.

A week later, when I boarded a  train in Helsinki at 6.30pm heading to Moscow. Four hours into the journey, when we’d passed the Russian border, customs and immigration officials came on board the train and found that my visa was not valid. Being a single-entry visa, meant that my visa had been used up when I left Moscow the week before. I was asked to disembark from the train at Vyborg, a Russian town, 38 kilometers south from the Russian border with Finland at 11.45pm near midnight. There I was instructed to wait for a taxi on the roadside and leave Russia.

I got into a taxi after almost an hour’s wait and was driven to the checkpoint on the Russian-Finnish frontier. I’ve got to be honest…the movie “Hostel” did flashed through my mind at this point as we shuttled down gravely silent, dark and deserted countryside road for over 40 minutes. The Russian officials at the checkpoint stopped a passing car and instructed the lone driver to fetch me to wherever he was going. I climbed into his car and went with him to Lappeenranta – a Finnish city some 25km from the checkpoint. The driver, Vesa is a big blond Finn who drives a Mercedes Benz ASF959, has a heart of gold. He dropped me at a hotel called Cumulus at 3.00am  and offered to pick me up the next day to Helsinki if I needed a ride.

However, I managed to get a flight on Air Baltic flight BT1384 from Lappenranta to Riga, Latvia at 0745hours and then onwards to Frankfurt on Air Baltic flight BT241 at 1305hours.

Those couple of errors on my visa, resulted in denial of my entry and totally screwed up my  plans. Therefore it is helpful to have someone who reads Russian check your visa prior to your departure from your home country.

Oh by the way, there apart from the visa lesson, a few other things I learned from this adventure:

1. Never again shall I train in this Orient Express (not. More like Ordeal Express)  from Helsinki to Moscow. The food is pathetic and the sleeping cabins are fully remote control….that is I can do everything from my bed (see photo)

2. I now know that Lappeenranta’s airport is the oldest airport in Finland.

This is the true truth and I say it as it is…

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