"Beisl" in Austrian means a bistro, beer house or just a casual dining place. Typically it serves grilled meats, seafood dishes, traditional roasted pork knuckles, suckling pigs - Austrian homestyle cuisine.
As in any Austrian-styled restaurant, the moment you step into Karl's Beisl, there is that European "home feel" to it, which is both cosy and rejuvenating at the same time.
High ceiling, muted lighting, wood panelling, ornate balustrade leading up to the mezzanine floor all gave this place a "fine dining" feel... but it is not overwhelming... in fact, it exudes a warm and cheerful welcome!
This beisl is owned by an Austrian gentleman by the name of Karl (obviously, hehe) and his charming Malaysian wife, who warmly welcomed hosted the lunch for us.
First to arrive at our table was this Spinach Salad... tossed with red peppers, bacon strips and roasted potatoes. Immediately, FBB declared there were "chee yau cha" (fried pork lard) on the salad and that got everyone all kancheong until we realised those were actually the roasted potato cubes, haha! Well, just look at the similarity!
I like this salad for its simplicity - crunchy pine nuts, bacon bits and those sweet sweet Australian-imported spinach leaves were a joy to munch. I think everyone took 2nd and 3rd helpings of this!
Next came the Cold Platter - a platter of colourful cold cuts such as Serrano Ham, Chorizo sausages, pork belly, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, gherkins, cheeses (various types) - all accompanied by a basket of warmly toasted baguette slices. The cold meats had wonderfully smoky and hearty flavours - not surprising as Karl's Beisl has their own smoker machine to smoke their meats.
Even while we were munching on the cheeses and meats, we were served their signature soups: Cream of Forest Mushrooms and Cream of Roasted Garlic & Red Pepper with Rosemary.
Prepared from scratch - nothing from the can, that's what our hostess proudly informed us. I definitely prefer their Cream of Roasted Garlic & Red Pepper with Rosemary - subtle unique flavours with just the right touch of creaminess - this soup definitely got the thumbs-up from all!
Then the meats came... fast & furious... starting with this Suckling Pig - there were oooh's and ahhh's from everyone at the table...
It tasted as good as it looked, really. Super-crispy golden skin - you can practically hear the crackling sound from the person next to you crunching down on the pieces of sublime porcine skin! The meat is thicker than the usual chinese-style suckling pig but it was meltingly tender...
Served with steamed cabbage and creamy mashed potatoes - this alone filled up my tummy almost 80%!
Oh... before I forget, Karl's Beisl serves a variety of German beer - like this Franziskaner Weissbier here. I'm no beer fan, but judging by the numerous refills the others had, well... I'm sure they are yummy ;-) Besides, I was told beer goes extremely well with grilled meats, no?
We had hardly eaten half of the suckling pig when this Farmer's Platter was served... a splendid showcase of Karl’s Beisl's Roasted Pork Knuckles, Pork Belly, Kasseler Ham, Bratwurst, Frankfurter Sausages and ...
... "Siew Yook" (roast pork, chinese-style)!!
Oh my oh my - this was truly a plate of pork heaven! It's all about crunchy crackling skin, tenderly roasted meats & robust smokey sausages - what more can pork lovers ask? There were sides of sauerkraut served, which in a feeble way tried to balance the rich intense dosage of sinful cholesterol-laden bliss on that platter. Of course it failed miserably. Oh, well... we die another day lah ;-)
We took a "breather" from the relentless porky onslaught... we had this Seafood Pasta in White Wine with Scallops, Shrimps, Squids and Mussels.
The pasta was cooked just right - al dente, with a great bite - the way I like it. The dash of white wine in the sauce perfectly enhanced the flavours of the succulent morsels of seafood. Do try this - it's excellent.
Just when I thought I couldn't possibly eat another bite, our hostess introduced MORE ... like this Pork Wiener Schnitzel, served with Potato Salad ...
Slices of pork tenderloin had been "hammered" thinly, coated with breadcrumbs (made in their own kitchen) and then fried to a golden crisp. Oh my god - one bite into the schnitzel and you get sweet flavourful juices spurting out! Yeah, I could only take one bite - that's all I could manage at that point.
Yes, at that point, almost everyone had reached pork-coma level. Unfazed by the groans of "I'm sooo full" and "I can't eat anymorrrrr", our hostess signalled for their Double Rib Pork Chop to be served...
It came with potato wedges and a twin-tower kinda corn... the thick pork chop, while nicely charred at the sides, was a bit tough & dry though.
If you think that was the last of the meats, well, you are wrong! One more porky dish... the Black Pepper Spare Ribs with Garlic Butter Rice and Pickled Carrots...
The meat from the ribs was so tender it practically fell off my fork... and all I could manage was just one mouthful of it. Peppery, smokey flavours... those were the taste memories in my pork-laden stupor ... I think we would have passed out if there had been more pork coming...
At last, the desserts came to the rescue... their renowned Calvados Apple Strudel served with Vanilla Sauce...
Now, I have never been a fan of apple strudel as I find it too sweet, with cinnamon too cloying on the tongue. However, one bite of Karl's Beisl's Apple Strudel had me won over. The thin crispy pastry (FBB said you have to roll/fold that 100x) enclosed a generous filling of tarty apples, with subtle hints of cinnamon which totally did not leave any feeling of "jelak-ness"! Bravo! You definitely must try this.
Their Palatschinken – Crepes with Apricot Jam, Rum & Raisin Ice Cream did not do anything for me. I find the crepes a tad too thick - Apple Strudel for me, please ;-)
Another thing which I liked about this place is their plates - if you had noticed, their plates came in different designs! No two plates on our table was the same - so cute!
We were blessed indeed... as we got to sample Babe in the City_KL's awesome Guinese Chocolate Cake...
If you are thinking of having a cosy party, do consider the lounge on the mezzanine floor of Karl's Beisl (the sofas and cushions were sooo inviting, especially in our pork-drunken state!) ... or have yourself some Happy Hours downing their beers on the patio outside...
Oh, by the way, if you want to learn how to make that awesome Apple Strudel I was raving about, please note that The Bukit Bintang Girls’ School (BBGS) Old Girl’s Association will be having a Hi Tea cum Apple Strudel Demo this Saturday, 24 April 2010 from 3.00pm – 5.00pm at Karl's Beisl. If you are an ex-BBGS girl and wishes to attend this event, please get in touch with them soon!
Sow Yoong: 012-292 1460
Kim Lin: 012-2183 799, Tammy 012-296 4148
Lot K-OG 13 & 14, Soho KL
No. 2, Jalan Solaris,
Solaris Mont Kiara
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Phone: 03-6204 0628
For other recent reviews on Karl's Biesl, check out:CumidanCiki