Pig out on schnitzels and sausages
Zeitgeist takes over the space that previously hosted sparkling wine bar Bubbly Nation. You’d be forgiven for thinking you’re still in Bubbly nation. They’ve basically left the interior as is.
The menu is meat-focused, as it should be. Their Traditional Munich Camembert Spread (RMB55) with a warm fluffy pretzel is a good place to start. Pretzels and cheese are seldom a bad thing.
For more comfort, served in a sizzling hot pan, try the Au Gratin Cheese Spatzle (RMB68). The addition of cheese to this traditional egg noodle makes this dish Germany’s answer to mac and cheese. A fried onion as a garnish on top gives a crunch texture, too.
Indulge the carnivore in you with their Sausage Platter (RMB168). Zeitgeist’s main event features five sausages of varying flavor profiles served atop a bed of cabbage salad and a side of mashed potatoes. The mash is soft and buttery, and the cabbage, not to be mistaken for sauerkraut, is a milder, softer version of the tangy side.
The mark of a good Bavarian restaurant is measured by the quality of its roast pork, and Zeitgeist’s (RMB108) delivers. The meat is fork-tender, the beer gravy mellow and smooth. Once again, though, the needle skips the groove with their mushy, dry sauerkraut. This is staple of German cuisine, guys. It’s pretty important to get it right.
Schnitzels here are just above average. The Jagerschnitzel (RMB98) is rock hard and so dry that no amount of mushroom sauce can salvage it. The Breaded Schnitzel “Vienna Style” (RMB88) fares only slightly better. Besides being a huge chunk of pan-fried meat, it lacks wow factor in flavor.
If you order Zeitgeist’s Emperor’s Souffle (RMB58). Don’t expect a delicate, fluffy, hot cloud of eggs, cream and sugar, because what comes out of the kitchen looks more like a pile of mutilated pancakes topped with powdered sugar. Apple sauce and cranberry jam give it balance with sweet and sour notes, but we’re still scratching our heads over this one.
Zeitgeist is the kind of place you go on your cheat day. Their no-fuss, generous meat portions and spacious outdoor seating marks them automatically popular for an afterwork rendezvous or a casual get-together with friends. Maybe just tone down the obnoxiously loud trance music, though.
Address: 537 Haifang Lu (near Xikang Lu) 海防路537号 (近西康路)