German food arrives in Ubud! As anyone who knows German cuisine will already understand that means a variety of meat dishes. A meat feast for carnivores!
Wackel is on the site of old Indonesian restaurant Warung Tegal. Needless to say it has been completely renovated and modernised but it still keeps a local charm, particularly as it now overlooks a nicely landscaped water garden. In fact it has now become a very pleasant place to enjoy a quiet meal, anytime.
Think German and you think Sausages. Wackel does not disappoint. There is a choice as comprehensive as Bali allows. There are boiled Weisswurst, Swiss Cervelat, Wiener Wuerstchen and Beef Frankfurters, whilst from the grill you can have Natural Nuernberger and Nuernberger, Grobe Bratwurst, German Bratwurst and Buttifarras. Feel like a Sausage Feast? Then order their Sausage Festival, a selection of sausages that are enough for 4 people, all cooked on the BBQ at the entrance, the aromas teasing your senses when passing.
The first thing I noted on the menu at Wackel was that there were a number of my all-time favourite dishes, and a few that were totally new to me. Leberkaese is meat loaf from pork, topped with a fried egg, at Wackel served with a potato salad, for me a perfect small simple lunch, and one that I have enjoyed all around the world. Another snack sized dish [meant for the kids but I like it a lot] is Reibekuchen, two round crunchy patties of crisp Swiss Potato Roesti, each topped with a chunky apple sauce!
Semmelknoedel are Bavarian bread dumplings. I love them! No idea why but I always have, Here one sits on a plate of mushrooms in a cream sauce. Simple but wonderful! The same dumplings are also served with the Schweinebraten, thick slices of roast port served with red cabbage as well as the dumplings. Schnitzels are supposedly Austrian and young veal is the normal meat, a financial impossibility in Bali. Whilst their original Wiener Schnitzel uses local beef the Chicken Schnitzel is also very popular, crunchily crumbed and pan fried, A most important part of enjoying a true schnitzel is not to forget to squeeze the provided lemon all over the schnitzel, it makes all the difference!
I have never been a great fan of spaetzle [an egg noodle from Swabia in Germany, and a common meat accompaniment in southern Germany and Austria]. Previously it has always been served to me on the side of the plate, often tending to be dry and rubbery. At Wackel they recognise the fact that it needs liquid to keep it moist, as with any fried pasta, and serve it as the base for their Goulasch. I cannot believe how different it tastes, this combination is perfect.
Roulade is on many European menus, not only German, and is often a touch on the dry side. Here the twice cooked process does the trick! Don?t try to share this dish as everyone will want their own Roulade. It is so tender, yet with that strong beef taste. Served with red cabbage [a vegetable that I can never get enough of] and mashed potato, once again perfect combinations.
Seasoned minced beef come in many forms. At Wackel you can have it as meatballs with a salad, hamburger-like patties with a potato salad or similarly done in their Frikadellen with thin wide soft pasta and the most amazing beans I have ever eaten. I discovered that they are a Bali normal but only if you personally select them in the market [out of my territory being a daily restaurant visitor]. Very long and thin they are almost a lime colour rather than the more normal dark green. Evidently they are the very young beans and oh so tender! The minced beef patties at first glance look dry without any accompanying sauce but in fact are so moist that they become another dish that is fought over!
Other classics include a Pork Schnitzel as well as the Jaeger, two small pork schnitzels in a mushroom sauce with noodles. Zwiebelrostbraten is beef steak topped with onions, served with sauerkraut and a potato mash. Pikante Hackphanne is a pan-fried dish, served in the pan, of minced beef, red beans and paprika.
The famous Pork Knuckle, Schweinshaxe, is available at Wackel but due to the long slow cooking process it must be ordered the previous day.
The old Café Tegal stood on this spot for many years and although in decline during recent times Wackel has retained most of their Indonesian and Indonesian Chinese menu items. Cantonese soups [sweet corn, asparagus and crab] vegetable dishes in garlic sauce and mains [sweet and sour chicken or prawns, chilli and butter sauces as well] and the all important special fried rice combinations.
Wackel provides another cuisine choice in Ubud dining, along this stretch of road south of Ubud and the Monkey Forest that links Padang Tegal and Pengosekan. More importantly it adds yet another great value option. One I will be returning to very often.