Get a taste of European spring time with the juicy spears of white asparagus.
Contributed By Yong Yung Shin
Most of us are acquainted with the sour cabbage known as sauerkraut which accompanies our favorite German sausages, but come Springtime, a beloved side feature on the dining table across Germany and in fact, much of northern Europe is white asparagus. In celebration of the Maifest festival which symbolizes the coming of spring, German restaurant Paulaner Bräuhaus has rolled out a special month-long menu featuring the vegetable.
In certain parts of Europe, white asparagus reportedly enjoys something akin to a cult following; its desirability derives from its highly seasonal nature, from end April till end June. At Paulaner, the freshly boiled asparagus is served with several different mains—Mild Smoked-Dry Ham (S$28), Dill-Marinated Smoked Salmon (S$28) and Baked Atlantic Salmon Steak (S$31). The Pan-Fried Pork Escalope (S$28), comprising two crispy battered pork chops, is served with slightly buttered asparagus. Each main dish comes with a hollandaise or melted butter sauce.
In comparison with the usual green variety, the white asparagus is softer in texture, being less fibrous, with a much subtler flavor than the characteristic pungency of the green variety. It’s therefore recommended that your first bite be of the white spears before you indulge in the meat, especially the smoked salmon, the strong taste of which can detract from full enjoyment of the vegetable’s natural, corn-like sweetness.
The asparagus served here is flown in from Holland; location is an important consideration as produce from different geographical locations and terrain yield different flavors. The more “earthy-flavored” ones are considered less desirable.
Alternatively, you can still have your usual favorites such as the roast pork knuckles (for which Paulaner is famed) and order the white asparagus on its own (S$22).
Of course, one cannot separate a German meal from a good pint of beer. The restaurant is offering a limited-period Maibock brew during the festival. Brewed on premise, it’s actually the typical Bavarian Spring beer—only stronger (“bock” means billy goat, referring to the higher alcohol level of 6.2 percent). It goes down smooth with a full-bodied flavor and leaves a slightly sweet aftertaste. Sure, we’re far from the cool of Spring here in Singapore, but a glass of Maibock is the perfect quencher for what looks to be a heat wave.
The Maifest menu is available until May 31.
Paulaner Bräuhaus Singapore
9 Raffles Boulevard
#01-01 Millenia Walk
+65 6883 2572