For many in Asia eating German food is a step into the unknown. Ellie Dyer and photographer Conor Wall dive headfirst into a world of sausage and sauerkraut.
Take one look at One More Pub’s menu and two facts appear certain: this not a place for salad-nibbling vegetarians or those with small appetites.
With a huge array of sausages – from grilled veal to Nuremburg and Thuringer – plus European favourites such as Beef Stroganoff and snails thrown in for luck, hearty food is the mainstay of Peter Dhalke’s One More Pub.
Owner Dhalke, who hails from the Black Forest, has brought the best of German cuisine to Cambodia. His culinary venture has been filling the bellies of hungry expats since he opened its doors in April 2008.
It’s clear the restaurant has built up a loyal following. At tables set in a leafy, intimate garden, small groups of strapping Westerners chat amiably, sometimes joined by the friendly owner.
Inside One More Pub’s villa-style home, a long bar seems popular with drinkers looking for a dram of whiskey and good conversation.
Surrounded by lush greenery as dusk draws in, we order Thuringer sausages with sauerkraut (sour cabbage) and rösti ($7.75) and Weiner schnitzel and mashed potatoes ($7.75). Sitting back, we prepare our stomachs for the comfort food missed by so many in Phnom Penh.
Preparation for such a meal is necessary. When our dishes arrive, it becomes clear why so many Germans are, certainly on a Cambodian scale, giants. The portions are huge.
Four juicy sausages come with a mountain of sauerkraut and a head-sized rösti, a fried pancake of grated potato. Two large pork schnitzels decorate the other plate with a splodge of well-seasoned mash and a generous salad.
The sausages are the hero of the night. Made by a German butcher in Thailand, the herb-filled creations are tender, juicy and flavoursome. Even better, they are accompanied by a dish of zingy mustard – adding a good ounce of bite to the rich Thuringers.
In comparison, the accompanying rösti is a bit plain while the sauerkraut is, unsurprisingly, very tart. It’s clear that this Germanic mainstay has not been tempered to a foreign audience – while winning fans on many fronts, it may not appeal to all comers.
For those wanting a simpler dish, the schnitzel – essentially a pork escalope in breadcrumbs – is satisfyingly crispy, while the meat inside is tender and moist. The mash, so often a hit or miss dish, is deliciously creamy and soft with no tell-tale lumps.
All in all, One More Pub is a sure go-to for German cuisine or for the very hungry. While on the pricier scale of restaurant costs, the servings ensure value for money.
For Europeans searching for a taste of home, it’s not to be missed.