I have been nagged for well over a year to head north and dine on a Tuesday evening at Zeitgeist for their schnitzel night special, reading about this enclave in a distant part of Shanghai I thought it best to reserve a table, a chore in itself. Once you arrive there is no one to greet you, the waitstaff were more akin to the whirling dervishes, rushing around the tables, with no eye contact towards the door.
The group of four, including the German chap who recommended Zeitgeist looked over the menu, settled for the schnitzel special’s along with a pretzel and German beers to start off with, for side dishes an order of spätzle, I was expecting to see the traditional cucumber salad served the world over in Germanic establishments, but none to be had, so settled for a Greek salad, that was served with reheated leftover farmers bread?
The schnitzels came out in dribs and drabs, extremely dry and overcooked I read that these were pan fried on a post from last year, these were NOT, they certainly tasted as if they had been deep fried, they were accompanied by a dollop of cranberries, a separate dish of supposed German potato salad was served as well, I thought the spätzle was actually mac & cheese.
To finish we shared a rather bland, tepid soggy apple strudel.
The restaurant was not overly busy, but the service was slow, except when bringing the bill, which came to just over 980RMB for four pax.
I have worked in Germany, actually Bavaria and learnt how to make German potato salad, German cucumber salad and spätzle from scratch, plus shallow fry in butter, breaded Schnitzel’s till the cows came home….on this Tuesday evening I wished I could have stayed home and done the same, for it would have been so much better than the pseudo fare served. The German chap who recommend the venue was embarrassed.
Some writers and artists assert that the true zeitgeist of an era cannot be known until it is over, well for me it’s over as I shan’t be going back anytime soon for what was a truly lacklustre Bavarian meal.