not just pork knuckle
Wendel said that he continues the same mission of introducing the wealth of German food to Taiwan diners even now, and his new Neihu branch is slanted to more modern German fare. “We want people to know that German’s eat more than pork knuckle and sausages,” Wendel said with a laugh, “although of course we want to sell pork knuckle and sausages as well, as this is also part of our tradition.” The menu at Neihu includes a number of dishes that Wendel believes are new introductions to the repertoire of German food now available in Taipei, including a flammkuchen, a kind of pizza that he says goes back many centuries in Germany.
“The authenticity is part of our success, because people know when they come to our restaurant they will get true, authentic German food. The same for Italian restaurants. There are probably hundreds of pasta restaurants in Taipei, but how many are authentic? I am sorry, but it is only a very few.”
“This is a problem we face all over the world, just like when you go to a Chinese restaurant in Germany. It’s probably run by Vietnamese, but nobody knows the difference. … You cannot really blame the customer, you should really blame the chef,” Wendel said.
Michael Wendel and his father will be participating in the Essence and Heritage of Culinary Art and sharing some of their thoughts about the family transmission of a culinary tradition. The event is open to the public, though registration is required. It will be held at the Kaiping Hospitality School (開平餐飲學校) located at 24, Ln 148, Fuxing S Rd Sec 2, Taipei (台北市復興南路二段148巷24號). To register, call (02) 2599-2875 ext 219.