Lecker Ecke

Special thanks to Lecker Ecke for extending this food review invitation.

Update: This business has ceased its operations.

Tucked along Burmah Road (Jalan Burma) is a dainty restaurant Lecker Ecke German Cuisine. It is somewhere between Chok Dee Thai and Chocolate Passion, all located on the left side of the one-way Burmah Road.
"Lecker Ecke" means "Delicious Corner" in German. The name was deliberately chosen so that it is easy to pronounce and catchy to remember. Many German words sound very alien to Malaysians, especially when there are diacritic letters like ä, ö and ü.

As a nation, the culinary style in Deutschland is rather diverse. Most German restaurants in Malaysia feature dishes from Bavaria, a more rural German state to the southeast. These Bavarian restaurants are most noticeable during Oktoberfest celebration, which is Bavarian in origin.
Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany after Berlin. This northern German city-state is best known for its Frikadelle, from which the ubiquitous American hamburger is derived from. Meanwhile, Franzbrötchen is Hamburg's pastry dessert which looks like a flattened croissant.

Lecker Ecke is operated by siblings. Nicolas has spent many years working in restaurant business in Hamburg, Germany. With extensive experience in his résumé, his return to Penang certainly contributes to culinary diversity here. While Nicolas handles most cooking in the kitchen, his sister Angie runs the drinks counter and waits the tables.

For appetizers, we started with the Onion Soup (Zwiebelsuppe, RM12.90), which is French in origin in its modern form, but also popular across Europe and the United States. Made from flavorful meat stock and plenty of onions, the soup has a mild sense of sourness. Several pieces of cubed crouton are added for crispy appeal.
Next dish served is the Lentil Soup (Linsen Suppe, RM15.90). This German-inspired appetizer is boiled with diced bacon and sausages, giving the occasional sensation of chunky meat. Similar to the Indian dal, the texture of this Lentil Soup is very starchy. Fortunately the soup comes in a small bowl, otherwise it would have been too filling as an appetizer.
Now that appetizers are out of the way, it is time to bring out the big guns: Pork Knuckle (Schweinshaxe, RM70.00)! This is one of the most iconic dishes in German cookbooks. Definitely the highlight for today's lunch too! The Pork Knuckle is actually the ham hock, which is located between the lower limb and the foot of the swine. This serving is considered half portion and is ideal for 3-4 people. The full portion is available for RM130.00. This order of Pork Knuckle includes a serving of sauerkraut or "sour cabbage", which is pickled white cabbage.
My favorite aspect of the Pork Knuckle is the jelly-like texture of its soft tissues and cartilage. The crisp of the skin is just perfect, although I feel that it is too salty at places. This order of Pork Knuckle includes dipping sauce made from herbal stew with some beer added. There is no danger of intoxication because most alcohol has evaporated during cooking.

The next dish to delight our palate is Rinderrouladen (RM28.90). Rouladen is a popular central European dish made by wrapping thinly-sliced meat with onion, celery, gherkin (pickled cucumber), duck and bacon. The word "rinder" means "beef", which highlights that beef is used as the meat. However, pork and veal are also popular choices for Rouladen.
This Rinderrouladen stew is cooked with red wine, which serves to accentuate the savory flavors of the beef roll. On the side is rotkraut, which is made from pickled red cabbage.
This is followed by the Lammgulasch (RM29.90) which includes fusilli pasta on the side. This is a curry stew with lamb cubes, very similar in appearance to its Indian counterpart. The stew, which is made from paprika, is often associated with Hungarian cuisine, from which this German version was inspired from.
Paprika is native to the Americas, so this ingredient is a relatively new in German recipes. Due to artificial selection, cultivated paprika comes in wide range of spiciness. This Lammgulasch dish here is mildly spicy so that the lamb's savoriness takes the center stage. Overall-wise, the lamb stew is bold in flavor and quite succulent. I am not sure whether fusilli pasta is the right choice here, though.

Moving on, we have Rinderbraten (RM38.90) or "roast beef". To prepare the meat, raw beef is first marinated with salt, pepper and other spices. It is then baked in the oven, followed by thorough roast. Small amount of red wine is added for extra fragrant appeal. The beef is served au jus with thyme.
On the side, I am intrigued by bacon rolls with string beans. It is a nice meld of meaty-saltiness and vegetable-sweetness. Also kudos on the mashed potato; the texture is refined and delightful to go with beef jus.
Taking a detour to poultry, we sampled a serving of Duck (Ente, RM38.90). In Europe, it is common to eat duck during Christmas, as opposed to turkey in America. Today's braised duck cutlet is delectable by itself, but the use of apple cinnamon sauce certainly pays off.
Served alongside are three hearty pieces of baked potato cookies. I find it interesting to take a departure from mashed potato, which is so common that it has become a cliché. Nevertheless, I think the potato cookies would be nicer if they were baked till toastier.
The last entrée is Schnitzel Mit Bratkartoffel (RM26.90), which is German for "pork cutlet with roasted potatoes". The highlight of this dish is the large slab of pork cutlet. It is served over pan-fried potato with bacon and onion. On the side is a small serving of mustard cream and salad.
To prepare Schnitzel, deboned pork is first coated with flour, beaten eggs and bread crumbs. Then, the battered cutlet is deep-fried to golden perfection. The Schnitzel is served with a twist of lime for the juicy appeal. Mustard cream serves to enhance the flavor. I personally feel that the amount of salt should be toned down because the overall taste has been dominated by saltiness.

In the beverage section, Lecker Ecke has a number of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
First and foremost is Alsterwasser (RM11.90) which comes in a tall glass of 300 millilitres. Popular in northern Germany, Alsterwasser is very similar to Radlermass in Bavaria. It is a concoction of equal parts of lager and lemonade, therefore has lower alcohol content than most beer. This makes Alsterwasser ideal for casual drinkers like myself.
Looking for a fancy drink but need to stay sober? Try the Fresh Apple + Sparkling Water (RM6.90). This carbonated beverage is ideal for a hot sunny day.
If pure juice is your cup of tea, there are a number of choices like Fresh Banana + Pomegranate (RM7.90), Fresh Banana + Mixed Berries (RM8.90) and Fresh Banana + Apple Juice (RM6.90).
Lecker Ecke also carries a collection of house wines. Wines are sold by the glass.
In departure from Bavarian-style restaurants, Lecker Ecke presents an entirely new facet of German cuisine with more emphasis in northern German delicacies. It is definitely a lovely restaurant to patronize in my pursuit of multi-cultural food diversity.
Name: Lecker Ecke
Address: 233C, Jalan Burma, 10050 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-226-5372
Business hours: 12:00pm-3:00pm, 6:00pm-11:00pm
Website: https://www.facebook.com/lecker.ecke
Coordinates: 5.42476 N, 100.31928 E
Directions: Drive along the one-way Burmah Road (Jalan Burma) towards Pulau Tikus. Lecker Ecke is located on the left, just opposite Malaysian Buddhist Association. There are limited parking spaces in front of Lecker Ecke. During dinner time, you may park in front of adjacent shops after they had closed for the day. Additional parking is available along Jalan Loh Boon Siew.

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