The strangest place for a German restaurant…

Apfelstrudel….is surely the top floor of a sports shop in Mong Kok. Why would you open a restaurant here? And who will find it? As it turned out, I did. And boy was I in for a surprise…..

For those of you who haven’t been to Hong Kong, a quick explanation: Mong Kok is one of the densest populated areas in Hong Kong. It’s a commercial district bursting with markets, shops, shopping malls, restaurants and much more. During the weekends it’s so massively packed, they have to implement “crowd control” measures, i.e. closing down certain metro exits or declaring them “one way” only.

Mong Kok seems to have been divided into different areas. There is the “auto car parts” corner, the “street food street”, a street market stretching around 1km from north to south and the “sports corner” where you can find any kind of sports products and accessories. Whatever you fancy from Nike to Adidas, Puma and Reebok – they have it here.

And it’s there that I found “Bigpack Cafe”. On the third floor of a sports shop.  First, I thought someone is making fun of me. Clearly, no one in his/her right mind would open a restaurant there. But someone did. And what’s even more, they hired a German chef. A brilliant German chef.

You might think that’s no big deal. After all, it’s a German restaurant. However, over the years in Asia I experienced that most “European” or “French”, “German”, “American” restaurants actually have Asian chefs. While their cooking isn’t bad, it’s just not the real thing. They’re great chefs I’m sure, but they cook “German”, “French” or “American” dishes for Chinese consumers. Hence, they have to cater to local taste and that means you’ll end up with dishes that are neither Chinese nor German (or whatever cuisine you like).

It’s similar to Chinese restaurants in Germany. These are mostly a disgrace to the Chinese. Fried beef egg noodles drowned in soy sauce. Come on, that’s not Chinese food! That’s “wannabe Asian food for Germans” but nothing else.

So the same applies to international food in Hong Kong. Most of the time it’s a mixture of different styles (mostly for the worse) and it’s just not the real thing.

Bigpack Cafe, is different though. They really serve proper German food. Start with the beer. Warsteiner Beer from the tap. It was so fresh and nicely chilled. I’m used to Chinese beer and the Carlsberg/Heineken stuff that just taste awful. This beer though… Just amazing. I had moist eyes even before the food was served.

As you can see in the photos below, I went for the Schnitzel while my wife went for sausages. And the Schnitzel was soooooo good! I almost started crying. Never, ever have I tasted something so perfect, so fulfilling outside Germany and Austria. Big Pack Cafe has become one of my favourite restaurants in Hong Kong and I’ve been back four times in just a month.

They not only have Schnitzel and Sausages though. The German chef is from Northern Germany but trained in the South. Therefore, he can cook all Southern German dishes. From “Zwiebelrostbraten” to “Kaesspaetzle”, pork knuckle, Schnitzel. You name it, they have it.

So if you’re in Hong Kong and crave for some Teutonic food – here’s where to find it:

Big Pack Cafe, 3/F 76A Fa Yuen Street, Mong Kok, Hong Kong (entrance is on Nelson street). Just type in the address in Google Maps and you’ll find it. And here are some photos that make you lust for more….

One thought on “The strangest place for a German restaurant…

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  1. Great! You found a place to feel home (foodwise). But let’s be honest – you might be spoiled by the asian fast & streetfood “tradition”. COME ON! Prepairing a Schnitzel or throwing some home made Spätzle with cheese into an ofen can’t be that hard – ha?

    Hey – what do you think – should my company offer cooking classes with prof. chefs in asia? “Cooking with Ben”. Today: “Minced meet for beginners”. *bg*


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