Zum Kaiser, Swakopmund
Situated at 4 Sam Nujoma and no longer just the dining room for the Swakopmund Boutique Hotel Avenue, the former Gallery has become Zum Kaiser, with the support of the successful management team behind The Brauhaus, a long-standing Swakopmund landmark restaurant. Manager Chris Baas brings a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry to his new position, most recently as the Brauhaus manager for five years.
Open daily. Breakfast 06:30–10:00; short menu 10:00–18:00; dinner 18:00–21:30
Chris Baas has overseen a major redecoration of the restaurant, with warm colours complementing stonework and oak. Still a work in progress, he hopes to add vintage photographs of Swakopmund, and a few other touches. His goal is to create a quiet, inviting dining experience, distinctly different from that found at The Brauhaus. To this end, he brings a new menu and a new kitchen staff, including head chef Festus Miimbala, who presided over the kitchen at The Grapevine for 18 years.
“The Brauhaus has a pub-like atmosphere,” Chris explains, “where people want good food, delivered quickly, and lots of it. Here at Zum Kaiser, we’re looking at a quieter, more leisurely experience, with more emphasis on the presentation of the dish.”
Starters include fresh Swakopmund oysters, calamari rings, and a tissue-thin game meat carpaccio that tears as you pick it up. “Our game meat comes straight from the farm,” says Chris, “so we know how long it’s been hanging.”
The dinner menu is eclectic in both selection and style. Monkfish kebabs with pasta; duck breast with cherries and red cabbage; a fondue dish with consommé rather than oil as dipping medium. Chris describes the fare at Zum Kaiser as, ‘basic meals, created differently, adding a touch of other cultures’. The menu includes meat and fish specialties, as well as a vegetarian selection.
The dessert menu is small, but once again, surprises for the palate are in store… The panna cotta, a cream pudding with hot berries, features a touch of rum and a dusting of sugar, seamlessly blending hot and cold with sweet and sour sensations.
The wine selection is modest, with some surprisingly good options in the middle range.
With its central location, Zum Kaiser will undoubtedly draw business from tourists. Moreover, with innovative dishes, a relaxing atmosphere and competitive prices, it is bound to be embraced by Swakopmunders too.
Duck breast with cherry-cinnamon sauce, duchess potatoes and red cabbage. A hint of cinnamon on the duck breast, a cherry juice reduction with a touch of port, and duchess potatoes with nutmeg, all come together to create an alternately sweet-and-sour taste experience.
Text and photographs Edward Jenkins
This article appeared in the Oct’11 edition of FLAMINGO Magazine.