A Munich Guide to Eating Like a Local – Part 2: Hidden Gems

Having recently moved to a new apartment in a part of town we had not frequented earlier, and having had to wait for the kitchen to be delivered, we were forced to eat out for about three weeks. It is amazing how many new places you discover, being deprived of an opportunity to snack at home!

Lazy to stray too far from home after a full working day, we were positively surprised at the sheer amount of hidden gems we discovered. Some were tucked safely away in dark hidden alleys, others were hiding out there in plain sight – there were relatively few disappointments, and quite a few serious gems among our new findings.

Never one to hide my discoveries, I am here to share them with the whole wide world. Enjoy!

Tempel (Vietnamese Haute Cuisine)

Tempel

http://tempel.asia/
Bruderstrasse , 80538 Munich, Tel +49
89 12 19 11 92
Monday through Friday 11:30 till 14:30 and 18:00 till 23:00; Saturday 18:00 till 24:00; Sundays & holidays 12:00 till 14:30 and 18:00 till 23:00

If you never happened to be lost at one of the back streets in Lehel – far away from any U-bahn or tram stop, you would never find “Tempel”. Safely tucked away from plain sight, this is a true gem to cherish and enjoy. A haute cuisine Vietnamese restaurant, decorated with impeccable taste, and boasting high-class service and top-notch dining experience, “Tempel” is definitely the place for those in the know. Come in to sample delicious food during lunch hours, when an extensive lunch menu gives you a taste and a tease of what awaits you later in the day. Everything is super-fresh, exquisitely presented, and unbelievably tasty, in this temple of fantastic Vietnamese dishes. The make-your-own spring rolls for 2 is to die for, and so are the spicy scallops. Come, enjoy, and keep the name to yourself, for we don’t want this secret place to be run over by hordes of tourists, do we?…

LeDu (Happy Dumplings)

LeDu

www.ledu-dumpling.de
Teresienstrasse 18, 80333 Munich, Tel.+49 89 9589 8460
Open daily from 11:00 till 21:30

While dim-sum and Chinese dumpling places are no novelty in places like London or New York, “LeDu” is Munich’s first, and so far one and only restaurant of its kind. Well hidden in the middle of the University area, this 6-table 1-window establishment is easy to miss. Yet, it offers a surprisingly small high-quality menu of authentic Chinese dumplings, cooked with love and consumed with happy smiles on everyone’s faces. In the evenings, the queues for a table may easily take a couple of hours – yet people are stubbornly waiting for a seat. Those lucky to live in the area, happily order take out.

The place looks like the proverbial hole in the wall, easy to stroll by without giving it a second glance (that is, unless you notice a horde of hungry people queueing outside), but is definitely worth a stop and a more intimate encounter.

Start with a small yet impeccably tasty salad to wet your taste buds (the peanut salad comes highly recommended). Don’t miss the “black & white” steamed dumplings – a mixture of meat and shiitake mushrooms will make your mouth water the moment you see them. Order several sets to try everything the place has to offer, savour them, and move on to free up the table for the hungry people queueing at the door.

Sitar (Authentic Indian Cuisine)

Sitar

www.sitar-indisches-restaurant.de
Robert-Koch-Str. 4, 80538 Munich, Tel. +49 89 2111 2361
Open daily from 11:30 till 14:30 and from 17:30 till 01:00

Those living in the neighborhood are well familiar with “Sitar” (and equally love and hate the place) due to the hearty aromas of spices enveloping the building and sipping through the whole area during lunch time. Walk around Lehel at about 12:00, and your nose will invariably lead you to the corner of Robert-Koch-Strasse and Tattenbachstrasse. If you venture inside, you will find yourself immediately charmed by the classic atmosphere of Indian hospitality and your taste buds will be screaming to sample the food that led your nose into this aromatic paradise.

Forget the first pages of the menu, and order anything on the “chef’s specialties” list – you will not regret this. The classic chicken tikka masala is to die for, and not only will it keep you sated, you will have plenty to take back home with you for a hearty breakfast.

Overall, an excellent experience. If you are used to proper English-style or Indian-style spices, tell your waiter – Germans are not big on spicy food, and you risk being disappointed with the blandness of some of your favorite dishes if you are not from here. The staff will be happy and delighted to add an extra tang note for you, if they know you would appreciate it.

KoKuMi (Designer Fusion Sushi)

Kokumi

www.heykokumi.com
Christophstr. 3, 80538 Munich, Tel. +49 176 8482 5751
Tuesday through Friday 12:00 till 15:00 and 18:00 till 23:00; Saturday & Sunday 18:00 till 23:00

Tucked into a little side street away from the main drags or public transport routes, “Kokumi” is definitely a place for those in the know. Offering the most beautiful and visually pleasing dishes in Munich (as well as delightfully tasty), it is the place to pamper your senses. The picture above is not a filter-enhanced exaggeration – this is their signature Kokumi fusion tuna roll in all its glory.

The place boasts a fantastic ambiance, exquisite food, and a delicate interior that will be a perfect setting for a special night out. It is not going to be the cheapest meal you will have in Munich, but is bound to be one of the most memorable ones.

Tattenbach Wirtshaus & Stueberl (Fantastic Schnitzels)

Tattenbach

www.tattenbach.de
Tattenbachstr. 6, 80538 Munich, Tel. +49 89 225 268
Monday through Friday 11.00 till 01:00, Saturday, Sunday & holidays 17:00 till 01:00

One can’t possibly surprise anyone with an Augustiner restaurant in the quarter full of Augustiner places – there are at least three within a 3-min walk from one another in this part of Lehel alone. Yet, they all have their own character, ambiance and clientele. “Tattenbach” will probably stand out as the least pretentious one of all, catering mostly to easy locals and a more student clientele than the others.

Don’t miss the house schnitzel with a hearty portion of potatoes and a salad for just under €11.00. What you get for the price that in other places won’t even buy you a starter, is a lovely piece of veal that would hang from both sides of your plate, beautifully done with no grease at all, paired with mouthwatering potatoes and a nice-size salad with a tasty dressing. You can’t possibly ask for more than that!…

The service is fast and friendly, the atmosphere is nice and relaxed – all that paired with the best beer in the world and fantastic food, definitely make it worth a second visit!

Vino Café (The Unforgettable Spagghetti Parmigiana)

Cafe Vino2

www.vino-caffe.de
Hochbrueckenstrasse 14, 80331 Munich, Tel. +49 89 210 288 380
Mondays through Saturdays from 09:00 till 01:00; Sundays 14:00 till 01:00

Sometimes the best place to hide is in plain sight. Situated right opposite “Mandarin Oriental” in the heart of Munich, “Vino Café”s location can hardly be considered inconspicuous. Which is exactly why a lot of people will shy away from it, writing it off as just another tourist trap. Much do they know!… Despite its nonchalant name, “Vino Café” can boast one of the most exquisite wine collections in Munich, and a hearty menu of classic and elegant Italian dishes made with love. It is the only place in Munich you can get spaghetti parmigiana – pasta tossed in the whole head of Parmigiano cheese. Add truffles for the true connoisseurs.

The place offers a democratic mix of a white table cloth restaurant on the left, and an easy-going high-table trattoria on the right, separated by a beautiful floor to ceiling wine rack. The service is always impeccable, the prices are surprisingly palatable, and the spaghetti parmigiana is to die for – I would not miss it for the world!

Lehel Bar Food Club (Steaks & Cocktails)

www.lehel-bar.de
Karl-Scharnagl-Ring 6-8, 80539 Munich, Tel. +49 89 2111 1760
Mondays through Saturdays 11.00 till 03:00

A bar and party location to the left, an intimate and cozy restaurant to the right – in this compact setting in the heart of Lehel you can find it all. Don’t miss the “Meet the beef” Tuesdays, when you can try their fantastic steaks at half the price – they are definitely worth crossing the city for!

Nice ambiance, elegant setting, DJ mixes from the speakers paired with hearty drinks, attentive service and beautifully presented food – all this definitely calls for repeat visits. It’s a popular party location, so be sure to call in advance to make sure the place is not rented out for the night. It is also recommended to reserve on Tuesdays and weekends.

Gandl Feinkost Speisen Bar (Great Dining Experience)

Gandl1

www.gandl.de
St. Anna Platz 1, 80538 Munich, Tel. +49 89 29162525
Mondays through Saturdays 09.00 till 01:00

The place looks more like a delicatessen shop than a restaurant from outside, but the tables with white table-cloths up front give it away. If you come inside, you realize it is a full-blown restaurant of a decent size – something hard to guess while looking at it from the street.

Belonging to the same owner as the “Lehel Bar” (the messy magazine-looking website sort of gives the connection away), “Gandl” is way more than a delicatessen shop, or a bar (as both the outlook and the name would suggest). You can land here for just a glass of wine in the sun, or stop for a full-course meal in the evening – you are bound to enjoy both, as the service will be impeccable, the food outstanding, and the atmosphere relaxed and easy.

Swearing 1.0.1


There seems to be a lot of misconception nowadays on the beautiful topic of swearing. People do it incorrectly, unintelligently, with an appalling lack of imagination, and without the use of proper terminology.

While people swear a lot and with admirable zeal, the terms used for swearing (especially those describing particular person being the target of one’s affections) seem to be hardly distinguishable from one another, and are totally left to the swearer’s own devices. This absence of comparative analysis is not only linguistically demeaning, but also confuses those being sworn at, leaving them no possibility of understanding the cause of the swearer’s anger, and no room for improvement. How can you get better, if somebody tells you that “You are an asshole, because you are such a dick!”?…

If you look up any of the most common swearing terms (from a respectable Merriam Webster’s or Oxford Dictionary [who generally tend to shy away from the world of swearing] to the online Urban Dictionary compiled by everyone and their mother online) you get even more confused. Beautiful terms like “Asshole”, “Dick”, “Jerk” or “Jackass” are explained using one another, allowing no room for truly understanding the intricate beauty of the shades of meaning, and leaving many native speakers and enthusiastic learners of the English language poorly prepared for the bright swearing future ahead of them.

There is a fine line between an “Asshole” and a “Dick”, and after digging through the dictionaries, annoying my British, American and Irish friends, I am ready with my totally biased attempt at clarifying the confusion. To further strengthen the well-known point that you don’t really learn to swear until you learn to drive, I included little illustrations from every driver’s life to make the descriptions provided more vivid (thank you, Con, for the inspiring examples!)

So, buckle up, and get yourselves ready for some comparative swearing.

Asshole

Step aside, amateurs – finding the proper definition of an asshole is a job for real science! Nobody pinpointed that elusive trait (or, rather a combination of them) that really classifies somebody as a right asshole better than Aaron James in his “Assholes. A Theory”. Kids, read and learn:

Asshole:
(1) allows himself to enjoy special advantages and does so systematically;
(2) does this out of an entrenched sense of entitlement; and
(3) is immunized by his sense of entitlement against the complaints of other people.”

Now, the main identifiers here are systematic nature of such behavior, the reason a person behaves in an asshole way, and their complete disregard for their fellow human beings. If somebody cuts you off in traffic, almost hits you while talking on the phone – he may or may not be an Asshole. If he did so because he was in a hurry due to an emergency, he may be a Twat in a hurry. If the reason for this behavior was simply an unfortunate fact that his eyes and/or hands were growing out of his ass – he may as well be a Wanker. To deserve a proud name of an Asshole one has to do so repeatedly, and out of sense of entitlement (which brings out arrogance and obnoxiousness), the feeling that he owns the road and does not give a shit about anybody else.

How to recognize:
Asshole is someone who cuts you off in traffic in their brand new black BMW and when you beep the horn ignore you completely (remember, you do not exist to an Asshole!). If physics allowed, an Asshole would drive right through you. An Asshole knows what an indicator is, but refuses to use one on the grounds that this is his road. An Asshole does not recognize your right to be on his road and displays utter contempt for all trespassers.

Main quality:
Obnoxious superiority and complete disregard of others

Jackass (>Am.)

A Jackass is not necessarily evil, but is definitely snide. Somebody badmouthing others behind their backs, making nasty comments, cutting corners out of a sheer sense of entitlement, while not being overly elegant about this behavior, and often doing this in a downright dumb manner – sounds familiar? This is a portrait of a proper Jackass!

Jackass-ness is a rather permanent state of being, although occasional jackasses are also sometimes observed. In a nutshell, a jackass is a stupid asshole.

How to recognize:
A Jackass will also cut you off, this time in a supped up lime green VW Golf with speed stripes and that really annoying-looking aerodynamic thing on the trunk. If you beep, he will give you the finger with gusto, employing Italian-style hand movements. His job is to make your daily commute unbearable, he is confrontational and aggressive and generally quite young. Don’t expect logic from a Jackass – he is just a stupid asshole after all!
Unless extreme measures are taken early, a Jackass grows up to be a Jerk.

Main quality:
Obnoxious sense of entitlement

Jerk

Jerk is rather similar to a Jackass, but represents a stronger and more permanent quality of stupid asshole-ness… There are no occasional Jerks – being one is a choice, not a chance. Consistent and deliberate nastiness is expected to deserve the title, and a certain degree of bluntness of their ways is a given.

How to recognize:
His shiny and expensive car is the one you see parked diagonally right in the middle of two parking spaces in a packed parking lot. A Jerk will have trouble opening his own door this way, but he just can’t be arsed to re-park. Instead, a Jerk will leave fresh scratch marks on a car that is innocently parked nearby, and will make sure to shoot off before the owner comes back.

Main quality:
Blunt deliberate obnoxiousness

Dick

While being a “dickhead” can be an occasional occurrence, if somebody is a Dick, chances are – they are staying that way! Calling somebody a Dick implies them being stupid, selfish, and arrogant on most occasions you or others interact with the individual.

How to recognize:
A Dick is a pompous ass in a big SUV or a brightly-colored sports car, who rides your ass for 10 minutes, honking and flashing his lights demanding the right of way, then cuts you off and slows down to below speed limit.

Main quality:
Arrogant stupidity

Dickhead

One of the entries in the Urban Dictionary states that a Dickhead is “a person who is an idiot and shows it all too well“. It is true, but as they say “terms and conditions may apply”.

A Dickhead is only an occasional idiot. We all can be dickheads on occasion, but the term does not imply any fundamental or permanent character flaws. A Dickhead doesn’t need to act in a stupid way systematically to deserve the title. They do, however, need to behave like an idiot AND do so in a rude and obnoxious manner at the same time. A Dickhead can also be described as an annoying Twat. Take the enthusiasm out, and a Dickhead turns into a Twat.

A classic Dickhead is somebody who consistently behaves in an annoying and idiotic manner, but expects different results every time.

How to recognize:
A Dickhead can often be seen cutting lanes in heavy traffic, looking for the faster way to get wherever his dickhead business is taking him. He usually drives a battered Toyota Corolla, but acts as if it’s a Bentley. He honks enthusiastically and flips birds left right and center, sincerely believing that everyone else around him is a Dickhead, just not him.

Main quality:
Stupid persistence

Twat (>Brit.)

A Twat is a Dickhead without enthusiasm. While not the most noble of species, a Twat acts in a stupid way either out of stupidity or laziness, but always in a selfish way. In most cases Twat’s intentions are far from noble, but he just does not give a shit what others might think or feel.

How to recognize:
A Twat is the one firmly stuck in the fast lane going at least 5 km under the speed limit. He ignores all beeping and honking behind him, and collects a long tail of admirers in his wake until he gets off the road, cutting through two lanes of traffic at same speed and giving everyone the finger.

Main quality:
Not giving a shit

Wanker (>Brit.)

A Wanker takes lack of enthusiasm to a whole new level. He behaves like an idiot without realizing it, and does so out of stupidity and laziness combined.

There is a fine line between a Wanker and a Twat – a Wanker is usually a completely useless person devoid of any personality: no brain, no spine and a head full of shit. A Twat at the same time does possess some redeeming qualities – a Twat may not be stupid, but will behave in a stupid way. A Twat may not be selfish, but will act so. A Wanker, on the other hand, will simply not have the brain capacity to muse over such matters.

How to recognize:
A Wanker will turn right from the left lane, and vice versa. He is driving an old Chevrolet,  a Pontiac, or anything else proudly produced by the General Motors corporation (because somebody has to make rental cars, right?) with broken taillights, paint peeling off, and a tail of oil dripping from the engine that is in desperate need of service. The only part of the car a Wanker actually pays attention to is the windows, which will always be tinted. A Wanker tends to yap incessantly on his cell phone, or stop suddenly in the middle of the road to check the map, or just try to remember where he was going to. A Wanker can also be recognized by loud ghetto music blasting from behind the tinted windows. If you see a Wanker on the road – pull off immediately, and wait for them to pass. Avoid trailing behind them at all costs.

Main quality:
Absence of brain

Cunt

Despite popular opinion, a Cunt can be both, male and female. Gender is not important here, what is important is the depth to which a person deserving such a name has fallen.

A Cunt is a person behaving in a vile manner, doing so with an evil intent, and thoroughly enjoying the process. One simply cannot be an accidental Cunt – one needs to live the name. By calling somebody a Cunt you presume that behavior or act you encountered was indicative of the very nature of the person.

A Cunt is a despised person – there are no redeeming qualities, nor does a Cunt deserve any. Unlike an Asshole, their behavior is not driven by a sense of entitlement, but is simply a manifestation of their nasty nature.

How to recognize:
While you are patiently waiting for another car to vacate a spot, a Cunt whizzes into it honking and giving you the finger. If you start protesting, he gives you a mouthful and loudly threatens to call the cops. He won’t hesitate to run his key along the side of your car just to prove whichever point he was trying to make (if he happens to notice where you parked), but will run away quickly before you come back to the parking lot.

Main quality:
Vile nastiness

Fuck

A beautiful word that can be used as a noun, verb, adjective, preposition, article, and pretty much any word form. For the sake of consistency, we’ll focus on the noun.

The beauty of “fuck” is that it can be a derogatory or swear term, but can equally be used in a friendly banter to congratulate your best mate on landing a hot date or a lottery win (as in “You, lucky fuck!”). With this in mind, to use “fuck” properly, make sure to use the correct modifier. If you suddenly find yourself on the receiving end, listen carefully to the adjectives used in combination – “a silly fuck” (friendly) is very different from a “stupid fuck” (offensive), and a “dumb fuck” (insulting) really tops it off.

How to recognize:
A lucky Fuck is somebody who can afford a better car than yours while being permanently un-employed.
A silly Fuck is the person you have been watching for the last hour trying to parallel-park his battered SUV in a spot that would barely contain a Vespa.
A stupid Fuck will block a one-way street for half an hour, trying to park a Smart where a tourist bus would easily land, will scratch both cars in front and behind, scratch his tires, and eventually leave swearing loudly in search of a better spot.

Main quality:
(Look for the modifier to identify properly
)