A friend from Union Church of Manila, Ms. Jeannette Smit, recommended that I try out the German dishes at her daughter Marietta Sager’s recently-opened restaurant, Donau Gourmet. So last Friday (March 7), I took my friend Adelle along for lunch and to meet Marietta.
The restaurant opened last January 31. Located at Amorsolo Mansion, Amorsolo Street, in Makati, its facade is modest and unassuming. Larger signage is in the works. It’s right across Mile-Long Plaza.
The place is cozy and intimate. The dining area shares space with racks for German groceries.
Marietta is tall and slim, and always smiling. A Dutch-Indonesian who grew up in the Philippines and married a German chef, she considers herself very much “Pinay”. She explains that after years of living in Hong Kong, Singapore, and other places where her husband was employed, she felt returning to the Philippines was “coming home”. Putting up Donau Gourmet was a natural offshoot of their deli business – Donau Deli – which manufactures authentic-tasting German sausages and cold cuts.
The store also carries German and other European wines.
Chalkboards on the wall announce the day’s specials and other featured dishes or products.
The cooking is robust and hearty, and, Marietta emphasizes, authentically German in taste and preparation. The entrees mainly revolve around the deli offerings, but once in a while they prepare Asian dishes that hearken back to Marietta’s multicultural upbringing and experiences.
A meal starts off with a bowl of Hungarian goulash. It’s a flavorful and meaty soup, full of beef and vegetable chunks.
A simple salad provides a cooling counterpoint to the savory soup.
One of their most popular dishes is the Curry Sausage with Fries. Don’t be misled by the name – German curry is nothing at all like the green sauce on “chicken curry” that we are familiar with. This dish is terrific!
The Spiral Sausage on a Bed of Sauerkraut and Pineapple is another must-try.
Donau Gourmet is open Monday to Saturday, 730am to 6pm.