Situated next door from the entertainment enclave of CHIJMES, The Capitol Kempinski Hotel is hard to miss, what with all the luxury boutiques lined up on the side of the road. Of course, the property has also brought along a smorgasbord of restaurants like Alvin Leung’s 15 Stamford, diner Capitol Milk Bar, and rum bar The Bar at 15 Stamford. One of the latest to join the fray at Arcade@Capitol is Frieda, a casual German restaurant, and we can bet that there’ll be a lot more people chugging beers in City Hall now.
Named after the daughter of hotel founder Berthold Kempinski and wife Helene, the restaurant is a manifestation of Frieda herself: warm, charming, and pretty. With the overhead skylights and lush greenery, it gives off the impression that you’re dining in the middle of a garden. Like one from the late 90th century, in fact, excluding the air-conditioning – a huge saviour in the summer heat. Comprising of three sections, head to the Day Bar for quick after-work drinks, the Dining Room for a proper sit-down, or the al fresco Garden for the works.
Head Chef Jan Mulik doesn’t complicate things, keeping the menu limited and straightforward. Injecting a touch of Austrian influences, we start off with the Oven Roasted Pork Knuckle (S$39), and I’m not kidding when I say the food is full-bodied. The meat is soaked in an ice-bath for two hours before being simmered in an aromatic broth with herbs such as bay leaves and peppercorns before being roasted. Plated with pretzel dumplings, dip the crispy goodies into the house-made sauerkraut, and use the dumplings to sop up the juices. You’ll realise that this dish is well-worth the waiting time.
Being a German restaurant, you cannot not indulge in sausages. The Platter of Grilled Sausages and Meatloaf (S$54/two pax, S$105/ four pax) feeds a crowd with its assortment of smoky delights. The beef sausage can do no wrong, while the Nuremberg sausage is fantastic for those who prefer it spicy. Served alongside buttery mashed potatoes and Dijon mustard, this is an absolute delight and surprisingly, a great conversation starter.
You shouldn’t overlook the desserts either, as the Semolina Pudding (S$12) is the restaurant’s very own pride and joy. You might first be taken aback by the porridge-style consistency, but you’ll come to relish it. The sweet treat is topped with sour cherry compote so there’s a sweet and sour harmony in each bite, and the garnish of pastry dough crumble adds texture.
If the weather is unbearably humid, opt for the Apple Fritter with Cinnamon Sugar (S$12) instead. Filled with warm gooey apple slices on the inside and crispy on the outside, be sure to coat the cinnamon-baked donuts with a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream. Refreshing and light, this is the ideal last course to finish up this very heavy meal.
German cuisine isn’t complete without a pint of icy-chilled beer beside you, so raise your glasses to Frieda’s selection of tap and bottled beers, traditional, craft, or otherwise. It’s almost like you’re celebrating Oktoberfest without ever stepping into Munich.
Frieda is located at the Arcade@The Capitol Kempinski, #01-87/K1-K2, 15 Stamford Rd, Singapore 178906, p. +65 6715 6873. Open Tue-Sun 11.30am – 2.30pm, 6pm – 10.30pm, Mon 12am – 2.30pm, 6pm – 10.30pm.