[Penang, Malaysia] Austrian flavors from Christoph's, Stewart Lane

About 9% of George Town’s 700,000 population are expats, mainly British, Australians & Japanese. But there is also a sizeable German-speaking community here: about 2,000 German/Austrian working populace and another 1,200 retirees who live here under the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program.

Christoph’s by Austrian owner-chef, Christoph Girsch, is a new eating place catering to the German-speaking community here, offering a menu of Austrian and German options that changes weekly.

We were there for dinner last night - how time flies: the last time I had a good Wiener schnitzel was in Vienna itself - 3 years ago now, pre-COVID days.

Christoph himself currently runs the front of house, whilst fellow Austrian, sous chef Sabine Friesenegger, heads the kitchen.

Our dinner consisted of:

  1. Griessnockerl soup - Austrian-style semolina dumplings and carrots in a (as described in the menu) beef bouillon, although we thought it tasted more like chicken consommé. The dish was very good nonetheless - light-as-feather dumplings, floating on a clear, clean-tasting consommé.
    I won’t mind having this every day.

  1. Wiener schnitzel - this classic Austrian breaded & pan-fried cutlet was done using pork here, which gave the dish a more toothsome texture than the more traditional veal version.

National Geographic (Nov 2014) described it as such:
Austria’s national dish may actually have originated in northern Italy as costoletta alla Milanese , a similarly prepared slice of veal. Legend has it that in 1857 Austrian Field Marshal Joseph Radetzky brought the recipe back from Italian territories under the Habsburg rule, adding a note in his report to the emperor about a “deliciously breaded veal cutlet.”

Christoph served his Wiener schnitzel with baked potatoes, cranberry sauce and a wedge of fresh lemon.

  1. We finished off with a Viennese apple strudel, served with a dollop of whipped cream.

Negroni, made with 1985 Campari.

Christoph’s is proving quite popular with the local Germanic crowd who are looking for something familiar to their palate.

It’s located at 55 Stewart Lane, part of the Coffee Atelier Boutique Hotel owned by long-time Swiss-German expat, Stefan Gehrig.

55 Lorong Stewart (Stewart Lane), 10300 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +6010-801 0188
Opening hours: 12 noon - 11pm, Wed-Sat. Closed on Sun-Tue.