Deutsches Haus fills bellies, empties wallets
By Jimmy Norris
SEOUL - With cute pictures of fat Germans in lederhosen on the sign over their door and the Christmas lights strung up along the interior, I couldn't resist Deutsches Haus' festive atmosphere.
In some ways I wish I had.
I left Deutsches Haus with a full belly and an empty wallet. I suggest entering the place in the opposite condition.
With its tasty German entrees covered in rich sauces, served with deceptively small portions of incredibly filling sides, Deutsches Haus is not a place for anyone pretending to watch their weight.
It's also not the place for anyone on a budget.
The average price for meals on the dinner menu is about 20,000 won (about $22) and gets as high as 40,000 won (about $44).
The service was marginal. While the staff was friendly and accommodating, they were not terribly attentive.
For more than 20 minutes my family and I waited for someone to take our order before finally deciding to interrupt the staff's conversation and ask someone to bring us food. During busy times a wait that long is understandable. When you're the only customers in the restaurant, it's unforgivable.
Also, there are no children's portions available, so be prepared to share a meal with the kids, or pay full price for something they may only eat half of.
Overall, eating there was not a bad experience, just a costly one. I recommend trying it if you want a fat belly, but not if you want a fat wallet.
Deutsches Haus, Seoul
Hours: Daily, 2 p.m.-11 p.m.
Drink prices: Soft drinks and South Korean draft beers start at 3,000 won (about $3.30). German draft beers start at 5,000 won ($5.60). Bottled beers are more expensive. Cocktails start at 8,000 won ($9).
Specialties: The restaurant specializes in German food and serves a variety of smoked meats and sausages. Pasta and Asian food are also available. Prices on the dinner menu run between 20,000 and 40,000 won. A few cheaper options, mainly pasta, are available toward the back of the menu for about 8,000 won.
English menu: Yes, but the staff's English-speaking ability is very limited and customers are better off pointing at pictures on the menu.
Clientele: Mainly foreigners on the weekends, mostly local business people on weekdays.
Dress: Come as you are.
Location: Toward the end of Itaewon's main street, past the turn-off to go to Hannam Village's back gate. Coming from Yongsan Garrison the restaurant will be on the left side of the street.