40 Sago Street
Tel: 6224 4420
Opening Hours: 10.00am – 8.00pm, daily
Many may already have heard about the lanky European guy that sells grilled sausages from a pushcart in Chinatown, but have you heard that he now has another stall selling breads and snacks nearby? Just a few metres away from the Erich’s Wuerstelstand pushcart at Chinatown’s Sago Street, Erich, a native Austrian, has set up a bakery specialising in bakes from his homeland, inside a nondescript coffeeshop.As with the fashion of “gourmet hawkers” nowadays, Erich’s Backstube stands out amidst neighbours more familiar with selling kopi-o and chicken rice.But business has been brisk since Erich’s Backstube’s official opening on 30 April 2007. “Backstube”, pronounced “Back-stew-bay“, means “a room where bread is baked, i.e. bakery” in German.Each day, fresh loaves of traditional country breads like rye and multigrain loaves are baked by Erich and his baker. For $5.20, you’ll get a good long loaf of rye bread which is almost double the size of what you’d get at some other popular gourmet delis in town.
I couldn’t resist their onion bread ($2 for 3 small buns), which looked so tempting with it’s shiny glazed crust. Bite into the fluffy bread and enjoy the subtle taste of onions. Even for one who doesn’t drink, I can imagine it perfect, washed down by an icy-cold German lager.
The bakery also sells muffins and cakes. Erich also told me that besides the “Backstube”, customers can also take their pick from the “Imbiss”, which refers to a “German snack place”. Here, Erich sells light eats like meat balls, potato soup and green salads.
German meat balls? Will the Chinatown crowd, more familiar with Singaporean fish balls, bite? Laughs Erich: “The response has been very good so far. They (the Chinatown uncles and aunties) are coming, but they come too late and find that everything is sold out!”