17th December 2008
Schloss Berg is a nice little castle in the Obermosel next to a horrible casino.
The room itself is very classic and is not likely to get an award for interior design. However, the few tables are very nicely dressed and the friendly service makes the atmosphere rather comfortable.
We started with a glass of champagne, accompanied by a trio of little treats: smoked sardine with pear and aubergine, tomato tart with pesto and olive and kropoek with salmon and apple. All very refreshing and excellent little miniatures. Also served as canapes were very nice cucumber soups with soja air, chorizo rolls and some salted and sweetened almonds.
Similar to ADPA and Les Ambassadeurs, you don’t have to hold your menu yourself. It rests on a little stand in front of you so that you can continue to enjoy your aperitif.
After having chosen 7 courses from the « Voyage Culinaire » we were served a variation of Tuna consisting of four mainly raw preparations, which were all excellent.
The first course of the menu was « Tomate & Olivenoel ». A tomatoe gazpacho with little olive and mozarella bonbons and small squid. This continued with the very refreshing, clean flavours present in the earlier dishes. Also very good.
After this followed « Gaenseleber aus der Landes ». The Foie Gras was accompanied by some cherry and coffee jelly and hazelnut meringues. Excellent Foie, smooth, rich in flavour and quite simply delicious.
We skipped a scallop course and came to a Langoustine dish. This consisted of langoustine sushi, with japanese rice, ponzu air, salicorn tempura and braised salicorn. a part, we were served an outstanding langoustine broth, with very subtle asian spicing. This was sushi of the best quality, with a perfect portioning of each component (as on all of the other dishes to). Again Bau serves a perfect dish.
As fish we had a Sole with Parmesan viennoise, Jabugo-Bellota ham juice and artichokes. This was one of the best dishes of the night. The sole was perfectly fresh, firm, with wounderful flavour, even though it could have been cooked a tiny bit less. If one takes into account that Bau’s cooking is realtively classic, it was perfect. One of the best dishes of the year and the best sole dish I have come across so far.
Main course was wild hare from Sologne with cabbage, topinambour and Mole. The star of this dish was a croquette of topinambour and delisously creamy boudin noir. The hare and rest were also outstanding and could hold the very high level of the meal. The sauce, with Mole was so good, that it had to be finished with some of the excellent bread we were served.
The only weak dish of the evening was « Lychee, Cassis & Joghurt ». It seemed like a combination of cassis sorbet, a creme with passion fruit and (supposedly) lychee and a crunchy bonbon filled with yoghurt. Each element was very good, but the composition looked a little out of place, especially if one considers that the rest of the dishes were perfectly planned. It looked like a nice pre-dessert, but appeared as first dessert on the printed menu.
The Chocolate & Peanut dessert was another highlight. A very good chocolate mousse, peanut cream and salted caramelised peanuts formed the centre part of this dish. A perfect Valrhona ice cream and some marinated mango accompanied it. All in all this was another outstanding dish, whith each element playing a very clear role.
THe petit-fours were as good as all of the rest and therefore our meal finished as perfectly as it had started.
One problem I have, which doesn’t concern Christian Bau, but rather the Gault Millau and some other journalists is the fact, that he was reproached of copying the culinary trends of the day and lacking a personal style. My meal gave me the impression, that Bau has found a very clever style, focusing on the product as Ducasse or maybe Pacaud would do and sorrounding it with perfect, maybe playful garnishes, which one can find in Sergio Herman’s cuisine.
Christian Bau along with Helmut Thieltges at Sonnora are the best chefs in the Luxembourg region and make it a must visit for anyone interested in contemporary classic cooking. If one is already in the region, the 8-course pasta menu at Mosconi, Erfort in Saarbruecken and L’Arnsbourg in Baerenthal could let you spend a few very enjoyable days.