Posts Tagged ‘Miguel Calero’

Vendome II, Bergisch Gladbach

janvier 19, 2010

Joachim Wissler is without doubt one of the finest chefs in Germany. Alongside Christian Bau, he serves arguably some of the most interesting and innovative food this country has to offer, as far as I can tell. Both serve decidedly different food, which really shows how diverse German cooking is these days. Whilst a number of Flamish and Dutch restaurants all cook in one more or less similar style, in Germany one finds a variety of different cuisines: From classical French (say at Thieltges, Wohlfahrt), to more contemporary renditions of the French classical cooking at Erfort, over to Spanish contemporary cooking at Amador, over German haute cuisine at Elverfeld and Wissler to the Asian influenced cooking of Bau.

Vendome still is in this very grand setting of Schloss Bensberg a few minutes away from Cologne and the room is very beautiful, with huge gaps between the tables. Service was great throughout the entire meal, despite its length.

The menu here, in the 24 course edition costs 245euro, which is the highest price in any German restaurant. However, it is not that much, if one considers what one gets for that money. Shorter and cheaper versions do exist, but if you come all the way from Luxembourg for a meal like this, you go for the full thing. I started off with a glass of Bollinger Special Cuvee, which is probably my favourite brut non-millesime of the big Champagne houses. The wines for today were very fines ones indeed, and represented rather good value for the otherwise pretty pricey wine list. We started off with a bottle of 1998 Puligny Montrachet from Louis Carillon, after which we had some 2007 Sancerre Les Monts Damnes from Pascal Cotat and finally had a bottle of 2001 Chateauneuf Du Pape Les Cailloux from Brunel. All of them were fantastic, but the most amazing was easily the Carillon. A truly outstanding wine, which isn’t even that expensive for what one gets.

Carillon

The meal started with a croquette of pork snout, a ball of mussels and two crackers. One was topped with mackerel and the other’s topping I have forgotten to write down. Those were a very fine start, and the pork snout a truly outstanding piece of cooking. Excellent.

Canapes I

Canapes II

The meal itself started with Brachfeld [Steinpilze: Haselnussmilch : Esspapier]. This was a resolutely modern dish. From the look, to the conception up to the execution, it really was a most intriguing plate of food. The different cepe textures and preparations gave a very contrasting image of this fine mushroom. In combination with the very concentrated hazelnut cream, the length in the mouth was phenomenal. After having eaten one bite of this course, one had the flavours in the mouth for a very, very long time. From looking at it, it didn’t seem like anything I would love, but the taste delivered, it really was an exceptional, unique dish. Outstanding.

Pilze

Second part of the meal: Zarenfrühstück [Tatar: Wodka: Kaviar]. This was another picture on a plate, and a very delicious one it was. Two thin crisps of country bread sandwiched a very thin layer of beef/vodka jelly, beef tartare and caviar. On the other side of the plate, one had a quail’s egg yolk with a little dollop of caviar and a herb oil. This was an incredibly light, refreshing course, which presented the most delicious association of beef tartare and caviar in a slightly different way than Bau does it. Of course, quality of products and execution were faultless, and one of my friends just said, that he wanted to be a Tsar, if they had breakfast like that everyday. That’s a compliment in the best possible way. Excellent.

Petit Dejeuner

Rollmops [Sardine: Ochsenmark: Feldsalat] was one of the very few courses I found a little less unique. It was still a very very good plate of food, but less intriguing, compelling than the others. Not that that was a problem, as the plate was absolutely delicious as such. The idea of the German Rollmops was taken up, and turned into something much more refined and delicious. This adaptation of German dishes is one of Wissler’s greatest strengths, and something that makes his cooking so unique (although there are many other things too). In short, this was a delicious dish, although less special than the others. Very good.

Rollmops

Kalbskopf [ Königsberger Art: Bachkrebse a la Nage]. Another traditional German dish, the Königsberger Klopse was dressed in the finest of dresses, as this was a stunning dish. A Klops made out of veal head was served with crayfish, a creamy crayfish sauce, and a few capers, to have all of the traditional elements on the plate. The veal head was simply delicious and with the incredibly tasty sauce and perfectly cooked crayfish, it was a stunning dish. One can hardly think of a better way to present such a classic. Stunning.

Kopf

Kraut und Rüben [ geräucherter Hüttenkäse] was an interesting course, but not really that great after all. However, at the table, 2 out of three loved it, just to let you know how subjective things related to food are. Different preparations of beetroot were served with a slightly acid sauce, a smoked cheese and a little balsamic vinegar. Everything was, as always here, perfectly executed, although the whole thing used this nowadays pretty common idea of marrying beetroot, balsamic and some kind of fresh cheese… Very good.

Kraut und Rueben

Shrimps [Seeigelcreme: Chicoree: Madras Curry] was a stunning dish. Small shrimps deep-fried in their integrality sat atop a sea urchin cream, a few raw sea urchins and some shrimps. Tableside, a curry oil was added. The slight spiciness from the curry went beautifully with the strong sea urchin and the slightly less powerful shrimps, but the real star were, besides those urchins, the deep-fried shrimp carcasses. Their texture is just a pure crunchy pleasure. The idea of using the carcass as well, instead of only using a little part of the shrimps, is great, and so rarely seen in high-end restaurants. This dish was stunning.

Shrimps

Gänseleber [ Popcornschaum: gestockter Poulardensaft]. Not that pairing corn and foie gras is very new as an idea (after all the beasts get fed corn only), but the dish here, really was bizarre. A popcorn foam of a surreal texture came with a little praline of popcorn, a piece of pan-fried foie gras and a chicken stock. On top of the foie sat a few marinated pieces of some kind of root vegetable. The foam on its own wasn’t that stunning at first, however, if eaten with the liver, it was brilliant. The liver itself being of a most perfect texture. This was even better than the hot foie gras at the Greenhouse, as it had a very homogenous, supple but firm texture, which is what a perfect pan-fried foie gras should have. I suppose a method, similar to that Heston Blumenthal describes in his book is used here to cook it, as this produces some stunning results (it’s relatively complicated, but the most effective way of cooking this very fragile product). Outstanding.

Leber

If 24 courses are not enough, you need a little more. As one of us had eaten one of Wissler’s signature creations before already, we asked if we could have a little extra. Here finally came the mottled mascarpone raviolo with black truffles, old balsamic and white tomato foam (white due to clarification of the tomato juice, not the fruit’s colour) . A true masterpiece of comfortable flavours, which were outright perfectly balanced and beautifully brought together. Unreal, although a slightly older balsamico would even have been better for this, as this relatively young one, was a little too acidic. Outstanding.

Raviolo

At this point of the meal the Carillon was desperately empty, so I had a glass of Sancerre to go with the few fishy dishes.

Sancerre

Süsswasser [Donaulachs: Rote Beete: Maronen Cous Cous]. A piece of Waller, or a kind of salmon from the Danube was served with chestnut cous cous, salmon caviar, Chioggia beetroot and a broth. This was perfectly fine in every sense of the word, but it didn’t really amaze me. The interesting thing about this was the pretty well cooked salmon (nearly well-done), which was unusual for such a “modern” restaurant. It did not disturb much, but the flavour was a little muted due to this degree of cooking. Very good.

Waller

Salzwasser [ Schwertmuschel: Meerrettich-Apfeljus] was much more successful again. A few razor clams, scallops and oysters came raw, sandwiched between some leaves, topped with an oyster air and sprinkled with apple/horseradish jus. A very light, very direct, and very clean dish, which I absolutely loved. The others however found it a little less exciting. Apart from the slightly iodine flavours, the perfectly balanced acidity was remarkable in this dish. This was great, natural/modern cooking. Fantastic.

Austern und Muscheln

Aal [Himbeerstreusel: Rosenkohlpüree] was one of those combinations, which just make you feel a little dubious. Wissler is a master of bringing together things, which you wouldn’t imagine to work at all. The lackered eel was given a little peps from the raspberries, and the Brussels sprouts puree gave it a little earthy character. Excellent.

Aal

Kalbsbries [Misocreme: Schwarzwurzeln]. A piece of roasted sweetbreads, with a Miso espuma, beef broth jelly and salsify made for a stunning little course. A glorious piece of sweetbread, paired beautifully with the foamy Miso mousse, and the fork with the jelly and salsify opened up the palate for the slightly more intensive, richer plates to come. Excellent.

Bries

Landei [Jabugo Bellota Schinkensaft: Nussbutter: Albatrüffel]. Another classic of Wissler, and yet one more truly memorable dish, was served at this moment. A poached egg yolk was layered between some parsley or spinach puree, Iberico ham jelly, brown butter foam and white truffles. The whole thing just was like diving into pleasure. When one took a bit of everything, one had an absolutely stunning taste explosion in the mouth. I don’t know how I can qualify this some other way, but this really was amazing. The combination of such delicious elements alone is enough to make one salivate in advance, and when it is done in such a convincing way, one can’t help saying: DIVINE. One of the best dishes of 2009.

Trueffel

For the meat, we drank a very enjoyable bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape (details above).

Chateauneuf

Ente [ Sesamcreme: Spitzkohl]. This dish came on two plates. On a first one, a piece of crispy duck skin, in the classical Chinese way was powdered with a leek powder instead of the traditional granulated sugar, and next to it came the dish itself, with various pieces of the duck, a sesame cream, some pointed cabbage and a strong duck jus. The skin was mesmerising: Incredibly crunchy and soft at the same time, the leek was noticeable, and gave it an interesting touch. It was so good I had  to have a second helping. The main plate, with the duck was no less good. I particularly enjoyed another piece of crispy skin, served with a little cabbage. This was another great combination, as were the pan-fried cepes and duck leg. The breast meat was of course perfectly cooked, and as tender as duck gets. The only slight problem was the rather heavy sesame cream, which had a consistency resembling that of a mayonnaise. Otherwise, it was excellent.

Ente

Hase im Pfeffer [geschmorter Sellerie: Datteln]. A piece of hare loin came with date puree, braised celery, a little braised shoulder, and a biscuit, soaked in the hare’s cooking juices. This was an incredibly light way of serving a hare, both in terms of calories and taste, as the dish was much less powerful than, say a lievre a la royale. Here, one had incredibly tender hare loin, which was less strong than the braised shoulder, and to balance these, there was the sweet date puree. I love hare, and this was easily the best of the meat courses we had. Excellent.

Hase

Vacherin Mont D’Or [Kartoffelschaum: Pumpernickel]. Atop black bread jelly sat some potato foam, with Vacherin at its centre. This was then topped with crunchy black bread, to give some texture to the otherwise rather creamy dish. I enjoyed this cheese course, and found it very interesting, as it made use of the traditional potatoes, which are often used with this cheese, and incorporated regional brown, or black bread, in a very successful, light way. Or at least, as light as possible way. Very good.

Vacherin

Butterkeks [Tamarillo: Kaffee: Kekseis]. Every German child has eaten these rectangular biscuits in their youth, so to use them inevitably brings back memories. This dessert, served in a Martini glass brought this biscuit into the dish in a most interesting way, and the ice cream had an incredibly buttery feeling, just like the biscuits themselves (which is what it was supposed to taste like anyway). The dessert remained light, and fresh enough to be served after such a long meal. Very good.

Dessert I

Next to it, we were served Dörrobst [Renettenlimonade: Muskatnusseis], which was an ice cream made with nutmeg, a foamed apple lemonade, and a little bit of dried fruits. Another very fresh little dessert, using the sour apples (this variety of apples is pretty sour, compared to a number of other apples) to give the dish a very light feeling. Otherwise, it certainly was very good, but not the best of the desserts served. Very good. (see pic above)

Hokkaidokürbis [Joghurt: Kreuzkümmel]. I think that this was my favourite of all the desserts served, and easily one of the best, I’ve eaten last year. Not only was this a stunningly beautiful plate, the way that the elements were brought together was equally stunning. This was hardly sweet, just enough to satisfy the taste-buds, and the cumin spiced things up a little. The incredibly fresh feeling of Wissler’s desserts was very present here again, which makes these little plates so easy to eat after a menu such as this. Outstanding.

Kuerbis

Meteorid [Grapefruit: gestockte Hefecreme: Sake]. Another highly interesting dessert. Again, a picture on a plate, here, the main theme was the bitterness in the levure, and that of the grapefruit. When eating all of the elements together, one had a completely new taste in one’s mouth, something that grew on me, whilst I ate the dessert. Excellent.

Meteorid

Schaumkuss [Mandarine: Pistazie]. A beautiful dessert this certainly was, but a pretty forgettable one too. The idea was good, using the different parts of the mandarins to create something that resembles it visually and in terms of flavour. However, the flavour in the mousse, which was all that filled this fake mandarin, was a little muted. Somehow, there was too little acidity and sweetness to make this a very successful affair. Good.

Kuss

Trüffel [ aus dem Perigord: Manjari]. To combine chocolate truffles with “real” black truffles is a highly interesting idea. As both can be brilliant together, this can really work, but as the truffle season was just about to start, Wissler must have used some cooked truffles, which didn’t have the punch of a fresh truffle during the season. Otherwise it was a perfectly executed, rather classical chocolate mousse, with not much more. Very good.

Trueffel

To finish things, we had a Pina Colada, served in a fun, and interesting way, and the inevitable Magnum [Vendome am Stiel]. Both were good fun, and very good.

Pina Colada

Magnum

Mignardises are on the same level as the rest here, and one can only say that this really remains one of the best restaurants in Germany and the world.

Pralinen

The food here was even better than what we had in April. Just like Bau, Wissler seems to get more and more focused on concentrating the flavours, and making the dishes lighter. In this 25 course menu, I had only a couple of courses, that I did not like that much. The rest was so good, that it would not even have been an option to leave them out. The most stunning dishes were easily among the best I’ve eaten last year, and the overall quality of the meal was stunning for such a long menu. With the remarkable wines, that we drank, and the great service, I spent a very enjoyable few hours. Wissler should belong on the wish-list of everyone who has a serious interest in the very best food served on this planet, as this restaurant is easily among the world’s elite of avant-garde restaurants, which serve incredible food, in a most relaxed, but sophisticated way.

Publicités

Restaurant Vendome, Bensberg

avril 26, 2009

 

La (grande) maison

La (grande) maison

 

 

Drving up the hill in Bensberg and reaching the very impressive Grand Hotel Schloss Bensberg, where the restaurant Vendome is situated, is quite strange thing. One moment you are in the most banal German little town, a few seconds later, you find yourself in a place that has about nothing in common with the rest of the town.

The restaurant itself isn’t even in the main building, but in the old stables, which are bigger and more impressive than most houses you come across nowadays. From the room you have a stunning view on Cologne and the sorroundings. The décor is very modern indeed, with photos of the place Vendome in Paris and the famous coloumn made out of the cannons, Napoleon conquered after the battle of Austerlitz in 1805. The tables are widely spaced and the napkins the biggest I’ve come across (they really are big).

 

La salle

La salle

 

 

The service is as good as it gets. Smiling, attentive, knowledgeable and charming. Miguel Calero is easily on of the best restaurant managers in Germany and leads his brigade in a most efficient way, that suits the cooking and the restaurant very well.

 

Joachim Wissler is certainly the most innovative and interesting chef in Germany, and one of the most singular chefs worldwide. His cooking is unlike anything else served in other restaurants of that level. He not only tends to use cuts that other 3* restaurants wouldn’t even dare to offer on their lunch menu, but he also goes for some really stunning, unusual, strange combinations, that work every single time. He also deserves praise for bringing pork into Germany’s 3* restaurants, with which he does some spectacular things.

 dscn0386

Recently, the whole menu structure has changed, and you are now able to enjoy a 24-course meal, which is quite printed quite similarly to Alinea’s big menu. The only difference being the bigger portions here. Driving there from Luxembourg, the shorter menus didn’t even look like an alternative and so I was in for quite a ride…

 

The arrival of the amuses already showed how far German cooking has gone over the last few years. All of them were extremely well made and of impressive complexity. From the top, they were eel with figs, goat’s cheese with cress, mackerel with baked polenta and seaweed and poularde braised and stuffed into a crisp round of pastry. All were excellent.

 

Amuses

Amuses

 

 

After this, the first course came very quickly. Knäckebrot Krabben | Muscheln | Frankfurter grüne Sauce. A thin layer of bread, with some crevettes grises, mussels and herb sauce (from Frankfurt) marked a light, very good first course.

 

Knaeckebrot

Knaeckebrot

 

 

Blätterwald Gemüsekrokant | Ziegenjoghurt – Dip was a very thoughtful and innovative way of presenting vegetables. Out of the various varieties, cauliflower was the strongest, with the others being too sweet. The goat’s cheese dip was very good. All in all, whilst being good this didn’t figure amongst my favourites of the day.

 

 

crackers

crackers

 

 

Coralle Parmesan | Foie Gras | Basilikum – Pistou. This was a combination of a Parmesan “coral” , a foie gras panna-cotta and a pistou, a form of the Ligurian pesto originating around Nice. All elements were perfectly well made, and worked together, even if I’m dubious about the link between the foie and the other two elements. They certainly did bring different textures to the dish: The Parmesan coral being crunchy, the foie panna-cotta creamy and the pistou somewhat between liquid and velvety. The other characteristic feature of Wissler’s cooking, that this dish displayed, were the very present flavours. All of the elements had clear, pronounced, well-seasoned tastes, that make them stand out from some wishy-washy dishes you might get elsewhere.

 

parmesan

parmesan

Auster Grüner Apfel und Sauerkraut | d’Aquitainekaviar. This, following course, certainly doesn’t exist in many other restaurants. It was the first time for me to get Sauerkraut (in the form of pearls) served with caviar and oysters. But I hope it won’t be the last, as this was spectacular! Each flavour working remarkably well with the others and lifting the whole dish to (nearly) unknown heights. The products Wissler uses are of course of the finest, which won’t have to be mentioned in every single course. The accompanying green apple and wasabi foam gave the dish un peu d’air sur terre as the ad for a French fashion house states. Excellent.

Auster

Auster

 

Langoustine Sushi gegrillt | Tonic und Ingwer. Here came another strange concoction. This time, there wasn’t any German element in it, but instead of serving some sort of Langoustine bouillon, Wissler made a sauce out of tonic and ginger. The combination with the langoustine (topped with a cream made out the corail) worked fantastically well. However, the quality of the langoustine was not as great as it could have been. Despite this, the dish was still very good, as were the accompanying Dashi/shiso crisps.

 

Langoustine

Langoustine

Next up was a Wissler classic: Octopus Sepia | Tintenfisch Marsh Mellow. This dish didn’t have any odd flavour combinations, but a Squid Marsh Mallow certainly isn’t part of your everyday feast. All of us were stunned by this little gimmick, that was at least as good as the “main” part of the dish. Here, again, he delivers the most fun and unexpected sensations for all of the senses, the dish being of great complexity and the flavours working remarkably well. Outstanding.

 

Squid

Squid

 

 

This was another German element. A rather posh, but very classic dish: Leipziger Allerlei Bachkrebse am Waldrand. All of the classic components of the dish were present, albeit in slightly altered form. The crayfish were pan-fried and accompanied by a bisque, the asparagus featured as a mousse and salad, the morels just pan-fried and some green beans provided another sign of spring. First of all, the idea of serving such a local classic in a 3* deserves praise. If it’s that well made, it really does stand out. The crayfish and the bisque were truly divine, the asparagus too, the only problem were the cold morels and the dominance of the crispy bread. As the photo shows, there was a bit too much of that. Excellent.

 

Leipzig

Leipzig

 

 

After these German products, came another German product: süsses Wasser

Seeforelle | Meerrettichkren | Saiblingskaviar . This lake trout from Bavaria was gently cooked and served with the Austrian Kren (which you traditionally get with the Tafelspitz amongst others). With it came some char-roe, the crispy skin of the fish, cucumber, rape-seed oil and a clear spiced broth. All in all the flavours were very clean and light, especially after the powerful dishes that preceded it. The skin was great, crispy without being greasy, the roe had the lovely exploding texture one always seeks in it and the cucumber  and horseradish gave it some fresh note. Very good.

 

Forelle

Forelle

 

 

After the sweet-water comes the salt-water (fish). salziges Wasser Rochen | Kurkuma – Koriandernage | Reisgnocchi. This piece of skate was of pristine freshness and delightfully firm. The coriander/curcuma sauce gave it some power and the rice-gnocchi and soy-sprouts could be described as decent garnishes. Excellent.

 

ROche

ROche

 

 

After some relatively big portions (for a 24-course menu), came a small serving of Weinberg Schnecke umhüllt . These snails were encased in their jus and served with vinegar caramel, morel powder and some parsley puree. Perfect combination of flavour and texture resulted in another excellent dish (can’t rave about it as snails don’t really make me that happy).

 

Schnecke

Schnecke

 

 

The following course sounds really interesting when being read: Thun Fish & chips | Pommes frites nicoise. However, the expectations were not met. Not at all. The chips were soggy and greasy. The tuna was oily, but remarkably tender and tasty (which I greatly enjoyed). The tomato powder, and the dip were very good, but the latter did come quite heavy. Unfortunately, this was a missed opportunity, as good chips really aren’t that hard to make and the dish could have been a nice little nod to the other side of the channel. Ok.

 

Thunfisch

Thunfisch

 

Fritte

Fritte

 

 

 

Kabeljau vom Kopf bis zur Flosse. Reading this, you might wonder what will come – at least if you understand German. Now, cod has some very tasty parts, it’s liver, kokotxas or tripe do feature on some menus, but I never came across cod tongue. This however, was amazing. The accompanying fillet, peas, lardo and pea veloute were equally well made, but the tongue just completely blew me away, both taste-wise and texturally.

Great to see, that Wissler still tries to look for other ingredients, that you might not get in any other 3*. Outstanding.

 

Kabeljau

Kabeljau

 

 

This next dish has a great title: Schweinerei zum essen. A Schweinerei is some kind of mess in German and you might know that Germans do like their pork. This was unlike anything porky I ever came across. One side of the plate held a piece of pork paper (made out of pork-jus), the other a spoonful of pork-liver “Berliner Art”. The paper was incredibly fragile but unbelievably tasty. The liver, with mash, fried onion rings and apple pieces was a spoonful of heaven. A serving of ten of these would have done me right. Divine.

 

Schweinerei!

Schweinerei!

 

 

Having started on the pork-orgy, we certainly didn’t want to miss out on another Wissler classic: Juvelin – Ferkel Liebstöckel | Flönz | Berglinsen. This dish presents three different cuts of pork, each of them treated differently. On the left, was a cutlet on top of a melon salad, in the middle the braised chin with crackling and Castelluccio lentils and behind this, a piece of black pudding with Jerusalem Artichoke. Besides this, was a bit of lemon salt. I do not know where to start as all of the elements were just beautiful. The crackling, which Wissler and his colleague Dieter Mueller serve are certainly some of the better ones you can find. The process is as complicated as a whole dish elsewhere and the result just knocks you off your socks. All of them, culet, chin and black pudding were as good as you could hope to get. Divine. Again.

 

Ferkel

Ferkel

 

 

Yet another German dish was to served before dessert: Sauerbraten vom Ochsen “sous vide” | Holzofenbrot – sandwich. This one really comes from the region and was beautifully modernized. The piece of beef is marinated in vinegar (hence sauer) and then slowly cooked sous-vide. Along with it came a sandwich filled with vinegar jelly, minced beef and the toasted. Also on the plate, a piece of delicious bone marrow and Stielmus-puree. Sorry for not having a translation for Stielmus, but I came across it anywhere but the Ruhr-region. Another outstanding dish.

Sauerbraten

Sauerbraten

 

 

Having a whole cheeseboard in a menu of such length wouldn’t really make sense, so Wissler serves a small cheese course, which shows equally interesting combinations than the rest. In this case, it was Fontina Auberginentatar | eingelegte makrele, which was very good indeed. The aubergine, mackerel and Fontina went together very well, even if this probably wouldn’t be everyone’s favourite. Very good.

 

Fontina

Fontina

 

 

Haut kross von der Milch. This first dessert was quite spectacular. The milk-skin was incredibly pleasant to eat and the mascarpone mousse going remarkably well with it. This really showed, how pleasant avant-garde cooking can be. Excellent.

Milchhaut

Milchhaut

 

 

After this came another German favourite: Käsekuchen Eis | Mürbteig – Krokant. Here the Kaesekuchen was turned into an ice cream and served with abricots. Simple but excellent.

 

 

Kaesekuchen

Kaesekuchen

 

 

It seems to be a trend among chefs to serve snowballs as desserts. This particular version must have been the best I have come across. Schnee ball gefüllt. It was just perfectly well made and showed how good a rhubarb dessert can be. The little macarons were just as amazing as the rest. Divine.

 

Schneeball

Schneeball

 

Ball-2

Ball-2

 

 

 

 

Having a cake as ice cream is a nice idea, at least if it is as well made as this one (again). Crème catalan tarte Tatin – Sorbet. This, second ice creamed-cake, with it’s burned milk panna-cotta was simple and excellent. The burned milk gives it some slight bitter background, beautifully counter-pointing the sweetness of the rest. Excellent

 

Milch

Milch

 

 

Speaking of unusal elements: Macaron Fourme d’Ambert | Himbeersorbet. I’m sure this too, isn’t what most would like to have in their dessert. The fourme d’Ambert macaron, filled with raspberries was remarkably well balanced. The raspberry “earth” next to it gave the dish some crunch. Excellent.

 

Mac-on the left

Mac-on the left

 

 

Schaum kussbeschwipst. You might have to be German to understand this, but it was very well made too (what a surprise!). The rum cream was simply encased in some dark chocolate. This was a acloholised version of a German sweet, that has the politically un-correct name of Negerkuss. Here Wissler plays with his clients’ childhood memories, as this wasn’t as good as the others. Very good.

 

Kuss

Kuss

 

 

The next part was equally reminiscent of our childhood: Magnum Vendôme am Stiel. I guess Magnum ice cream has traveled over Germany’s borders, but in Germany it is part of any summer. Here, it was coco ice cream with plain dark chocolate. Very good.

 

Magnum

Magnum

 

 

To close the deal, you get another German dish: Mohr im Hemd

Zartbitterschokolade | Eierlikör. This name is another racist dessert name, but in the end it is a chocolate cake (warm), which was served with Egg-nogg. Excellent.

 

Mohr

Mohr

 The petit-fours were as good as the rest. Here too, you could see, how much effort goes into this kind of restaurant, as there was a multitude of different varieties of pralines. All made in the patisserie.

 

Petit-fours

Petit-fours

 

 

 

Wow! After around 6 or 7 hours of such stunning food, you can’t be anything but dazzled. It takes some time to reflect on all of this, as the cooking here is taken to another level. Wissler is one of the very rare German chefs to really go into German culinary traditions and explore them. He does so with great intelligence and uses his (immense) skill to create little sensations. Another Leitmotiv of his, is the sensoric element in cooking and eating. Most dishes have some play on textures in them, which do make it that much more exciting to eat.

A third thing he likes, are cuts and flavours that not many other chefs dare to use. This and the essentially German dishes make Wissler and his cuisine truly unique.

 

Even if the portions might be a touch too big for such a long menu, this restaurant offers a complete experience, where service, kitchen and ambience all add up to something amazing. Wissler and Calero show, yet once more, how spectacular German cooking is these days. All I can suggest is: Go there!