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Stephen W

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Posts posted by Stephen W

  1. So, news from the German 3 star scene:

    Approximately two years after Nils Henkel took charge of "Gourmetrestaurant Dieter Müller" the restaurant has been renamed ("Gourmetrestaurant Lerbach") and refurbished (pictures on the website).

    Nils Henkel looks to be further developing his style of cuisine and the restaurant perhaps better reflects this.

    It is also interesting to note that a 6 course vegetarian tasting menu is available (Menü Pures Gemüse) - not something that you tend to see advertised at the top-end in Germany.

  2. Do I gather that you went at the end of May? If so, I've seen several accounts from that time with roughly the same opinion. It will be interesting to see if the recent revisions to the menu have addressed those concerns (I notice for instance that the Tuna dish has changed).

    I await Amieden's report with interest (and may find myself planning another visit...)

  3. Does anybody else perceive a price increase at Vendome (even excluding the 24 course menu at €245)? If so, any thoughts on that in the current economic climate? Is the top end of German cuisine not suffering a downturn?

    I'm also intrigued by how a 6-7 hour meal works with a lunch and dinner sitting - wouldn't the lunch customers still be there when the dinner customers came in? Wouldn't the dinner customers be finishing at 1 - 2am?

  4. Goulash (and only goulash) and Koelsch (no better combination on a cold day): Puszta Huette, just off Neumarkt.

    Flammekuchen and Koelsch, sat outside overlooking the Rhine (nothing better on a hot summers evening): StaeV

    A Brauhaus outside the centre (good food, good and friendly service): Brauhaus Goldener Pflug - easily reachable by tram line 1 (stop: Merheim).

    A Brauhaus in the Altstadt (serves Paeffgen Koelsch for those who like a slightly stronger taste): Brauhaus en d'r Salzgass

  5. Judgement day has come.

    A bit like getting my exam results in the post and not good news. A few minutes of disappointment followed by envy of more fortunate others!

    must try harder next year

    fingers crossed for re-takes in 2010


    Yes, same result for me. I've decided not to bother again next year. It's not so much the disappointment of getting turned down year after year (the odds favour that), more the envy of those who get in on their first attempt.

  6. Thanks for the info, Kerriar. But since I couldn't understand a word of the description of the Silberterrasse on the kadewe site, could you pls tell me what kind of restaurant it is? French? German?

    The key is that little button at the top left of the screen marked "english". :wink:

    For those who want a direct link click here.

    When I was last at KaDeWe (August 2007) most of the eating places in the food hall were "sit at the counter" type places, with the chefs working on the other side of the counter. The oyster bar was the only one I remember with a few tables as well.

  7. Just for my interest, if you had to choose one of Muller’s or Vendôme for dinner, which would it be?

    Interesting one this. On reading the question I thought it would be quite difficult to choose but thinking about it, it's not really. For me, if I could only ever have one more meal at one of the restaurants (a version of the "last meal" question) it would be a Friday evening, a la carte meal at Restaurant Dieter Mueller at one of the corner tables on the upper level. Sentimental reasons aside, the fact that I've not had a single thing go wrong (food or service) would just swing it for me.

    Recommending one to somebody else though would be a lot more difficult. As IFS observes, Nils Henkel is more classic in technique, Joachim Wissler uses both classic and modern techniques. Food-wise, I enjoy both. I'm also a great fan of the service at both, with the exception of the Sommeliere (Romana Echensperger) at Vendome, who I have an active dislike of since she criticised my wine choice on my first visit. Her absence on my recent visit probably explained why I enjoyed myself so much.

  8. 1.  The hotel is definitely not 5 star - or 5 little buildings (I assume you are using the Michelin standards).  It is a 4 (out of date plumbing - internet - no refreshing of things like fruit during a 3 day stay - etc.).

    It's classified 5 stars by the official German classification system (in fact, I think they classify it as 5 star Superior), shown as 5 star on the Michelin website and has "5 buildings" in the 2008 Michelin guide. I have to say I've enjoyed staying there, but personally prefer Schlosshotel Lerbach (which feels slightly more "personal").

    2.  Although we booked a restaurant reservation 6 months in advance - and reconfirmed it when we checked into the hotel - when we arrived at dinner 2 nights later - they said they had no record of our reservation.

    I can sympathise with this as my parents fell victim to the same problem (luckily discovered far enough in advance to sort out a solution). However I think that the hotel has recognised that this was a weakness and have addressed it - all bookings are now confirmed through a table booking website. I've not had a problem on my last 3 visits.

    Note that we also dined at Dieter Muller (sister property) during that stay - and I found it up to 3 star standards in all respects.  Robyn

    Totally agree with this - I had the pleasure of dining there again recently and for me it was again a full 3 star experience. The influence of chef Nils Henkel is becoming more apparent on the menu (although there is a "Classic Dieter Mueller" menu for die-hard fans) but (for me) it is more a case of evolution rather than revolution. Whilst I mourn the passing of the cheese trolley, the "Selection of French cheese from Maître Affineur Tourette" was a truly excellent selection of (I think) 10 cheeses.

  9. I wanted to make a reservation at TA and got an email back telling me they do have a table, but only for 2 hours & a half (6.45PM-9.15PM). I usually like being able to take my time to fully appreciate a good dinner: isn't this a bit short to get through a full menu at Aikens? We sometimes spend something like 4 hours for a meal...

    Has anyone been here recently on dinner and felt rushed out of the dining room?

    I assume somebody else has booked that table from 9:30pm and they are offering it to you until then (and are otherwise full). How far in advance is the booking and what evening?

    Time-wise, it's probably enough if you're going a la carte, but not enough for the tasting menu.

  10. I have not but a March 22nd  article in the Times Online titled “French reviewers give Gordon Ramsay a taste of his own medicine” quotes everyone from Simon to Pudlo and the press is rather bad.

    ...and most without having actually eaten there (the critic from Liberation being the only exception that I can see).

    I know it's dangerous to question some of the reviewers mentioned, but does nobody think that you should actually eat in a restaurant before you review it?

  11. Update: I hadn't heard anything since I contacted them, so I asked a German-speaking colleague to call and inquire. Apparently they are booked out for dinner through to January next year :shock:

    But, I was (apparently, haven't received the confirmation yet) able to get lunch reservations for the day I wanted, which is a Saturday, so that's not too bad  :biggrin:

    Now, any advice on where to stay in that area, and perhaps somewhere simple for dinner that evening?

    Hotel Traube Tonbach seems like the obvious choice. They might even do you a deal as you are eating at the Schwarzwaldstube.

  12. "Dos Hermanos" has - the food looks wonderful. (And so reasonable).

    Yes, but then their dislike of all things Tom Aikens related might make you question the objectivity of the review.

    As a quick "for instance", I note the comments about trying to find somewhere to sit. Anybody who knows the area will realise that the nearest seats (for about 12 people) are on the other side of the road to Tom's Place. Not exactly difficult to find.

  13. well it opens today so i guess not!!!!!!

    Actually, it opened on Monday for takeaway and opens fully today. I like it, particularly the Pollock (£11.00 including chips), wasn't quite so keen on the Gurnard (£11.50 including chips) but then I like the main restaurant and Tom's Kitchen so I'm probably a bit biased in his favour.

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