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Restaurant Tim Raue**, Berlin – ferner Osten in Berlin’s Mitte

Restaurant Tim Raue

Um es Vorweg zu nehmen: Das Essen bei Tim Raue hat mich restlos überzeugt und die 2 Michelin-Sterne sind aus meiner Sicht hochverdient. Die durch die mediale Präsenz und zahlreichen Lobeshymnen ausgelösten hohen Erwartungen wurden voll erfüllt.

Doch neben dieser knappen Bilanz gibt es viel zu sagen, bzw. viel zu schreiben. Heutzutage sind ein Großteil der gehobenen Restaurants abseits der klassischen Pfade unterwegs, doch Tim Raue besetzt (zumindest im europäischen Raum) ein weiteres Feld für sich, jenes der asiatischen Küche in der gehobenen Gastronomie. Zwar gibt es einige Restaurants, deren Küche starke asiatische Einflüsse aufzeigt, ( zum Beispiel beim grandiosen Sang Hoon Degeimbre in Belgien), doch nirgends habe ich die asiatische Idee bisher so konsequent erlebt wie bei Raue.

Das besondere ist: Es werden ungemein subtile Kompositionen kreiert. Zutaten, die an sich schon exotisch und sozusagen überraschend schmecken, werden nochmals auf unerwartete Weise kombiniert, um eine völligst neues Geschmackserlebnis zu ermöglichen.

Doch Originalität und Kreativität allein sind meist noch kein Garant für erstklassiges Essen. Bei Tim Raue hingegen schmecken die Kompositionen nicht nur originell, sie vereinen meist all das was große Küche ausmacht: Ausgewogenheit-Harmonie-Balance, Akzente, Länge. Das Berühren aller Sinne. Bei aller Exotik wirkt es niemals kitschig, sondern meist subtil. Read the rest of this entry »

Restaurant Reinstoff**, Berlin – Der heilige Garpunkt

Restaurant Reinstoff

Wollten Sie schon immer mal erleben, dass in einem Menü jede einzelne Zutat auf den Punkt genau gegart wurde? Dann sollten Sie das Restaurant Reinstoff von Küchenchef Daniel Achilles besuchen. Das perfekt beherrschte Handwerk hat mich hier zutiefst beeindruckt. Ob Fisch, Fleisch oder Krustentiere – alles kommt im optimalen Zustand auf den Teller, wurde keine Minute zu lange und keine zu kurz den entsprechenden Temperaturen ausgesetzt. Read the rest of this entry »

Categories: Berlin,Fine Dining

Restaurant Benu***, San Francisco – When Asian flavors meet French techniques

Benu in San Francisco was the last of 3 fine dining stops during our West Coast vacation. Chef Corey Lee is everything but a newbie, having worked 9 years with famed chef Thomas Keller prior to opening his own venue in 2010.  He is known for combining classical French technique with Asian ingredients and flavours as well as for bringing in all the accuracy he had already proved at the French Laundry and Per Se. By consequence, Benu has been awarded its third Michelin star in 2014. Read the rest of this entry »

Restaurant Commis, Oakland – Comme il faut!

Commis was the second fine dining stop during our West Coast trip. There’s a lot to like about this restaurant which is located in Oakland, just accross the bridge coming from San Francisco. James Syhabout has created a concept that brings together the relaxed atmosphere of a bistro with high-end cuisine. Bistronomy if you like, but rather fine dining. Anyhow, it is a place where you can relax, lay back and enjoy a meal at the highest level with lots of creativity and executed with zero flaw.

The dishes are precise in the balance of textures and temperatures, but foremost always impressing with flavor interaction. Someone understood how to find the right rules and boundaries to put his talent and creativity on the plate!

Also, I have to say beforehand how I am puzzled about how much of a bargain this place is. 110 USD for the menu is a steal. But let’s tell the story step by step: Read the rest of this entry »

Restaurant Quique Dacosta, Denia*** – Returning after 8 years

In 2007, only 1 week after a memorable dinner at Ferran Adria’s El Bulli, my brother and I had a meal at Quique Dacosta’s Michelin-starred restaurant El Poblet. Back then we found many parallels to the just-discovered molecular gastronomy of master Ferran Adriá but also, in comparison to El Bulli, we found the meal at El Poblet to be much closer to a regular meal, with slightly bigger portions and more time to savour what’s on the plate. We agreed that in a week we just had one meal representing the very foundations and another meal probably representing the next step of molecular gastronomy.

Only in March 2015, 8 years after that meal, I made it back to this place. A few things have changed. Mainly: the name of the restaurant isn’t El Poblet anymore but simply Quique Dacosta. Plus, it now carries 3 Michelin stars. According to many, a well-deserved distinction that chef Dacosta had to wait for far too long. Read the rest of this entry »

Categories: Fine Dining,Spain

Restaurant Martin Berasategui***, San Sebastian – 25 years of modernism

Martin Berasategui probably isn’t the most talked-about Spanish chef these days. His track-record though puts him as one of the institutions of Spanish fine-dining, as his restaurant is holding a Michelin star for 25 years now and entered the elite circle of 3 star restaurants in 2001, 13 years ago.

So what was I expecting? Without having read much about him, not even blog reviews, I was rather awaiting some kind of classical Spanish fine dining, product-centered with flavor-combinations that have already proved successful and very few modern twists. Maybe something like the Spanish Troisgros or Bocuse.

However, I was about to find out that my expectations weren’t quite right. Although quality and choice of products clearly play an important role in his cuisine, Berasategui is even more focusing on creativity and flavor combination. And some of these were to leave us breathless and with dropped jaws.

A chef and a restaurant full of surprises! Read the rest of this entry »

Categories: Fine Dining,Spain