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Berlin: Hugos (Oct. 2013)

October 30, 2013 Leave a comment

Author: Victor
Exec Chef: Thomas Kammeier
Website: http://www.hugos-restaurant.de/en/

This is the second of the Michelin-starred restaurants that I decided to try during my short stay in Berlin. I wasn’t sure how this would compare to Tim Raue, but I was excited to try it anyway. I saw that they were featuring a white truffle menu, so I immediately went for it. I loooove truffles. Monty says that my love of truffles deserves its own documentary and that it outweighs his love of any single ingredient, but I don’t know how true that is—the man loves uni. I haven’t had a truffle-themed menu for a long time now, so I was SUPER excited to be able to binge on them hahaha.

Like Tim Raue, Hugos wasn’t full while I dined there. It was at about 60 or 70% capacity, which made me sad considering that the restaurant would be packed in NYC. The restaurant has a pretty great location, too. It’s on the 14th floor of the Intercontinental Berlin, so you get this awesome view of the city while you eat delicious food. It’s not a bad place to be on a Wednesday night!

1 Restaurant

Click here to see pictures of the great meal!

Berlin: Tim Raue (Oct. 2013)

October 29, 2013 1 comment

Author: Victor
Exec Chef: Tim Raue
Website: http://www.tim-raue.com/index.php?task=restaurant&section=aktuelles&lang=en

October 29, 2013

I wanted to try a great restaurant while in Berlin, so I looked around Chowhound a bit. The name Tim Raue came up a lot, so I checked out the menu, was intrigued, and promptly made reservations!

The restaurant was only about half-full, and even online I was able to make dinner reservations for all of the days I was in Berlin. Maybe people just don’t eat at fancy restaurants on weekdays in Berlin… It makes me a little sad, because with the quality of the food this restaurant would be full on a Tuesday night in NYC (or HK haha).

There are three options: you can order a la carte, the seasonal tasting menu (4-6 courses), or the “unique” menu (their fancy one). I went with the “unique” one because I wanted to see the best they had to offer. The items I was particularly excited to try included the partridge and Peking duck, but the langoustine ended up surprising me—it was very well cooked, and the concept was perfectly executed.

The meal had hints of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, AND Vietnamese cooking. It’s pretty bizarre… Somehow, though, Chef Raue makes it all work well!

Click here to see pictures of the wonderful meal!

Copenhagen: Geranium (Oct. 2013)

October 28, 2013 Leave a comment

Author: Victor
Exec Chef: Rasmus Kofoed
Website: http://geranium.dk/#/en/restaurant/welcome/

October 25, 2013

I’m kind of posting out of order here. I have some past meals from Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Copenhagen that I should be covering, but I already have this post ready… so I’m just going to publish it! (I don’t know how long the Noma posts are going to take…)

Geranium’s a name I hear get mentioned alongside Noma a lot when people talk about the best restaurant in Copenhagen, and after eating there I can see why. The flavor and ingredient combinations are exciting and very technically precise. Also, the plating is gorgeous—the presentation of each course was very beautiful. I can see why some people believe that Geranium is as good as Noma. Chef Rasmus Kofoed is a vegetarian, and that seemed to shine through in this meal. It wasn’t very protein-heavy at all, and in a lot of ways it was just as, if not more, vegetable-focused as Noma was.

Geranium reservations are a LOT easier to get than Noma ones. You have to make your reservation three months in advance at a specific time for Noma, while I made my Geranium reservations on the same week. We went for lunch, though, and I’m not sure how easy dinner reservations are to make—during our lunch, the restaurant actually wasn’t even full. There’s slightly more food for dinner, but apparently the lunch tasting menu is close enough. (I mainly chose lunch because of the lighting. Pictures of food during dinner for my iPhone are always terrible haha.)

The restaurant’s on the eighth floor, and it has a beautiful view of the surrounding area. There’s a lot of green to look at, and eating in the fall allowed us to see a wide range of vibrant colors. The view actually reminded me a lot of Per Se’s view of Columbus Circle and Central Park.

The service here felt a lot more formal than Noma’s. Everyone in Noma seemed super happy and laidback, while the staff at Geranium exuded more of a formal dining aura—kind of what I’m used to at Per Se in NYC. The staff is still really nice, though, and they’re still more laidback than, for instance, waiters at the stricter French restaurants in NYC or Europe.

You get two options of tasting menus for lunch, a longer 3-hour tasting or a shorter 2-hour tasting. Naturally, we went for the longer version. Lunch was a mix of canapés to be eaten with our hands and individual courses. There wasn’t necessarily a strict transition from canapés to actual courses, but the closest to an actual “transition” would be when they give out the bread.

Click here to see pictures of the great meal!