I have been to many Michelin-starred restaurants, But I noticed they were all in the nordics. 3 starMaaemo, Ylajali and Kontrast in Oslo, Noma in Copenhagen (sadly no blogpost), Ask and Chef and Sommelier in Helsinki, Kadeau in Bornholm in between others, but somehow I totally missed German Michelin-starred restaurants, So I decided to start with VAU here in Berlin.
This small pink fassade camouflages in a narrow street next to Gendarmenmarkt and Berlin's Concert Hall, and entering through a courtyard, you can find Vau. A beautiful place with place for about 60 people. Nicely adorned with cooper plates and wooden accessories. The light is dim and gives the place a golden look.
In 1997, they were granted with their precious Michelin star... 17 years and still they are still holding it.
The head Chef, Kolja Kleeberg, is one of a kind. He is an actor, singer, storyteller, entertainer, and cook.
A very rare combination, but shows how creative he is, inside and outside the kitchen. Sadly he was on vacation the day I was there, but you can find him in the kitchen and around the restaurant when he is there.
I didnt see any wine pairing menu, but well, I can't drink more than a glass a week at the moment, so I was recommended a Tobias Knewitz Sauvignon blanc instead of the Riesling I was going for...10 extra points for sommelier as it was delicious!!
I went for the "Composition Menu". It is a more traditional menu than the "Improvisation Menu"... But I was excited about the truffles and the Valrhona chocolate and mango dessert.
In every Nordic Michelin-starred restaurant I have been, the food is brought by one of the chefs or sommelier, there was no difference with this restaurant. The first dish was an explosion of seafood and spices served with a "salad" on the side (the combination of the tomato sauce and lentils and the fresh foams was a perfect match) Loved the detail of serving it on a Weck Glass.
The second dish was the béchamel potatoes with truffles I was waiting for and they were perfect. And slowly I started noticing the difference between German kitchen and Nordic kitchen: The dishes here are heavier and less airy but that doesn't mean the aren't delicious as hell.
The Turbot with eel, was once again a very strong dish, though the chervil root purée made a perfect contrast to it. This was a huge portion and I was starting to get worried about how much food I would be able to eat. All the different roots in the dish were delicious. Thanks Norway to make me love roots!
A palate cleanser of the day was the Oyster with just pearls, a smooth and yet appetizing dish. It cleared my taste buds for what was coming:
A dish made of different ways of making black feather chicken: Celery puree with crispy chicken breast, a roll with slow cooked and caramelized chicken, coq au vin, a traditional french christmas sausage with chicken liver, truffle & onion and a juicy chicken wing. This was a very french dish, exquisite and rich in flavor.
The second palate cleanser was amazing and mouthwatering. The sorbet was perfect and the cheesecake cream was a dream! I should try this at home, definitely!
And then The Valrhona bonanza started: White Valrhona chocolate ice cream over a mousse Au Valrhona chocolate with Valrhona chocolate cake with mango and passion fruit sauce. Salty Caramel sauce with a twig of Valrhona chocolate and Valrhona chocolate sprinkles. Lots of "Valrhona" on this dish :)
Dinner was divine, and I totally recommend people to try this out. Be prepared to have a German-French fusion with loads of flavor.
I realized I need to explore more the haute cuisine in Germany, because it is a world difference between it and the nordics. Maaaan now I need a Valrhona Chocolate!
Here you can find all the restaurants I visit and frequent. From Berlin to Helsinki and from Oslo to Lima.