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Wine and Food

Alexander van Dülmen

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Restaurant

Le’Shuk, Restaurant, Tel-Aviv

Le’Shuk, Restaurant, Tel-Aviv, Israel

7,5 points

What a wonderfully atmospheric restaurant! It has been a long time since I’ve had such a pleasurable evening sitting somewhere, just observing the action and enjoying excellent food. What an experience! Located on Dizengoff Square in the heart of Tel-Aviv, the seating area is almost entirely outside and under awnings; the interior consists of a bar, a few tables, and the half-open kitchen. Ethnic music fuels the mood, which is characterized by a pleasant rush, a desire to eat, and the joy of entertaining conversation. Although it is a little bit chauvinistic to mention, I might add that my waitress was quite an unusual natural beauty, these friendly glimmers of her face should warm every heart and turn it into dreamy dreams.

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Amass, Restaurant, Copenhagen

Amass, Restaurant, Copenhagen, Denmark

7 points

How many times have I heard that Copenhagen is the culinary capital of Europe? Not Paris. Not Rome. Not Berlin. I still can’t really say because, in Copenhagen for the first time, I relied on a tip from Billy Wagner. His tips are as reliable as ever but you should be careful to have enough money with you — eating out in Copenhagen is not exactly cheap. And truly, there is one 3-star Michelin restaurant, six 2-star Michelin ones and even 12 (!) with one star. Next to the most famous and obviously one of the best restaurants in the world, based on a questionable ranking by San Pellegrino, Geranium (place 19), which is the 3-star restaurant, are there any good alternatives? Apart from the fact that I do not like to pre-reserve months in advance, since food always has something to do with mood and desire – I mean, imagine your mother dies and you have been waiting for months for your reservation at Noma, the other world famous restaurant in Copenhagen (which is closed anyhow for some months). What do you do then?

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Brawn, Restaurant, London

Brawn, Restaurant, London, England

6 points

London is probably one of those cities almost everyone has been to or still plans to get to at some point. As the capital of the United Kingdom, it is, on one hand, a very international and cosmopolitan city, while on the other hand, it is also the capital of England with strongly English roots– when London was a labor and workers’ town and not only the financial and international hotspot it is today. Right in the center, we mostly know the architecture of such rich, elegant and very wealthy areas as Belgravia – which are very beautiful, without a doubt. Fortunately, areas or districts are constantly developing into new centers of life, areas which were frowned upon twenty or ten years ago as neighborhoods of socially disadvantaged people or as areas in which it was simply unpleasant because of their lagging behind in the overall economic growth or development of the city.

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Seehaus, Inn, Fichtelberg

Seehaus, Inn, Fichtelberg, Germany

5 points

I am thankful that Elisabeth Burghardt (former Bartel) once again accepted my invitation to post another review on my blog (here first one is here: Panama, Restaurant, Berlin )

The Fichtelgebirge (Fichtel Mountains) is a fairly well known region in northern Bavaria, close to the Czech border. It’s an idyllic and remote area with breathtakingly beautiful woods where you walk on soft terrain, surrounded by nothing but the twittering of birds, the gurgling of a small stream and crisp fresh air. It’s a region that was once known for its mining industry (basalt, marble but also gold, tin and iron). Its massive granite rocks once left a deep impression on no less than Johann-Wolfgang von Goethe and even inspired him to an essay about the prehistoric rock (see quote below).

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Jägerheim Ützdorf – Hotel & Restaurant Liepnitzsee, Ützdorf

Jägerheim Ützdorf – Hotel & Restaurant Liepnitzsee, Ützdorf, Germany

3,5 points

Berlin is surrounded by a region called Brandenburg. I wrote about it once already, please see this post: Philippsthal, Restaurant, Philippsthal. Brandenburg boasts beautiful nature but from a culinary perspective, it is somewhat barren. Because of the beauty of the land, it is certainly worth leaving Berlin once in a while to enjoy pure nature.

After a recent walk around the Liepnitzsee (a lake to the north of Berlin) I passed an inn with a very simply but plausible name: Hotel & Restaurant Liepnitzsee.

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Indian Accent, London

Indian Accent, Restaurant, London, United Kingdom

7 points

Given the lack of alternatives, some time ago I had dinner at a Mexican restaurant called Casa Enrique (Casa Enrique, Restaurant, Queens) in Queens, New York.  Even though I’m no big fan of Mexican cuisine, it turned out to be an unexpectedly great experience. When I was in London recently, I could have perhaps found some alternatives, but we ended up at an Indian restaurant — though I am also not a big fan of Indian cuisine. And? Indeed, it turned out to be fantastic. The same experience again, somehow.

It is a persevering cliché that food in England is bad. Isn’t there the famous joke: “What would be paradise in Europe? The Italians cooking, Germans constructing cars; British policing, the French making love, and Swiss organizing everything. But what would be the nightmare of Europe? The Swiss making love, the French building the cars, British doing the cooking, Germans as the police, and Italians organizing everything.” But the aforementioned cliché must have some basis. I guess if London weren’t so cosmopolitan, you would find far less interesting and inspiring food there. Actually, I am very seldom in London (unfortunately) but I have a few friends there who are fortunately into more than bad English beer and fish & chips afterwards. Those friends occasionally invite me for nice lunches or dinners, which by itself is a proof of friendship, considering the price of a meal in London. The prices are ridiculous! Food is expensive in the British capital – even if the pound went down due to the stupid Brexit idea.

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Omoni, Restaurant, Berlin

Omoni, Japanese Restaurant, Berlin, Germany

5,5 points

It’s not exactly news that one can always discover a great new place in Berlin — if one only searches. The press and the internet often outdo each other in reviewing the latest restaurants and bars, so I should probably refrain from writing about Berlin’s restaurants if I’m looking to get any attention with this blog. But since this is not my motivation in writing, I of course will continue to write about what I want, including interesting or less interesting places, also those in Berlin. And if I look at the stats of my blog, it always surprises me to see which articles are read more and which less. I don’t really see any particular logic behind it, since there aren’t subjects that would seem to connect the interest of the readers. So, it isn’t that the reports about wine necessarily have more readers than reviews about restaurants. If the place is rather unknown or not many people wrote about it before or posted about it on any social network, then it happens that my review appears among top 5 in google or other search engines. But again, this doesn’t mean so much, since my handful of reviews of Bordeaux wines are all pretty popular, although many reviewers have written about these same wines. The good thing about this realization is that you can just write about anything and if you do that — and make it entertaining enough, hopefully — you will find one reader or another. As said, I’d like to continue writing only about my personal and, thus, of course, subjective experiences and insights. Continue reading “Omoni, Restaurant, Berlin”

Hutong Yakiniku – Bade Road Branch, BBQ Restaurant, Taipei

Hutong Yakiniku – Bade Road Branch, BBQ Restaurant, Taipei, Taiwan

6 points

So this time I’m talking about a restaurant in Taipei that I could actually eat at, and which I really liked. It’s called Hutong Yakiniku and is one of several in Taipei (and if I am not mistaken, there is a branch in Beijing, too) – the Bade Road Branch. Again, it is difficult to find references online in English; both the website (http://www.hutong.com.tw/store.php?cid=2&id=4) of the restaurant and the FB page are available exclusively in Taiwanese. Maybe it’s just out of western arrogance that I’d wish for broader language skills. Nevertheless, it is also curiosity, because the restaurant is absolutely recommendable.

I felt like eating meat that day, was tired of running around for hours, and was more in the mood to go to a non-experimental location, but one which still fit well with Taipei. In addition, one that was not too far away from my hotel (Artree Hotel), which I’ve already praised in a previous review.

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鷹流東京醬油拉麵蘭丸, Ramen Kitchen, Taipei

鷹流東京醬油拉麵蘭丸, Ramen Kitchen, Taipei, Taiwan

0 points

Taipei, a city many of us probably do not know. If not, then, forgive me. Anyway, I was unprepared for a stopover of three nights in the capital of Taiwan. Frankly I had no great expectations. Since my blog is not about traveling, but about wine and food, I will not go too far here, but I must say that my visit to Taipei really impressed me and therefore I’ll allow myself to share my impressions with some photos:

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Casa Enrique, Restaurant, Queens

Casa Enrique, Restaurant, Queens, New York, USA

6,5 points

When we talk about New York, most of us are actually just talking about Manhattan. In reality, New York is much more: Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens and the Bronx. I recently stood for the first time not in Manhattan but in Queens. Not too far away from the end of Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge —  at the Z NYC Hotel (I don’t think I will go back). From the roof, you have an amazing panoramic view of Manhattan.

The area around the hotel is – let me just say – special. Taxi garages, bakeries, craftsmen’s workshops, stores for work clothes like uniforms and safety wear – but then also design studios, exhibition halls and cool working spaces, hotels and hostels called “The Local NYC”…it is an area in transition.

In particular, on the banks of the East River there are many new real estate developments. Those faceless glass modern sleeping towers that dominate Toronto’s waterfront as well. Although I guess it isn’t bad to have a flat there.

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Baan Boon, Restaurant, Krabi

Baan Boon, Restaurant, Krabi, Thailand

5,5 points

Sometimes I am asked to give an example of typical German food. Usually my answer is that it depends where in Germany one wants to eat. Even though the differences between the regions in Germany are marginal, I would still say that Bavarian cuisine is different from typical down-to-earth food in Dortmund, for example. That said, the variety among European cuisines is immense, as we all know: Irish and Italian or Bulgarian and French.  I have the impression that too many people think Asian food is Asian food, except of course Asians themselves,. This is simply stupid. However… Sometimes you’ll pass by a place where you can get Chinese-Vietnamese-Thai food. To top that, you could perhaps also get some sushi at this same place. Somehow, it is a less respectable concept of selling cheap food – considering that a chemical sweet and sour sauce topping some bad pork and clumpy rice could be Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese all at the same time. What I know from my own experience is that the diversity of cooking in Vietnam – but also in China – is one of the richest in the world. Unlimited with respect to ingredients, herbs, flavors and spices – it is even difficult to speak about “the” Vietnamese or “the” Chinese cuisine. Not for nothing, it is called Peking Duck and not Hong Kong Duck.

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Macelleria Popolare, Milan

Macelleria Popolare, Milan Street Food, Milan, Italy

5 points

valentina-lori-foto.1024x1024I am delighted to introduce you to another guest writer: Valentina Lori. She is born in Milan but lives since many years in Berlin. 

 

When I tell people I am from Milan, 90% of the time their reply is either, „Oh, I have never been there“ or „Oh, yes, I have been at the airport / at the station / on the freeway on the way to Florence / Rome / Liguria etc. “.

Fact is, Milano is not well known. It does not have the eternal appeal of Rome, the elegant charm of Florence or the unique beauty of Venice but it should not be underestimated. It is famous for its design and fashion industry but it has more to offer than fancy shops and a beautiful cathedral that took centuries to be completed. It has a few popular spots but also hidden treasures, unknown sometimes even to its citizens. It is also one of the very few cities in Italy where sometimes things really change.

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