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Alexander van Dülmen

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Alexander van Dülmen

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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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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Columella, 2001

Columella, Liberatus in Castro Bonae Spei, Vindemia 2001, red wine from South Africa

7,0 points

I don’t know very much about South African wines. Once in a while, my friend Grant Hill – who is the most generous wine lover I know – and I spend an evening together, tasting wines and talking about the world! He always opens some rare wine that I haven’t tried before, sometimes I can even surprise him with a wine he doesn’t know.

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Grant is from Australia and therefore much more open to wines from the so-called New World. He simply knows many more wines from there than I do. Maybe it’s also that he’s a bit older than I am, so he’s had the chance to taste more broadly.

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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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Iturup 2017

This report has nothing to do with wine and food. It is about a journey to Far East Russian island Iturup in July 2017. It is written in German. Anyhow, if you are interested in this, please do not hesitate and begin to read right away! Please enjoy. 

Ein persönlicher Bericht über eine Reise nach Iturup im Juli 2017

von Alexander van Dülmen

Fotos zu diesem Bericht befinden sich am Ende des Textes.

„Frühstück!!!!!!“, leicht thüringisch angefärbt, von manchen fälschlicherweise als sächsisch eingeschätzt, auf jeden Fall markdurchdringend und nicht nur in unseren bescheidenen Zimmern der gastgebenden Fischfarm zu hören, sondern ganz sicher auch im dreiviertelstündig entfernt liegenden Kurilsk zu vernehmen, so begann jeder unserer Morgen auf Iturup. Es kann nur einen geben, der derart laut „ansagt“ (ich kann nicht schreiben, dass es schreien ist). Einer, der einmal sehr viele Matrosen kommandiert hat, als Kapitän der DDR Marine zur See gefahren ist und den Natoverbänden, nicht nur ob der Bewaffnung seines Schiffes und Geschmeidigkeit seiner Fahrweise Respekt eingeflößt hat, sondern mit diesem Organ auch ordentlich einen Schrecken eingetrieben haben dürfte. Mir ist jedenfalls nicht bekannt, dass es in der Zeit des kalten Krieges zu ersthaften Spannungen in der Ostsee gekommen ist. Udo. Der Name Udo, ein Paradox zu diesem Organ. Aber er hatte ja auch die russischen U-Boote unter seiner Fregatte und die hörten durch ihre Röhren eh erst hin, wenn man schrie.

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Panama, Restaurant, Berlin

Panama, Restaurant, Berlin, Germany

6,5 points

6 points by Alexander van Dülmen

IMG-20170509-WA0001I am pleased that my friend and acclaimed script-writer Elisabeth Bartel accepted my invitation not only for a dinner at Panama but also to write her first review on my blog. 

Working on a screenplay with the word “Panama” in the title, it was kind of obvious that “Panama”, a fairly new restaurant in Berlin’s center, would be the ideal fit for dinner. Already when you enter the enchanted back yard, off a busy stretch of Potsdamer Straße, you feel you have come to a special place. We were lead to the second floor, which houses the main part of the mid-size restaurant with the half-open kitchen behind large glass windows. The atmosphere is bright and easy going but also quite loud, catering to a younger, international crowd.

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Chateau Brillette, Moulin de Médoc, 2006

Chateau Brillette, Moulin de Médoc, 2006, Grand Vin de Bordeaux, Red wine from France

4,5 points

This wine is much nicer than I expected! Spicy, dark berries, very dry, with strong tannins, but still very enjoyable. There is tobacco and even a note of bitter chocolate. The wine is full-bodied and quite potent. However, somehow it’s like a volcano that just can’t explode due to being covered by a huge layer of stones. You’re always expecting that something might still happen with this wine, but it doesn’t. For what it is: it’s good wine! A Bordeaux blend which is affordable, made from Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and little bit of Petit Verdot. In other appellations, the winemaker would add Cabernet Franc, which of course could make the wine a bit more elegant. This certainly wasn’t the intention of this maker; therefore it’s a rather bulky if not a fat wine. If I were asked what’s missing, I would say: some elegance. Continue reading “Chateau Brillette, Moulin de Médoc, 2006”

Einsunternull, Restaurant, Berlin

Einsunternull, Restaurant, Berlin, Germany

5,5 points

It is astonishing to see how many restaurants have opened during the last few years in Berlin. Einsunternull is another modern and perhaps trendsetting restaurant in the same vein as Nobelhart & Schmutzig. Einsunternull means one below zero, a reference to the floor level of the restaurant rather the level of quality. In Germany, zero is the ground floor, so the restaurant is actually in the cellar.

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