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Alexander van Dülmen

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Alexander van Dülmen

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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Freakshow, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013

Freakshow, A „Michael David Joint“, The Strongest Man on Earth, Lodi, California, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013, Red-wine from USA

3,5 points

I began my last review of “The Seven Deadly Zins” with this note: “Art and design are certainly a question of taste.” (The Seven Deadly Zins, 2013, Lodi Old Vine, Zinfandel) I certainly didn’t expect anyone to top that last label!  And it’s the same winemakers who have created this – let me say – impressive label. You can call them courageous or perhaps just possessing a strong instinct for kitsch. In any case: another remarkable wine label, it’s unforgettable!

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Dolphin, Restaurant, Hanalei

PlDolphin, Restaurant, Hanalei, Kauai, USA

5,5 points

Housed in one of the few older buildings in Hanalei, Dolphin is a combination of restaurant, tavern and sushi bar. Fame and legend – both expressions are connected to this fish restaurant — which feels like it’s almost at the end of the world. If all ends of the earth are as beautiful as Hanalei Bay, I would travel more. Jonathan Deckter, who strongly encouraged me to go to Dolphin, was completely right about it. It is a great place: rather easy, half open-air, since it’s never cold at Kauai – and a half-open kitchen, plus some outside seating on the surrounding grass. Continue reading “Dolphin, Restaurant, Hanalei”

Providence, Restaurant, Los Angeles

Providence, Restaurant, Los Angeles, USA

7 points

Simply put: this is the best restaurant I’ve encountered so far in Los Angeles. How many years have I been coming to Los Angeles and eating bad or what I’d call just decent food? Even when friends have invited me out somewhere – and of course they always mean very well – they’ve brought me to loud either show-offy event places or simply to uninspiring restaurants.

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Peters, Riesling Auslese, 2007, Martha’s Weinberg

Peters, Riesling Auslese, 2007, Martha’s Weinberg, White wine from Germany

7,5 points

Some time ago I posted two reviews about Johannes Peter’s Scharzhofberger Riesling. You can find a lot of information about the winery at: https://avdwineandfood.net/2015/05/11/peters-schwarzhofberger-riesling-spatlese-2007/ and https://avdwineandfood.net/2015/08/01/peters-scharzhofberger-riesling-spatlese-2012/.

This particular wine, Martha’s Weinberg, actually does not appear on Peter’s website. Johannes Peters writes: Continue reading “Peters, Riesling Auslese, 2007, Martha’s Weinberg”

Yabby Lake Vineyard, Chardonnay 2005

Yabby Lake Vineyard, Mornington Peninsula, Chardonnay 2005, White wine from Australia

7 points

Having never been to Australia, and not knowing very much about wines from there, it is always a real pleasure to be introduced to special or unique Australian wines. My Australian friend Grant Hill  recently presented me with a 2005 Chardonnay from Yabby Lake Vineyard, which is on the Mornington Peninsula. This is more or less 40 km north of Melbourne. If you like, you can find detailed information about the climate, soil and other wine-making factors of this area on Yabby Lake Vineyard’s website: http://www.yabbylake.com/

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Minuty Prestige Rose, 2014, Cotes de Provence

Minuty Prestige Rose, 2014, Cotes de Provence, Rosé from France

2 points

According to online advertising, this wine should be one of best rosé wines from  Provence. The bottle’s appearance – its silver label with gold lettering on a transparent bottle – certainly fits the image and lifestyle of the Cote d’Azur. The whole image projects lightness, freshness, youth and also coolness, chicness and elitism. Continue reading “Minuty Prestige Rose, 2014, Cotes de Provence”

No Name Phở Kitchen at Thụy Khuê Street, Hanoi

No Name Phở Kitchen at Thụy Khuê Street, Hanoi, Vietnam

6,5 points

Isn’t it true that many times we eat easy – unfortunately often unhealthy – food (or shall I say grub) which is prepared quickly and is also inexpensive, or, let’s be honest: it’s cheap. We either don’t have time or we just don’t take the time for a real lunch. And of course most of us can’t pay tens of euros or dollars for a midday meal every day –  which shows that the quality of what and how we eat is also a social question.

I admire people who cook at home and bring their own lunch to work, since this is probably the most inexpensive and reliable solution – you know exactly what kind of ingredients were used, where you bought your meat, and so on. But perhaps many of us don’t even have time to prepare any meals at all. And let’s be honest: it’s also convenient just to make a last minute decision about what you feel like eating for lunch.

Continue reading “No Name Phở Kitchen at Thụy Khuê Street, Hanoi”

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