Since spring, Munich has been my current gastronomic battlefield, so I am of course curious to experience what the fine dining scene can offer in this great city. A good colleague of mine recommended a small restaurant close to Rosenheimer Platz. Tramin is the name of the restaurant, and it has kept a Michelin star since 2011.
After passing the entrance, you quickly get an impression of what this place is about. There are no cloth on the light tables, the waiters are dressed in black t-shirts, and the sommelier’s large tattoos are showing under his turned up, multi-coloured shirt. The setting reminds me a lot of the décor and ambience of the popular number 56 in the world Restaurant Relæ.
Read the review of Restaurant Relæ (in English)
Seated at the table, we receive the menu. You cannot read anything about the dishes, so you just choose between Gegenwart (present), Zukunft (future), and Vision with four (70 €), five (85 €) or eight courses (115 €), respectively. There are pros and cons to this method, but at least it leaves you with excitement, and of course we had to choose Vision with wine pairings (175 €), not to miss anything.
The appetizer arrived quickly hereafter. A bit too quick, as I was still in the men’s room while the food was served. In this particular case, it did not ruin much, but during the evening, we saw this happening more than once, also at the other tables where a dessert with ice cream was served while the guest was absent. I enjoy the down to earth attitude, but I would like to be at the table when the food arrives. This is respectful to the guests and the chef who is preparing the dishes precisely on the second. If the guest’s absence means that the kitchen has to prepare another dish then that is what they should do at this level.
But back to the appetizer which were presented in a tin to remind you a bit of preserved fish. Pieces of anchovies were lying with saltwort, capers, watercress, and tiny croutons in a slightly sweet tomato sauce. An entertaining and tasty beginning.
The amuse bouche was entertaining as well. The chef, young Daniel Schimkowitsch, is obviously influenced by the molecular cuisine. The amuse was served on a layer of real stones, and on top, fake stones of a light foie gras mousse coloured with eatable painting were lying together with chocolate cake crumble, cream cheese, and passion fruit. The foie gras had a surprisingly intense taste of liver, and the passion fruit was very pleasant along with the rich elements.
A new Nordic starter
Daniel Schimkowitsch’s way of cooking is far away from the rich Bavarian cuisine or the French which you often see at the gourmet restaurants in Munich. Our first course from the menu was a dish that could definitely fit in at a New Nordic restaurant. Slices of raw mackerel marinated in lemon grass, and mint were shaped into a circle and on top there were dots of rhubarb purée, band of marinated rhubarb, celeriac and pearls of buttermilk. The mackerel was pure and fresh, and the sour rhubarb components fitted well with the delicate taste of the fish, while the soft pearls of buttermilk added just enough creaminess to the dish. Leaves of red shiso, that tastes like cinnamon and cumin, added depth, and an interesting spiciness. My favourite dish of the dinner.
In the glass, we had a very fruity dry 2012 Riesling from St. Urbans-Hof in Mosel. The rich fruit played well with the rhubarb while the distinct minerality was perfect with the mackerel.
We moved on to another very interesting dish. Smoked rabbit tartar marinated with ginger was accompanied by smoked papaya, pea purée, and small meringue tops coloured with sepia ink from cuttlefish. The combination of the raw, delicate meat, and the different smoky components was very successful, and the tropical papaya was very interesting along with the rabbit. Another top-level dish.
To match the food we had a 2011 Grauburgunder Kaliber 19 from Adams Wein in Rheinhessen. It had a pink colour because of six weeks of maceration (the grape juice is lying with the grape skins). It had a sweet small of candy store on the nose, was bone dry and had a slight tone of bitterness and spices that fitted well with the smokiness of the dish.
A feel god dish
Now we came to a very pleasing dish with nothing else but savour. White and green asparagus with a cream of lardo, a miso mayonnaise, and a crumble of black olives on top. The asparagus had a perfect texture with an intact crispiness, and the rich mayo and lardo cream just coated them beautifully. With asparagus, you need to drink Sauvignon Blanc, which is known for its typical aromas of asparagus. Here, we got a 2012 Trocken (dry) from Weingut Hofmann in Rheinhessen. It was very crispy, had a refreshing acidity and delicious fruitiness; another good pairing.
The next dish let us back to the sea with char. Around the fish were morels, German spring mushrooms, edamame beans, whole and as a purée. The sauce was inspired by the French pistou sauce and on top of the fish we got char roe. The beautiful orange char was perfectly cooked but the edamame beans did not fit in and the purée was too grainy. The morels were not sufficiently cleaned and as a result of that there was still crunchy dirt in them. The most disappointing dish of the evening.
The main course was surprisingly simple, but also well made. A peace of beef from Pommern in the northern part of Germany was perfectly cooked and very tender. Next to the meet, was a bone filled with braised radicchio salad, foam of pearl barley, and on top, and a chervil salad. The surrounding sauce was very classically made from jus and beef stuck. A very nice detail was a layer of crispy roasted onions on the upper side of the beef. It enhanced the roasted flavour and brought a nice caramel-like sweetness to the dish.
The wine to accompany was a Tempranillo Crianza 2007 from Izadi in Rioja, Spain. It was the new style of Rioja with intense flavours of dark berries, beetroot and thyme. Juicy, a good tannin structure and well chosen for the dish.
Before the desserts, we got a cheese serving with a frozen mousse of fresh goat’s cheese with green pepper, and variations of figs. It was a decent cheese serving, but I did not understand why it was frozen – it left the cheese a bit crystallized.
The line of desserts started with strawberries. Fresh, as a purée, as ice cream, and a fake strawberry, respectively. Then a sponge of dried chocolate mousse, a chocolate cream, snow of rice vinegar, and pearls of basil. Basil and strawberries play well together, and with the creamy chocolate, it was a good start to the sweet part of the menu. Wine-wise we were back in the Mosel with a 2011 Riesling spätlese from Wolfer Goldgrube. What I love about the sweet German Rieslings is the high level of acidity that always secures the balance in the wine, and this wine was a good example of this.
Then we got a very fresh intermezzo dessert, which was an interpretation of the gin and tonic cocktail. It was made of a gin gel, cucumber, avocado cream, and yoghurt in shape of meringue, pearls and cream. Dried biscuit brought the crunchiness. I cannot really say that it reminded me of gin and tonic, but is was very refreshing, and a very good dessert in itself where the different elements went well together.
The last dish of the menu consisted of coconut mousse, ginger sorbet, frozen blood orange, a carrot gel, and some spongy carrot. We were told to eat all elements together to get the best experience, which was true. I had a hard time understanding the spongy carrot that was a bit too rubbery to my taste. Though, it was a good dessert, but not mind-blowing. The accompanying wine was a Muscat from Cantina Aldeno in Treno, Italy. We enjoyed the moderate sweetness, and an elegant bitterness that complimented the blood orange in the dessert.
What to make of this dinner? I enjoy the more modern, experimenting style of chef Schimkowitsch that is breaking with the old school French Michelin restaurants in Münich, and the mackerel, and the rabbit tartar stand clearly in my head as two amazing dishes. Despite of some imperfections in the finish, and a rather big flaw in serving dirt crunchy morels, the food is definitely worth a star – I believe that the style of Schimkowitsch’s cuisine is still in a working progress that will be interesting to follow. I enjoyed the relaxed, friendly, and knowing staff, but still, I would like to be present at the table when the waiter enters with the food.
Read as well: Landhaus Bacher – top gourmet in the Wachau (in English)
Read as well: Review of Terrine in Munich (in English)
The prices are very reasonable, and I will recommend this place despite some flaws, especially to people who might be scared of going to a fine dining restaurant with waiters wearing gloves – here they wear black t-shirts and friendly smiles.
Lothringer Straße 7
Tel: +49.89.444 540 90