Senckenbergs, Frankfurt – our Restaurant Review

I’m just back from dinner at Senckenbergs, a steak house and restaurant in Frankfurt’s Bockenheim neighbourhood. The atmosphere is more on the modern, slightly quirky, designer-elegant end of the scale, but not overly so, with the lights spreading a lovely, warm atmosphere. Service was great from the moment I entered the door. Very friendly, helpful, entertaining, even though maybe not always 100% well-versed with the usual etiquette at the pricier end of the market. After short deliberation I opted for blood sausage with lamb’s lettuce, beetroot, and potato dressing (€10.50), a Rib Eye (€34 for 300g plus €11 for every additional 100g, in my case roughly €40 for the steak, it turned out) with herb jus (€2), a side of sautéed spinach (€4), and no dessert. The Rioja (0.2l) for €9.20 did not overly excite me. The starter mainly surprised by the nearly complete absence of blood sausage. Having been […]

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Block House, West End, Frankfurt

Located directly next to the tube station exit West End in Frankfurt’s wealthy eponymous neighbourhood, this branch of Block House was my choice tonight for dinner. I will be upfront, the Barbarians do not even usually like chains (there are 50 Block House branches in Germany and abroad today, the group owns many more restaurants, hotels, and other businesses), and one thing we will never like is chains that literally strive to mimic McDonald’s success model but adopt it for full-service restaurants, as Block House do.    When I entered the building, I knew I was not going to fall in love with this place, so it’s a bit unfair on them, I admit. However, I would like to think I kept an open mind about what was going to expect me. I was hoping that the food would be somewhat pleasant, the service great, I was willing to give […]

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Ellory – Michelin-Starred Dining in Hackney

We’ve just returned from Michelin-starred Hackney restaurant Ellory. On Saturdays they offer a basic pub menu for a very reasonable price. We had not quite been aware how basic the dishes were, and thought it was going to be a posh pub menu with twists and sophistication, but it wasn’t. The interior décor is kept minimalistic and relatively cold, through the window you can see a wall and some barbed wire, but it’s an interesting touch, not off-putting, and hey, this is after all deep in East London.    Once we realised that we had misunderstood the situation, we started to really enjoy our dishes. The mussels on toast (£4) were perhaps my winner, incredibly strong flavours and great looks. The chicory, walnut, and Ossau-Iraty cheese (£9.5) were fabulous. I’ve always been a fan of the elegant bitterness of chicory, and can’t go wrong with Ossau-Iraty.    It was the […]

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Restaurant Lohninger, Frankfurt

A few days ago, my wife, Ms B, and I had just returned to London respectively Frankfurt from lovely Vienna, I decided that I needed a distinctly Viennese culinary booster to get me over the dark days and cheer me up. Mario Lohninger’s eponymous restaurant on the south bank of the river, which is also known as Museumsufer (museum riverbank, because of the large number of nearby museums), just two minutes’ walk from Sachsenhausen’s “Schweizer Platz”, has been receiving sterling reviews ever since it opened in 2010. Initially considering a career as a pro downhill skier, he helped out from a very early age in his grandparents’ bakery and his parents’ restaurant in Leogang near Zell am See. It would seem likely that my parents and several uncles and aunts, who went together on skiing holidays to Leogang every single year for more than a decade before I was born, […]

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Cafe Englander, Vienna, our Review

We’ve just returned from our dinner at the well-known Cafe Englander. This little gem of the Viennese culinary scene, which has been around under the same owners for some twenty years, is not being mentioned in most tourist guides and retains a clientele of largely locals. It has a very relaxed, pleasant, down-to-earth vibe to it, not preposterous or glamorous like the grand cafés, but not without charm. The service was very friendly, quick, and professional from the moment we arrived half an hour before the time (it had been raining hard, we cancelled a plan to do some sight-seeing nearby beforehand and went straight to the restaurant). We were seated in the smoking area next to the bar, until our table became available just on time. The vibe in the smoking and bar area is more rustic, louder, and you feel more “in the middle of it all”, but […]

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