Fera, Claridge’s – Fine Dining in Mayfair

We have just returned from our lunch at Michelin-starred Fera at Claridge’s , whose kitchen has been headed by Australian chef Matt Starling since February 2017. Fera focuses on British cuisine. We had been having meals at Claridge’s in the past, when it was called “Gordon Ramsey at Claridge’s” and when it was labelled London’s most overpriced, overrated restaurant. However, Ms B, my wife, found out that instead of charging you £300+ for a meal for two with wine, like in the olden days, there was now a surprisingly acceptable lunch deal on offer: three courses and a glass of champagne or gin and tonic for £42 per person. For an additional £10 you can add their signature snacks (we didn’t, because we weren’t that hungry). There is an undeniable wow effect when you enter the dining room through a curtain-lined entrance which leads to a rotunda, where the room […]

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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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Brunch at Aquavit Restaurant, London

We’ve just returned from our brunch at the fabulous, Michelin-starred Aquavit, which opened in late 2016 under Executive Chef Henrik Ritzén. We had had this restaurant on our list for some time, but only managed to visit them today for the first time.    From Berkeley Square it is just a short walk through the southern end of Mayfair and the northern end of St James’s. As soon as we arrived, we were made to feel welcome by the friendly, relaxed staff. Despite the incredibly good value prices for their brunch dishes, we were one of only three parties that arrived when they opened at 11am. Other guests arrived soon after.    After short deliberation we opted for the blood pudding, lingonberries, bacon and lardo (£6) accompanied by an OP Anderson Original 25ml aquavit (£4), a ‘Nordic Breakfast’ with smoked cod roe, boiled eggs, avocado, and crisp rye bread (£11), […]

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Black Bulls, Frankfurt, our Restaurant Review

The Barbarians are usually no great fans of steak houses. We’ve been to too many of them that take the label too literal and completely lack any imagination or cooking skill beyond the preparation of cows’ meat. However, the further North you get in Germany, the more steak houses there are, and Frankfurt is already sufficiently North for there to be plenty. Besides, we had heard very good things about Black Bulls and we immediately liked the fact that they don’t blindly focus on steak, but are also known for their finesse in preparing seafood.   For starters I opted for 12 Black Bulls Style Escargots with herb garlic butter gratin (€12.90), a mistake. The bread and butter served before the starter arrived, looked so unattractive I couldn’t be bothered to try it. The extremely tiny “Achat snails” were completely overpowered by the rich, creamy butter, which did not taste […]

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Cafe Demel, Vienna, our Review

Opened in the 18th Century and re-designed later in a neo-baroque style, this “Imperial and Royal Chocolatier and Patisserie” is one of the best places for food we have been to in Vienna. Without a reservation, we had to wait for nearly half an hour before we were seated in one of the less glamorous second floor rooms, but it was worth the effort. From the moment we arrived the service made us feel welcome (which is not a given for big city places, certainly not for Vienna). We ordered coffee while we were pondering over the menu. In the end we decided we had to try their Viennese schnitzel for €25.90 (including side salad) and another one of their signature dishes: Huhn-Nudel-Briesauflauf (soufflé of noodles with chicken and sweet bread for €16.50).           The schnitzel was among the top three we’ve enjoyed. Large size, beautiful […]

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