Friday, April 12, 2019

Restaurant Überfahrt Christian Jürgens

Germany is blessed with numerous top restaurants holding Michelin 3-star awards. However, reaching most of them was generally not an easy task as they're not located in the country's major cities. My latest adventure was visiting the under profile restaurant named Uberfahrt, located in the small town of Rottach-Egern (around 50 km South of Munich). The hotel where Uberfahrt resides, overlooked the beautiful Lake Tegernsee. Bavaria region is well-known as one of the coldest area in Germany. My lunch in the late January this year, coincided with the heavy snow and plenty of wind chill. Perhaps, the rather unpleasant weather contributed to the quiet lunch situation - including myself, there were only 4 people dining at this top restaurant ... 3 locals and one of them dining solo. Restaurant Uberfahrt was led by the 'celebrity chef' named Christian Jurgens. After having worked under the guidance of none other than Heinz Winkler, the German living legend chef, for several years, Chef Jurgens arrived here in 2008 and gained the 2-star award in a very short time. 6 years later, he attained the ultimate 3-star from Michelin.

After having relaxed in the hotel lobby for 20 min. or so, I walked into the restaurant Uberfahrt hidden in one of the hotel's corner. The dining room was intimate and far from being opulent. I began my meal with some snacks and a glass of non-alcohol aperitif of Virgin winter bellini - fresh, sweet but in a subtle way, and a little buttery. Similar to Atelier Munich, there were 2 different tasting menu offered ... 5 and 7 courses (you're allowed to order any courses as an a la carte as well); I selected the longer one. Prior to the first appetizer, the kitchen brought in its timeless amuse bouche: a tomato snowball with tomato liquid caipirinha (Brazilian cocktail) inside; it had a taste like a mixture of some kind of white rhum with lime and sugar. It was fluffy at the outside but with deep & concentrated tomato + some piquant flavors on the inside ... an opening with tame look but dramatic taste. Then, here comes the degustation menu,

BLAUKRAUT Rotkohl, Saibling, Senf, Soja (Red cabbage with char, mustard, and soy) - Cabbage with the soy was somewhat sour; the Char, served almost raw and having moderately firm texture, was mild yet kinda fatty. Altogether with the rest of the produce, the kitchen made this appetizer refreshing and a bit sweet. It looked complex but the taste was clear and clean. 

HONG KONG CRAY FISH TEA Kaisergranat, Sesam, Kräuter, Pioppini (Langoustine with herbs and pioppini-mushroom) - The soup was prepared in the Cona auto drip coffee machine. The broth taste was delicate with some herbal aroma and light flavor of the crayfish and tea - interesting. The 'sashimi' of the half-portion langoustine was unfortunately very small. Therefore, despite its sweetness, the impact it had to the dish was not as powerful as I had expected while the mushrooms were alright. 

TURBOT Steinbutt, Edamame, Röstzwiebel, Koriander, Senfsaat (Turbot with edamame, roasted onions, and mustard seeds) - The meaty back Turbot, seasoned with some lemon and pepper, had beautiful white flesh, mild taste and rather firm texture. The light taste and distinct texture of the seeds and green soybeans complemented the fish. The roasted onion 'soup' with some greens (such as parsley, chives and greens) gave bolder and deeper overall flavor to the Turbot. Starting from this dish onward, I began to truly like my meal more ...

DIE KISTE Gefüllter Kartoffelwürfel, Perigord-Trüffelmousseline, Trüffelsalat (Filled potato cube with Perigord truffle mousseline and truffle salad) - This is one of Chef Jurgens signature dishes and I think no better time to savor it other than during the high season of Winter black truffle. The potato with hidden egg yolk inside was carefully shaped into a yellow cube. The flavorful potato & yolk was surrounded by sweet, pungent and delicious mousseline infused with black truffle as well as Madeira sauce. I loved this dish very much - rich and deep in flavor yet not overwhelming, served with the right texture and temperature. It was the best thing I ate during my short trip to Germany this time.

FLATTERMANN Challans-Ente, verbrannter Spitzkohl, Gewürzjus (Challans-duck with burned cabbage and spice jus) - The duck was of high quality and it was meticulously prepared. The meat was tender and flavorful, especially with the jus made of the duck's jus and some spice. In contrast to the tender meat, the kitchen put some crunchy coating (coriander, mustard seeds etc.). The soft burned cabbage was quite playful ... more plain in taste, a little smoky and absorbed some of the spice jus flavor. A creative approach of Bavarian cooking. 

KÄSEAUSWAHL von Maitre Fromager Günther Abt (Cheese selection by Maître Fromager Günther Abt) - Unlike the earlier dishes, the cheese course portion was rather large. Some of the cheese I had were: brillat-savarin, camambert, mimolette, comte, tomme de chevre, langres and so on. The condiments were also comprehensive such as muscat grapes, almond & walnut, sweet mustard jam and a few bread. It was a solid variation and good cheese in general - I enjoyed them and they're quite filling. 

OMA JÜRGENS WARMER ORANGENKUCHEN Götterorangen, Nougateis, Pistazie (The Chef's grandma Orange cake with nougat ice cream and pistachio) - It was a rather intense and condensed dessert served warmed. The cake was a bit heavy with sweet & bitter nougat, sour oranges, a little alcohol, crunchy pistachio and some 'pop rocks'. It was suitable given the cold winter outside with plenty of snow; the portion was generous. Mix everything together to savor this sweet optimally.

The 2 staffs delivering the hospitality were both friendly and attentive. Given it was a quiet day, the service was relaxed ... if unnecessary, they would rather not to be found in the dining room. But every few minutes, they would show up to ensure that everything was fine. The pacing of the food was generally fine except for the main course, I was waiting for quite sometimes. Christian Jurgens was clearly capable of creating and delivering refined and contemporary French-based haute cuisine with Bavarian characters. He balanced the classic and modern cooking approach with good attention to details. The dishes' flavors were distinct and sublime. In spite of his creativity and skills, Chef Jurgens tried to present the dishes as simple as possible - guests could clearly what ingredients were used and recognized their taste. I did not know much about the Restaurant Uberfahrt before; I hoped the dishes served here would be very seasonal and the kitchen would still create new stuffs in the regular basis. I may not rush to return here again but I was pleased to be able to have a solid lunch at this dining place. The pictures from my lunch were Uberfahrt Jan '19

Food (and Wine): 95 pts

Service (and Ambiance): 94 pts

Overall: 94.5/100