Königshof Restaurant (10/10)

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Restaurant

Restaurant Königshof is siutated in the hotel in Munich. The  restaurant is focused on French cuisine with an extensive wine list. There are huge floor-to-ceiling windows facing Karlsplatz Square to take in the view while dining. Inside the decor is simply palatial. There is the most beautiful cream wood panelling, silky velvet fabrics and chairs with toffee coloured leather bases in traditional Louis XV style.

The finest silverware, plates and premium stemmed wine glasses adorn every table with crisp white linen napkins and table cloths. A beautiful light rose table piece caps off the setting. There’s an element of luxury and understatedness making this the perfect spot for a leisurely lunch.

The gorgeous table settings are so captivating.

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The view of Karlsplatz Square from the table.

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The interior of the restaurant, including the lovely chandlier.

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I am seated at my table by the friendly staff and am immediately brought an extensive wine list and have the menu explained to me. The focus is very much French with traditional Escoffier style rich sauces poured at the table.

Amuse-bouche

While I decide on the path for the afternoon ahead, there are some seriously amazing Amuse-bouches brought out to whet the palate.

The Fish 

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There is a tuna tartare and a battered fish for the first dish. These are a treat, the rich jelly like texture of the raw tuna with the crunch of the crisp on top proves delectable. There is a light thousand island style dressing to match. The battered fish is also a treat with a light creamy tartare sauce.

Mackerel soup

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The next is a mackerel in a light soup. The beautiful oils of the mackerel are on full display and the light soup doesn’t detract from it. The little cream sauce on top delights ever so slightly. It’s a nice taster.

Scallop

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This probably my most favourite amuse-bouche. It’s stylistic to a touch and leaves quite the impression. There’s the beautiful saline scallops with a good dollop of imperial caviar with walnut and shaved egg yolk on top. It’s like being kissed by the sea with a cold jelly like impression which is then extenuated by the flavour of the caviar and some nice contrasts with the walnut and egg yolk.

The Wine

The highlight of this restaurant is the wine list. There is an extensive selection of first growth Bordeaux wines which have been carefully cellared here. I am determined to chose one to enjoy this afternoon. After careful examination of the wine list, I opt for the Chateau Mouton Rothschild (1985).

The history of the vineyard is fascinating; In 1855, the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification specifically excluded Château Mouton Rothschild from First Growth classification (the ranking system for wine) despite its wine sales equalling the prices of other first growth estates. The decision was believed to be based on the vineyard’s Jewish ownership not the quality of its wine.

Baron Philippe and his family continued a protracted fight and in 1973, Mouton Rothschild was elevated to “first growth” status, the only material change in the original 1855 classification.

Mouton Rothschild changed it’s motto following the victory. It used to be Premier ne puis, second ne daigne, Mouton suis – which means “First, I cannot be. Second, I do not deign to be. Mouton I am”. The Chateau’s motto is now Premier je suis, Second je fus, Mouton ne change which means “First, I am. Second, I used to be. Mouton does not change”.

It is a wine which reflects my key values; merit should always prevail over prejudice and justice over injustice.

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I watch in eagerness as the cork is removed.

The background tune is “For the Price of a Cup of Tea” by Belle and Sebastian.  I do not own any rights to the song.

It’s been 33 years since the wine was first bottled, and what a passage of history it’s been; the Berlin wall fell, communism ended, we have had six US Presidents since that year and we’ve ushered in the digital age with the invention of the iPhone and the founding of Google. As the wine leaves its glass cocoon into the decanter, I watch with such anticipation.

The background tune is “Open Your Eyes” by Snow Patrol.  I do not own any rights to the song.

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I gently tilt the glass with some moment and place my nose into the glass. A wonderful flow light red fruits emerge from the wine’s 33 years of hibernation. They are accompanied (with some initial shyness) notes of light floral bouquet and a touch of earthiness in the finish. It’s tantalising and develops as the afternoon unfolds.

I shake as the glass is brought to my lips, it’s the first taste – I close my eyes to feel it. It’s like any new romance, I take it slowly. I just feel this wine and it feels me too; there’s a moment of stillness, a moment of love and a moment when time stands still. I react with nervousness every time the decanter is brought near me to fill the glass. A rush of adrenaline accompanies every sip. It’s presence is awe inspiring and creates a sense of nervousness – I almost feel unworthy to taste it. I question my place in this world and what I did to deserve this moment.

The wine has good body and structure. The decanter revealed less sediment than I expected and it still retains a good decent amount of fruit and acidity but its age has given it some wonderful tannins. There is also the development of notes of bitter balsamic, a gentle dose of mocha and herbs which linger in the finish.

The afternoon is spent focusing on the wine, it is the star of the show. I gaze deep and longingly at the label which has shown signs of age. It’s like a first date – I feel a tingle through my nerves, a deep gaze in my soul and flutter of my heart.

Entree

Bread soup” “La Miche”,  Sweetbread, Veal Tartare, Quail Egg and Perigord Truffles

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Beautiful crispy bread, with a quail egg, truffles and sweetbreads are brought out in thw bowl.

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A generous pot of the consomme is poured at the table.

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The table setting is simply perfect with the Chateau Mouton Rothschild in direct sight.

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The dish is what I would call an overflow of richness. There are the sweetbreads which gently cook with the broth and display their natural flavours and hard buttery texture, the quail egg which once pierced releases the gooey sticky yolk to intermingle with the broth and of course the earthy imprint of the truffle. The pieces of bread add a crunchy texture for contrast and soak up the stock nicely. The stock itself proves a star conducting the other ingredients in its train with a glowing saline and sensuous earthiness. The little veal tartare sandwich on the side has beautiful jelly like texture combined a biscuity crunch which is a nice touch.

The dish pairs rather nicely with the wine. The rich and earthy notes which pairs well with the wine. The wine has enough fruit and body to stand to the strength of the dish and the tannins are perfect to deal with the  richness of the dish.

Main Course

Braised Beef Shoulder,  Melted Foie Gras, Perigord Truffle and Smoked Potato

The dish is served with the reduction sauce is poured at the table.

The background tune is “Message to My Girl” by Split Enz.  I do not own any rights to the song.

The dish looks oh so alluring after the sauce has trickled through onto the plate.

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The dish is a classic. I am not sure where to start; the shaved truffles, the melted foie gras, the beef shoulder and it’s reduction sauce and mashed potato with crisp potatoes.

The tender braised beef is so tender and reflects the strength of the beef’s natural flavour which competes with the buttery soft foie gras and the pungent earthiness of the truffle. The soft smoky mashed potato have some embedded potato crisps for  some good texture. It’s a dish where on the finest produce is presented and they work oh so well together.

I enjoy the dish a little too much, as I gaze at the bottle of wine sitting across from me, I feel its jealous glare at me. I assuage her fears that the beef is the object of my desire by reaching for the glass for yet another sip. The wine proves to be the perfect pair for the dish. The fruit and acidity of the wine is sufficient to cut through the richness of the dish. The sticky reduction sauce and buttery foie gras are dealt with masterfully by the tannins.

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The vista of the wine, the table and the view is so stunning too. Munich is certainly a beautiful city.

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The background tune is “This Is What You Came For” by Calvin Harris – I don’t own the rights to the song.

Dessert

Chocolate, Blood Orange and Cream 

This dessert is an eclectic mix of citrus, cream and chocolate.

The background tune is “Underflow” by Emma Louise.  I do not own any rights to the song.

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The dish is defined by the tart acidic sweetness of the citrus fruits mixed with the rich sensuousness of cocoa and coffee notes. The dish has an stunning array of textures, fruity liquid, the crunch of the crumbles and smooth silky cream. I am not a dessert person but this is a well thought through dessert.

Petit Fours & Coffee

A wide selection of petit fours are offered and I opt for a cafe latte to finish.

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Even the coffee has its own flourishing style.

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I finished the afternoon enjoying the last sips of the wine before heading back to my hotel. It’s was such a magical experience to taste one of the world’s finest wines and dine at this fine restaurant.

Overall

The restaurant certainly ticks the boxes on the aesthetics , décor, ambiance and views. It’s like a little palace dining room with the sense of formality and luxury set the platform for a fine lunch. The staff and the service were on point and couldn’t be faulted and the sommelier’s knowledge of the wines and carefully attention to the wine I had chosen certainly showed. The French cuisine at this restaurant is stunning and the quality ingredients certainly did not disappoint; truffles, foie gras, fine beef, sweetbreads, scallops and caviar. Even the amuse-bouches were of a standard which set the bar pretty high.

For me to give a place a perfect 10, there has to be something special. The décor rivaled the palatial splendour of Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo, the views were amazing (though not quite Nobu in Malibu) and service was definitely a hit with its “without fault” Escoffier style. So in the ordinary course there were sufficient areas for this place to push through, but for me the wine list did it; there simply an unbeatable list of the world’s finest wines on offer. I think the Old Swiss House in Lucerne was one of few places which would rival the collection of Mouton Rothschild.

So here I am and it just has to be: Restaurant Königshof Munich: 10/10