Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Restaurant Reviews: Shane's Restaurant (Munich, Germany)

There are loads of amazing restaurants in Munich, but I wanted to review one particular restaurant that really stands out to me as being an incredibly unique and memorable restaurant, both in food and concept. 
Shane's Restaurant

Blazer- Zara // Shirt- H&M // Jeans- Zara // Bag- Alexander Wang

The interior is just cozy and unpretentious, just like the name of the restaurant. One gets the feeling that they are being entertained in the dining room of Shane's, with a fish tank, unfussy chairs, and huge unframed black and white photographs of two individuals who seem to be reveling in the joys of cooking in two different eras.

The obligatory Hugo. It's interesting to me how Hugo cocktails can be so vastly different from restaurant to restaurant. Hugos are drinks that are much more popular in Germany than anywhere else, from my own experiences. Germans love to have it as an apéritif before dinner, and it's considered the quintessential summer drink. It's usually made with prosecco, mint leaves, and elderflower syrup. I like my Hugos more sweet than dry, so it's always a gamble whether I'll like the restaurant's Hugos or not. I didn't like this Hugo, to be quite honest. 

Can we wax poetic about this bread? It's made with potatoes and sprinkled with coarse salt on top. The chickpeas and lemon spread that came with it was a bit under-seasoned, but the potato bread itself was salty and earthy, delicious enough to eat by itself. I was heavily in the midst of a "Game of Thrones" reading marathon at that point, and could totally envision the characters tearing chunks of this hearty bread with their hands while camping out under the stars and listening to the sounds of the horses whinnying and the crickets chirping. It's delicious- the bread- and, well, the "Game of Thrones" books too. 

Anyhoo, back to the restaurant. The concept of the restaurant is that you order your drinks, you get your bread, and then you decide between the 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9 course dinner. That's it. You only decide on how many courses you want. You also tell the waitstaff any food specifications you have, such as dietary restrictions or preferences/dislikes. After that, you sit back and relax. The dishes you get are a complete surprise in what is predictably called "the surprise menu". It changes daily, or every two days, and we were told that the chef (Shane, duh) goes to the markets at the crack of dawn every morning and plans the meals according to what is available and seasonal at the markets. Absolute brilliance. How much pressure would that be to come up with different menu ideas every. single. day?! Plus, the waitstaff have to memorize new dishes' names and ingredients every day as well. Impressive!

My food restrictions were nothing raw (no sushi/tartare) and no lamb (too gamey for me). My dining partner, the boy, eats everything and anything, so no restrictions for him. 
This was the welcoming dish from the kitchen, and didn't even count as the first course. Radish pearl barley in a lemon dressing with various vegetables. It was my first time eating radish pearl barley, and they were crunchy and slightly spicy. A perfect fresh start to our meal!

First course: grilled scallop with kohlrabi, avocado, rocket (arugula) salad, and a wasabi sorbet. The wasabi sorbet was pretty much the most amazing thing I've ever put in my mouth. It was cold, refreshing, and spicy, and made my nose tingle. It was the most perfect juxtaposition to the perfectly grilled scallop, and gave this salad the most unique flavors. 

Second course: lobster bisque with glass noodles, scampi (shrimp), and round melon balls. The melon balls were at the bottom of the soup and the slightly sweet fruit surprisingly gave the rich lobster bisque a beautiful balance. The glass noodles were appropriately al dente and the shrimp well-cooked. I thought the bisque was a bit too frothy, but beside that, the flavors were spot on. 

Third course: duck breast on gnocchi with shiitake mushrooms, carrots, and mashed peas. This was not my favorite dish but it was certainly very good. The duck was fatty and the veggies seemed to be cooked in a flavored oil because they had a very earthy, salty taste to them. 

Fourth course: ravioli stuffed with fawn and plums, served with a dollop of parsnip purée, dried cherry tomatoes. I had to make myself forget that I was consuming bits of Bambi with every bite, and when I wasn't thinking about that, the ravioli were rich and flavorful. Loved the parsnip purée!

Fifth course: hanging tender beef with asparagus, assorted vegetables, and two different kinds of gnocchi. I don't know if I was just getting full at this point and my tastebuds were trying to quit on me, but each successive dishes were tasting less and less delicious than the previous ones- but delicious nonetheless! My beef came out a bit more rare than I like my meat (it was kinda sorta mooing) and the vegetables in this course were a bit meh. The richness of the foods also started to wear on me by this point and I just wanted a big plate of that amazing wasabi sorbet again just to cut the richness. If I had this course when starting the meal and with the beef cooked a bit more, I would be raving about it, I'm sure.

Sixth course: dessert was peach slices with strawberry ice cream and panna cotta, sprinkled way too sparsely with the most delicious bits of green tea white chocolate crumbs (the sponge-like green morsels in the above photo). I wasn't terribly fond of the peaches- they were a bit sour for my taste- but I loved the green tea white chocolate crumbs, there just wasn't enough of them. 

Can you imagine having to come up with such detail and variety every single day? In my eyes, Chef Shane is a culinary genius. I know that the "secret menu" concept has been done before, but I think Chef Shane does it with such flair! If you're looking for a fun dining experience that doesn't sacrifice class and taste, I would recommend that you get your butt to Shane's Restaurant. Fellas, it's also THE ideal place to take your date to on a first/second/third date because you will not be pressed for something to talk about- every meal has a conversation already built in as you're trying to identify the different elements of each component in the dish. 

Definitely two thumbs up in my book! Details?

Geyerstrasse 52
Munich, Germany 80469
Reservations in advance recommended: +49 (0) 89 7464-6820
Closed on Mondays and Sundays

1 comment:

  1. Wow Sarah Lee, this food looks utterly incredible! Major food porn! I hope Munich is good, I've always wanted to go but never had the chance.
    Also, major envy for your Alexander Wang bag..!
    Emily xx
    My Ginger Bread Journey


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