Saturday, October 12, 2013

Restaurant Review: Tantris (Munich, Germany)


First, an apology: this is a photo-heavy post. I know I get really pissed off when I read blogposts of food, mostly because I get all hungry and seriously food-envious and I usually can't do anything about it. Unless someone invents new technology that allows you to smell and taste the food on the blogpost, these kinds of posts will just irritate the hell out of most people. BUT! This post is allowed to be photo-heavy because a) it was in celebration of my 1 year anniversary with my man, and b) the restaurant and the quality of food I consumed ranks in my top 5 best evers. So get comfy, grab some chips and dip, and I'll try to describe the food as best I can so you can live vicariously through me for the next 10 minutes.


(image c/o this blog)

Tantris is a restaurant that specializes in regional classic foods, with Chef Hans Haas dabbling in a bit of molecular gastronomy as well. Consistently ranked a 2-Michelin star restaurant for the past 39 years, this restaurant was literally a 3-minute drive from our place in Munich. As soon as you drive up, the first thing you notice are the giant stone dragons menacingly walking up the front entrance, presumably to get their dinner as well.





The interior is decorated in bright red textiles, with touches of light reflecting off the enormous aluminum chandelier in the center of the room. Asian-inspired decor is seen all around in the form of oriental statues and contrasting reds and blacks. We sat in a recessed area below the height of most of the diners, and I seriously expected James Bond to pop out any moment with his shaken vodka martini. He didn't show up, but FC Bayern München player Claudio Pizaro did arrive with a gaggle of his family members and sat right behind us for the duration of the meal.



After looking at the prix-fixe menus and the à la carte menus, we decided on the total experience and went for the 8-course tasting menu. We chose not to pair with wines because I don't drink red wine (if I do, little dwarves will have a rave behind my eyeballs) but it turns out that I ran out of stomach space anyway at about the 5th course so more liquid was not necessary.



The bread was surprisingly plain and simple for a restaurant of this caliber. I was expecting nuts and grains embedded in the bread, and all sorts of crème fraîche/whipped-up dip, but just plain bread and butter came out. The chef must have been busy making other things instead.


As well as the complimentary rosé champagne (in the first photo), the chef sent out a complimentary amuse-bouche of beef tartare and cauliflower. Cauliflower is totally having a moment right now- I've seen it in all forms (puréed, diced, mashed, foamed) recently at a variety of restaurants. 


First course for him: salmon with curry, lemon, and cucumbers. The salmon comes fairly fresh, almost wriggling, so order this if you like sashimi.


First course for me: duck fat terrine with red wine. The duck liver was smooth, creamy, and rich. This dish was my second favorite of the night. If I could, I would take a (very sticky) bath in duck liver. Heaven.


The first course was the only one in which you had a choice of two options. All the rest of the courses were the same. This was the second course: lobster with pumpkin ravioli and pumpkin coulis. This was another perfect example of how Chef Hans Haas uses seasonal ingredients with primarily seafood in his dishes. The lobster was perfectly poached, and the pumpkin ravioli was punchy and full of earthy flavor. Normally I think foam in dishes is a waste of ingredients, but the foam here was surprisingly complimentary to the lobster as it gave a nice essence of pumpkin to the dish. 


Third course: dover sole and eggplant purée: perfectly seasoned, infused with flavor. I thought the portion size was spot-on, and the little grainy eggplant purée was a burst of flavor for the neutral dover sole.


Fourth course: my least favorite course, the oxtail broth. Small and plain, I thought it just tasted salty and one-dimensional. After the glorious courses served before, I was really surprised at how disjointed this dish was in relation to the other courses. 


I just wanted to point out that the spoons for the oxtail broth were slightly curved. Brilliant, really, for maximizing spoonfuls, but made you think for a moment that your vision was wonky.


Fifth course: venison and semolina dumplings. OMG. OHHHHHMYGAWWRD. 


I always thought that venison would be gamey and tough, but my mind was BLOWN when I tasted the most succulent, juicy piece of meat that I have ever. EVER! tasted in my life (I will go on the official record on that). The knife cut through this meat like butter. I'm not saying it was smushy- it retained a firm texture while still melting on my mouth. It was such an umami hit to my senses, and the smallest details of the cabbage underneath being perfectly al dente was such a glorious mouthgasm. I will dream of this venison for the next few months, methinks.


Sixth course: cheese course with gorgonzola cheese dolce, tomato chutney with olive purée, and curd cheese. This course could only be subpar when following the perfection that was the venison. I wanted to keep that rich flavor of the venison in my mouth, but the stinky cheese had other ideas. The chutney was salty and a good hit of acidity for the rich and creamy cheeses. 


Seventh course: soufflé with plum and pear. This was C's favorite dessert. The hints of cinnamon in the soufflé really elevated this soft, fluffy dish to another level. 


We were greedy with our desserts. Traditionally, the 8-course menu ends with a sorbet, but after reading the à la carte menu, I wanted this chocolate creme brûlée, and when we asked, the waiter didn't bat an eye at our fat-assness and allowed us to substitute the sorbet for the creme brûlée. And so here it is:


Eighth course: chocolate creme brûlée with banana buttermilk ice cream and raspberries. Obviously my favorite dessert of the two. The banana buttermilk ice cream was a beautifully sour, acidic companion to the lush, rich chocolate creme brûlée. The caramelization of my creme brûlée was a little under, so no satisfying crack for me, but otherwise, this course was a perfect end to the meal. Or was it?!?!?!


Thinking that perhaps we didn't have enough food, the tea and coffee came out with... more desserts. These bite-sized mini pies, truffles, and cheesecake came out with my tea. 


So cute and definitely made for leprechauns and hobbits. 



Naturally, you shouldn't just pop into Tantris when you're feeling a bit peckish. This is definitely a place for a special occasion, and the price tag reflected that (€500 for two, with no wine, eek!). Go with a giant appetite, maybe for a celebratory occasion, and dress nicely! The service was impeccable- everyone speaks English (certainly the head waiter/sommelier does), and they are precise, accommodating, and warm. They wouldn't lift an eyebrow if you rolled up in jeans and a sweater, but you might feel slightly awkward all the same.

This restaurant justly deserves their 2 Michelin stars because of the excellent food, service, decor, ambience, and architecture. I'm dying to try their Saturday brunch menu, or even go there just to get the venison again à la carte. If you're in Munich, GO GO GO! And let me know so I can walk across the street and join you ^____^

Tantris Restaurant
Johann-Fichte-Strasse 7
Munich, Germany 80805
+49 (0) 89 361 - 9590
Opening Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 12-3PM, 6:30PM-1AM
They have a very tricky reservation system where you have to give your credit card information and get penalized a fee of €100 per person if you don't show. Not exactly ideal, and something that even other Michelin-starred restaurants do not do. However, this is really the only negative aspect of this restaurant. As the space is large, you can book the day of, but reservations are definitely recommended.

4 comments:

  1. You made me drool. Nicely done.

    The little pastries are adorable!!

    www.seppysmontreal.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh wow all looks amazing! Beautiful photos, you've made me hungry!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you love! Haha it was such a long post, wasn't it? :P

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  4. Thank you! They were just the cutest thing! I love all things mini!

    ReplyDelete

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