I have a mountain lodge in the middle of nowhere in Austria which I absolutely love. It’s the place in the world I feel relaxed especially in the winter just looking at the snow-covered mountains and trees and the absolute quiet. My other half, Richard, prefers it in the summer, but for me it has to be the winter evenings. Coming off the slopes, showering, having the family around me for huge meals in front of the roaring fire followed by a Netflix series or films.
It really is the only time when I can watch things, and as Richard hates ‘rubbish’ movies that are most commonly referred to by others as rom com; rather than argue we tend to watch either animal documentaries or we catch a lot of food programmes. We are addicted to Chefs table, and the 50 top restaurants in the world. It’s opened a different world to us from travelling to Slovenia to stay at Hisa Franko, run by self-taught Chefs Ana Ros, to flying into Munich to dine at Tantris.
Some might think we are mad but we are just curious about the creativity of some of these Chefs. We don’t always like what we have eaten but we have always loved the experience, beginning from the decision of where to go and what to try, to reserving and the anticipation of being in a new city. Unfortunately these experiences cost money and we are not zillionaires or even millionaires. But we make choi
ces that allow us to compromise in other areas in our life.
Munich as a city is very vibrant and the food scene is creative and innovative with many Chefs borrowing from the culinary surrounding of other European nations. Germany itself is rich in produce and wine. It really is a country that is more than the image I had of humongous sausages lumpy meat and sauerkraut. Weird as it sounds I even like stopping off at their motorway cafes. There is always a salad bar and good soup!
The night we visited was absolutely freezing. Everything had that sort of cold aura that said ‘go home’ & ‘snuggle up in bed’. Our taxi driver seemed to drive forever in rather empty desolate streets. Suddenly in the middle of the dark, there loomed this huge blob of orange. Tantris had been built by its owner, Fritz Eichbauer, some 40 years ago. Huge windows overlook the driveway and you are drawn by the orange carpet ceiling from outside. It’s just so classically kitsch that it still brings a smile to my face when I think of it.
This place is tastefully wacky. Somehow it shouldn’t work but the orange carpet ceiling is brilliant . Each table has the gorgeous retro orange stand up lights and the whole atmosphere is one of warmth and glow. Generally Michelin star restaurants tend to be rather offish as if they are doing you a favour. But here from the moment you arrive you are treated as long-lost friend and there was none of this seriousness or s
olemness when describing the dishes.
We went al la carte as from experience we find the tasting menus too much. I had the salad of roast pigeon breast with parfait of Foie Gras and Perigod truffle. What can I say except that it was perfection. The pigeon was soft and tender the Foie Gras melt in your mouth. This was approachable food in normal portions rather than the teeny-weeny favoured by what I call couture cuisine. Chef de cuisine Hans Hass who has been at the helm for 20 years serves approachable edible food.
The sommelier Justin Leone, a former musician, is a quirky personality whose knowledge of wine is unsurpassed. Dressed in fitted tweed to die for Bordeaux jacket and shocking turquoise suede shoes he was a glorious character. We opted to go for different wines. I don’t like generally wine pairing but I liked the way Justin talked through with you the options and the choices and I have to say his choices were inspired. Richard had the roasted lobster with caramelised chicory and blood orange. It looked yummy but I don’t know what it was like because he wouldn’t let me taste it!
I had the veal chops which again like the pigeon were s so tender with a radicchio risotto and more truffles while Richard had the turbot which he did allow me to taste. I have a hugely sweet tooth and I can never ever say no to deserts no matter how full I am but in all honesty I didn’t like the chocolate crème brulee or the curd soufflé. They were just bland.
I really enjoyed Tantris both for the atmosphere which was relaxed and comfortable as well as its food which was approachable It wasn’t the mind-blowing memorable taste of Massimo Bottura Foie Gras
with berries at Osteria Francescana. It was more like your superb neighbourhood restaurant. It was real food served beautifully and I loved it.