In love with Mark’s (one Michelin star rated restaurant in Munich)

Mark’s is one of the Mandarin Oriental restaurants in Munich which combines both Michelin standards and those of a five stars hotel’s restaurant. Chef Simon Larese is here from 2011 after he previously had worked for some three stars Michelin restaurants. In 2004, he started to work for Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok, and his background brings a lot of asian influence in the courses that he signs now in Munich.

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Bread&butter, together with a complimentary course offered by the Chef

 

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We chose the tasting menu, together with the pairing wines, recommended by the sommelier.

With compliments from the Chef, other three courses were served to us. The first one, you have already seen in the pictures above and the second one, that you can see bellow, impressed us by the art and the creativity of serving the potatoes in a fine, surprising and imaginative way. You can see in the pictures 4 different ways of preparing aperitives based on potatoes.

 

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The third one combined lamb tongue and stomach. I wouldn’t say that I was fond of it, but the taste was quite interesting.

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Lamb tongue and stomach, with compliments from the Chef

This was my favourite among all the courses I had at Mark’s.

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Marinated Calamari with peppers, kaffir lime and algae

I love both the plate design and the taste of the food. Besides the fact that it looked spectacular, it had an extraordinary taste. The red hemisphere is made of a fine paprika paste that kept its shape because it was frozen. Inside are pieces of marinated squid, algae and yellow bell pepper (the yellow peppers were also quite frozen). Outside are tender chunks of octopus.

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I was impressed by the taste of this course and by the mix of cold paprika and sea fruit – which was surprising and absolutely delicious.  The waiter grated some kaffir lemon for added savour.

I love the way that the design of the plate focused our attention on the red paprika paste. As you could notice from the pictures, this kind of plate, with this special design, was only used for this course.

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Cream of celery soup with quail eggs and Perigord Truffe

 

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Monkfish fried with pieces of chorizo, beans and pesto

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Lamb cooked with chickpeas and goat milk red

I really loved the small details that made all the difference. For example, the warm wet cotton towels that they offered to us to clean our hands,  before we started the dinner. Or the little chair they put near my place, in order for me to keep my purse close.

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Cheese with Chutney sauce

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Green apples with almond cream and tea leaves

The pairing wines were quite plain, which is what I prefer to have when I serve interesting and sophisticated food, as I don’t like the wine competing with the food.

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LATER EDIT.  I wrote the text above at the beginning of 2014. Meantime, I found out that Mark’s was closed, which made me really sad, as the dinner I had there was one of the most interesting, tasty and intense experiences. I didn’t try to find out more about which restaurant replaced it, or if there were any changes inside the kitchen team. But today (the 27th of December 2015), I was looking for some restaurants in Munich where we could have a great experiences and I discovered that Simon Larese is still the executive Chef of Mandarin Oriental and Matsuhisa replaced Mark’s.

 The Chef Nobuyuki (Nobu) Matsuhisa, who loves to combine traditional Japanese dishes with Peruvian ingredients, is the owner of about 30 restaurants all over the world (including Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, New York, The Bahamas, London and Monte Carlo).

He seems to be quite an interesting person, as he co-owns one of his restaurants together with Robert DeNiro. This friendship also landed him a role in Scorsese’s movie, “Casino”, and he also played a kimono artist in “Memoirs of a Geisha”. Of course, this is not quite relevant for the quality of the dishes:), but what makes me to want to dine at Matsuhisa is that Mandarin Oriental choice this brand to be part of the highlights offered to its clients. I am quite confident in Mandarin Oriental’s choices. 

I will be there one day and I will let you know about it.

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