Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM
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All food photos are of REAL food with no photoshop
The amiable and audacious Travelling Gourmet TM finds a really nice restaurant in…
MARVELLOUS MESA in the Grand Hyatt Berlin. If you like good, wholesome, tasty and unpretentious modern German cuisine, this is the place for you. In the luxurious and strategically located 5 Star Grand Hyatt Berlin, the Grand Club Lounge in the Grand Hyatt Berlin is outstanding and serves Breakfast and Cocktails and Canapes daily, but that is another story. MESA’s ueber-coool and smart casual decor is welcoming without being ‘hochnaesig’ which means “snooty” in German. The literal meaning in “Hoch-Deutsch” is “high nose”…I liked the leather topped tables and leather chairs which give a warm and cosy feel to the restaurant. The Germans call this ,,Gemutlichkeit”. The centrepiece is a flickering flame in a huge glass bowl!
If this be the flame of good food…BURN ON!
There is an open kitchen so you can see the Chefs in action which is always good! Mesa specialises in fresh top quality Regional Produce, and diners are encouraged to share the dishes family style. The friendly and charming Manager Maike van de Hopp was born in Washington DC, as her mother is German but her father is American.
I began with an Aperitif…a nice refreshing German Riesling Brut Sekt (sparkling wine) Breuer Edition X.
Madcap Prawns with Dill was served plus Chicken on a dangling skewer was very nicely presented. The fun and rather irreverent presentation was most creative. Yummie! Matched with a pale salmon coloured Rux Riesling 2013QbA from Wuerttemberg, it was as the Italians say: un matrimonio d’amore! It translates as a “marraige of Love”!
I also liked very much the Spaetzle with Peas, Scallions, crisp Green Pepper and Red Shallots. Spaetzle is the German answer to Italy’s Gnocchi.
My next course was Spargel or White Asparagus in season with sexy and creamy Hollandaise sauce, plus lovely succulent Ham from the Schwarzwald (Black Forest in Bavaria). The Spargel was very sweet and had that lovely crunchiness showing that it was not overcooked! It was really excellent! A unique garnish was lovely purple flowers which ware edible. They are called Alpen Veilchen flowers! Germans, Austrians and the Swiss LOVE and ADORE Spargel or white asparagus. When I was in Germany recently at the market in Beelitz, good quality fresh Spargel was on offer at 9Euros per kg! I brought some back from Europe and had a wonderful time cooking and enjoying them!
Another superb German wine was matched with this delightful dish…a crisp Spaetburgunder 2013 Geil Blanc de Noir Trocken (dry) from Rheinhessen, which is one of Germany’s finest wine growing “terroirs”. There are those who like the “fruit bombs” from Australia, but I much prefer the Old World wines of Germany, Italy, France, Austria and Spain.
Another dish I relished was the crispy Savoury Chicken Wings with a piquant Honey Sauce served on a skewer! Simple yet delicious!
Ach so, the main course was haute cuisine “MESA CURRYWURST” and not the Currywurst from an Imbiss Stand! Serviert aber Naeturlich (served but of course) with chunky Pommes Frites or French Fries. Heavenly! Tangy, meaty, sweet and sour flavours with the “kick” from the Curry spices, Currywurst is actually considered one of Germany’s National dishes! No wonder, famous singer Herbert Groenemeyer even wrote a song about the Currywurst! No beer with the Currywurst but…Pinot Noir Rose Driessigacker 2013 by Pino & Co. Its perfumed nose plus fruit and mineral elements was a perfect foil to the sweet spicy and piquant Currywurst! Es schmeckt sehr gut!
Oh mein Gott! NACHTISCH!
It is not for nothing that my personal motto is: das Leben es ist unbestimmt, isst erst den Nachtisch! Chocolate to COMMIT murder for…is the Chocolate Mousse with 68% South African Nyangbo Chocolate…so sexy, seductive and diabolically delicious! As the saying goes, “I would give up Chocolate BUT I am no quitter!” Ha! Ha!
A very unusual dessert is Strawberry Gelee in Woodruf Soup also served in a cute little glass pot with fresh strawberrie. I love strawber ries! in case you are wondering…Woodruf is a fragrant plant with small white flowers belonging to the Asperula family. Try also the comforting Peach Crumble! Ich sage immer dass Leben ohne Suessigkeit ist langweilig! ( I always say that life withour sweetness is boring!) Whahaha!
I went to give my compliments to the modest Junior Sous Chef Kay Perschke on his yummie creations in his open kitchen. Chef Kay said simply in German, “I’m glad you like them!” I say, >>Es freut mich auch!<<
Eat well, Drink well and Live well! Zum Wohl und guten Appetit! 🙂
Grand Hyatt Berlin
Tel: +1 469-610-3611