Prinz Myshkin Vegetarian Haven in Munich

A haven from all the other restaurants in Munich that serve heavier, meatier cuisines, Prinz Myshkin is a welcome find suggested to me by a former colleague, Gregor Hohpe, who I caught up with at dinner. He happens to be German, and vegetarian and so I was happy to go with his first recommendation of this place.

It’s a surprisingly large restaurant made up of two great rooms easily catering to probably about one hundred people. On a Monday night it was reasonably busy though nowhere near full capacity yet. Impressive. On first impressions it wouldn’t be what you’d imagine as a vegetarian restaurant with a long bar stretching almost the entire length of the dining room, showcasing a decadent array of desserts and cakes at one end.

My dining companion was running a little late so I had plenty of time to peruse the menu. Firstly there’s an overwhelming amount of options that span quite a number of cuisines. Everything from Italian, to German adaptations with mock meat and fleeting visits to the far east. These wide variety of options in a normal restaurant concern me as they did here. Normally doing such a wide variety of tastes means that nothing is very spectacular and everything very average. Fortunately I turned out to be wrong for in this case.

We started with a tomato mozzarella sharing plate. A generous serving which I forgot to take a picture of. I ended up ordering the truffle gratin. Strong flavours and a hearty dish to counteract the heavy cold lightly dotted with snow.

To lighten the dish, it came along with a very nicely dressed side salad that had some sort of nut dressing, adding another dimension to the otherwise already umami-rich truffle gratin. A good complement and really tasty.

When we hit desserts, we had a look at the menu and once again, the wide breadth of options made me a bit concerned. Apparently there’s a saying that the you’re not in a true Bavarian restaurant unless their dessert offerings is at least half the size of the main course. From the number of cakes, puddings and desserts, I guess this definitely qualified. I couldn’t really make up my mind. My friend ordered this asian inspired tiramisu, using bright red berries, yuzu cream and layered in a foo-foo glass tier.

Since I was in the heart of Bavaria, I thought I would go with the more classic option of an appel streusel with vanilla ice cream.

Thank goodness the ice cream was proper and none of this weird, pretend vegan stuff. It was a very hearty portion as well, that I ended up leaving a significant amount after having my fill of it. The apple was well cooked, but still firm, studded with lots of spicy and with the appropriate layers of pastry folded as is the way for a streusel from this area (it’s isn’t any apple crumble style here!).

Service was great – not rushed, polite and away from the typical haughty German service infamous in many other restaurants. The waiters did a good job of entertaining my attempts of German and kindly answered only in German. A great find and one I’ll be returning to next time I’m in Munich.

Name: Prinz Myshkin
Found at: Hackenstraße 2, 80331 München, Germany

Pork Knuckle at Haxnbauer

German food is well known for being meat heavy, and if you’re in Bavaria this becomes even more of the truth. One of the places recommended by my work colleagues was a place very well known for its pork knuckle, a large hunk of meat including a very crispy pork skin, almost as if it’s been deep fried. I try not to think of it, preferring that they have lovingly roasted it with their special spit roast (visible in the window) until its been perfectly cooked.

Haxnbauer is a place well known for its pork knuckle, where the service is German-brusque. They got my order wrong, bringing me first veal instead of the pork, and where the waiter literally threw it down in front of me. My very helpful German colleagues helped clear up the situation and eventually I was brought another dish, although the waiter continued to give our group the very rough service.

Fortunately the pork was really good. Crisp, meaty and served with some great sauerkraut and lots of mustard to help cut through the greasiness of the dish. We were all a bit full from that to order a full dessert but ordered a few to share amongst the table.

Name: Haxnbauer
Found at: Haxnbauer im Scholastikahaus, Sparkassenstraße, 80331 München

Michelin Dining in Munich at Acquarello

Not having been to Munich before, I did my usually scouring around for restaurants. The diversity of the scene wasn’t as big as that on offer in Berlin, with many places offering much more traditional Bavarian-style foods involving lots and lots of meat. Sunday and Monday tend to be very quiet nights but I managed to find one restaurant open, recommended by the Michelin guide to try. It was an Italian restaurant found on the east side of the city, and I think five or six U-Bahn rides away.

The dining room was bright and airy compared to the darkness outside. I only had my iphone camera with me, so the photos turned out a little grainy, but it gives you a good idea about the place. The hosts greeted me in German and entertained my wish to speak and practice only in German. They presented each dish and all ingredients in German though I can’t really remember what they all are.

Each table already came set with a bread basket, but then they placed some salts. I had a guess at what they were. One was noticeably truffle salt and the other ordinary salt (Fleur de Sel to be exact) but the other red-tinged salt I couldn’t make out. I asked the waiters the ingredients in German, guessing at the ones I knew. The other one, strangely enough was a strawberry salt. Not my favourite but something a little bit different.

The breads also came with three different choices of olive oils (different maturities I guess) to let the salt stick to something.

An amuse bouche suddenly appeared as well. This one a tiny beef tartare topped with crispy noodles and based with a yogurt dressing. A good thing to get the appetite warmed up.

The next dish was a prawn ravioli covered in a deliciously rich lobster bisque foam that was surprisingly thick. The pasta was delicate and obviously freshly made, and generously filled with sweet prawn meat. A dish that disappeared a little too quickly.

Although the next dish, on first appearances looked like a crazily decorated garden, what we had was an Italian take on a sashimi dish. Fresh fish, thinly graced the plate, decorated with a variety of Italian ingredients such as lemon, pesto, pine nuts and olives. You think it would be strange but I whole heartedly approve of this interpretation.

A very nice palette cleanser in the shape of a mango sorbet atop some lightly flavoured jelly.

The main course soon made its way to the plate. It had a lot of meat including a venison sausage (the thing speared with the rosemary) and a roulade wrapping some very succulently cooked meat that I was guessing cooked sous vide and then caramelised in a pan. It sat atop rabbit risotto and then was decorated with lots of crunchy fresh vegetables.

Above is the instagram version after I’d eaten into it. It’s amazing what that thing can do.

Before we finally moved onto a dessert. A lovely pineapple jelly surrounding a light coconut mouse and some almond milk shavings. Delicate, refreshing and a perfect way to finish.

I did order some team, but they also presented some petite fours – candied orange slices as well as white chocolate mint leaves. Service was great throughout the evening – polite, friendly and not too in your face. They even offered another round of dessert at the end – a slice of chocolate tart at the end of meal literally bringing around the fully devilish dish into view. I declined as I was pretty full at this stage. It was even a very funny, if not, very formal farewell when I left with almost all of the waiters and waitresses lining up to say, “Auf weidersehen” at the same time. Total cost for the evening tasting course, an aperitif, a glass of wine and water and service €110.

Name: Acquarello – Cucina del Sole
Found at: Mühlbauerstr. 36, München, Germany