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36hrs in Food Paradise – Hour 18, Izakaya

UdonAbout halftime in food paradise and I was far from being finished yet. Today the plan was to meet my host and his colleague for some Tekka Don at Big Tuna just around the corner. We had missed the sign at the door last night though stating that the shop was gonna be closed for the holidays and so we found ourselves before closed doors and sadly also without any tuna rice bowls. His colleague, a passionate foodie himself, quickly came up with an alternative not far away from Big Tuna and this is how I ended up at Kushi-Tei of Tokyo unintentionally.

Entering the shop, a cloud of fragrant steam hit me right in the face with scents that instantly triggered memories of past trips to Japan mainly spent at random izakayas and ramen shops. The kitchen and service crew greeted us in a loud and familiar chorus and the many Japanese customers made me feel confident that this was gonna be a good choice.

Out of curiosity and for research reasons I grabbed one of their regular menus off the bar. I hadn’t even opened it yet when our waitress swiftly took it away signaling that they don’t serve food from this menu before dinner time. Being surprised but hungry I started scanning their small lunch menu with mostly little set meals and a few noodle dishes.

My choice fell on the udon with wakame, scallions and tempura crumbs. I don’t know what it is with the dashi broth that’s so particular to udon but I could soak it up by the gallon, light and defined. By the time I was finished taking my pictures the tempura had already softened but the udon still had their signature bounciness and chew, and even though I’m not huge on wakame I really liked theirs here. This dish always seems so simple and easy but it’s so much more than just a soup and hardly ever disappoints.

I truly liked it here and would have loved to experience its full smokey izakaya potential and spirit in the evening but I guess this just has to wait until next time.

Get Your Grub On!

Kushi-Tei of Tokyo
Immermannstraße 38
40210 Düsseldorf
Germany
p: +49 211 360 935
http://brickny.com/kushitei-de/

 

36hrs in Food Paradise – Hour 7, Nightcap

dsc01859-011.jpegNot finished just yet and there was still a little time left for one last drink. This place was cramped packed when he went to D-Weinbar earlier but now only a few patrons sipped on their last drinks for the night. This place was nicely decorated with a welcoming charm and soothing lighting.

The food here sounded good but we only had enough time to have one last cold one for the road. This must have been my first drawn Beck’s from the tap and even though it did have as many bubbles in it as there were hours left in the day I still thoroughly enjoyed it. The staff was super friendly, the place inviting, I’ll be back for more if I’d get the chance to. Last call, thanks.

Get Your Grub On!

Löffelbar
Oststraße 51
40211 Düsseldorf
Germany
p: +49 211 5447 3877
http://www.loeffelbar.de/

36hrs in Food Paradise – Hour 4, Reds

DSC01835-01I felt very happy with my belly full of ramen noodles from Naniwa‘s and since the night was still young we headed further into district 1 to Pempelfort for some dessert options and wine. We ended up at this cozily lit wine bistro and I followed my chocolate craving and ordered the tartufo accompanied by a heavy Italian Primitivo.

That ice cream was rich but not too decadent and a thorough balance between sweet and tard, with dark chocolate powder and roasted nuts sprinkled all over. The rustic wine went quite well with it all and seemed like a nice finish to a great start to my Düsseldorf stay. Or so I thought.

Just as we were about to finish our glasses the owner approached us and asked if we would mind one of his suppliers and wine makers to show us a couple of his creations. Oh no we didn’t and so we were introduced to a nice range of reds from Spain and France by Bjoern the friendly wine guy, had a nice conversation and shared our unqualified views about those tasty grape juices. Thanks so much for an unexpected turn of events and an additional hour of laughs and drinks.

Get Your Wine On!

D-Weinbar
Moltkestraße 120
40479 Düsseldorf
Germany
p: +49 211 5150 7979
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36hrs in Food Paradise – Hour 1, Tantan

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Tantanmen

I haven’t been out to Düsseldorf enough and always only heard what insane food paradise in regards to Japanese cuisine it’s supposed to be. Since being so close this week I decided to make a stopover and visit a very fun friend of mine, who just happens to live right in the midst of Little Tokyo, the area neighbouring the Düsseldorf main train station, which is home to many Asian (predominantly Japanese) shops, restaurants and people.

After dropping my stuff at the apartment and throwing in a quick cold one with my friend and his brother we headed around the corner to get some dinner at one of the ramen shops in the area. To my delight, there was a queue out front, which is always a good sign, and luckily it kept on moving quite fast too. Not long and we were sitting down and I started smiling just browsing through the menu.

We had a little selection of appetizers to go around before the mains and we were off to a good start. We had crispy and succulent tori karaage, some juicy gyoza and nutty gomaae with a thick sesame gravy. All washed down with a cool asahi from the tap and I, still smiling, was ready for my first ramen bowl since way too long.

My sin of choice was a spicy Tantanmen with extra f.o.c. tamago and veggies. Oh goodness, this mince infused broth was thick and rich like a gooey katong laksa with a mud-like sediment of the best kind. Strong sesame flavours my taste buds, instantly but gently numbed by the chilli oil and fibres. Loved the noodles, implied curly and the chewy bouncy kind I use to admire. Just the egg didn’t quite make the mark and was lacking that particular waxiness of your usual flavoured ramen tamago. Nevermind that, I’m head over heels crazy about this place and am already planning my next visit.

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Get Your Grub On!

Naniwa Noodles & Soups
Oststraße 55
40211 Düsseldorf
Germany
p: +49 211 161799
http://www.naniwa.de/

Schlemmer-Teller

IMG_20170720_122202-01Amara is another of my frequented lunch places in the Stühlinger hood when things have to be fast or I just feel like crispy falafel or squeaky halloumi. Yeah, I actually do prefer their vegetarian options, not that the meaty stuff is bad or anything, the meat-free dishes are just that good.

I had an extra big appetite today and ordered the vegetarian version of the Amara Platter. There was everything on this plate, oven-roasted vegetables and potatoes, bulgur, simmered carrots and eggplant, made-to-order crisp falafel, hummus and a light garlicky yogurt sauce. Aside this massive portion of goodness came a small side salad with slaw, tomatoes, and greens. I was stuffed but not unpleasantly and the EUR9.00 for such a portion seemed more than reasonable too. Thanks guys, next up: pizza!

Get Your Grub On!

Amara Schlemmerstüble
Engelbergerstraße 37
79106 Freiburg im Breisgau
Germany
p: +49 761 1567 326
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Currywurst & Pommes Schranke

IMG_20170713_122004-01We started coming to Casino Service Milz on occasion with some of our developer colleagues who are quite the regulars here. It actually serves as the cantine for the train (Deutsche Bahn) personnel, is located just down the road from our office and seemed like a good new option to further expand our ever growing catalog of lunch options.

Thursday is the day of the week here when the queue grows the longest, and the only unhealthy reason being, its fries and currywurst day. You can opt vegetarian but the standard set contains this massive red sausage buried under a mountain of fries. The sausage is good but the curry ketchup gravy was a bit thin yet still enjoyable and enhanced using the help-your-self-curry-powder-dispenser it actually got pretty tasty. The fries were crispy enough and I got them some creamy dippy company in form of mayonnaise and ketchup because what difference does it make now anyway right?

It’s a cantine charm no matter what and probably it’s also not your most healthy joint in these waters but it’s good food prepared and served by nice people in slightly too generous portions, and all that to a really good price (EUR5,20 for the dish of the day).

Get Your Grub On!

Casino Service Milz
Wentzingerstraße 7a
79106 Freiburg im Breisgau
Germany
p: +49 761 212 3327
http://casino-service-milz.com/

Stühlinger Lunch Specials

IMG_20170717_121440-01Hermann is a place I really came to appreciate since starting my job here in Stühlinger already a while back now. It’s located at “Radstation” a roundish construction that includes a few offices, a parking lot and rental for bicycles as well as Café Hermann with its stunning roof top terrace for the sunny days of life. Pretty much all staff here is friendly and kind and even though sometimes service may drag at a bit mostly ordering, getting the food and paying the check is swift and fast. The best thing though is their lunch menu which changes every week usually offering a mix of healthy and hearty, meaty as well as vegetarian and even vegan dishes. In this post, I cover two more recent visits but since I’m coming here regularly, over time you may get a broader view of what Hermann’s kitchen has to offer.

The top pic shows the latest dish I tried at Hermann’s, Asian inspired wok noodles with root vegetables and a tomatoey touch glazed all over. Tastewise this was really nice with a hard to define mix of flavors, herbs, and spices. If I had to pick out something less exciting about it, it may be the puddle of oil I found at the bottom of the bowl which was quite substantial and made me feel a bit guilty from a pure calory point of view.

img_20170522_123351-01.jpegAnother truly fabulous lunch meal was the ‘Mixteller, Wurstsalat mit Brägele und Bibiliskäs’, that regularly makes an appearance on their specials menu. It’s a mix plate put together from cold cuts with vinaigrette (Wurstsalat = sausage salad), some pan-fried potatoes (Brägele) and a type of local creamy cottage cheese (Bibiliskäs), that I usually don’t fancy but theirs is actually quite good. Besides the taste, the great thing about this dish is the interplay of warm and cold elements, sour vs. heartiness vs. the creaminess of the cheese. The perfect summer dish and should you be a visitor to Freiburg, a true local favorite.

Summarizing, I am very happy to have Hermann so close to my workplace and helping me keep my lunches exciting and diversified. Prices normally range between EUR7.50-8.90 which is quite reasonable for the big portions you get but there may be the odd plain salad out at a price that sometimes makes you wonder. Anywho, I’ll be back soon for more of this lunch goodness, thanks a lot guys.

Get Your Grub On!

Hermann Café
Wentzingerstraße 15
79106 Freiburg im Breisgau
Germany
p: +49 761 6125 7024
http://www.hermannfreiburg.de/