Friday, May 14, 2010

Postcards from Germany: Zum Barern

with Walter Lange and Tino Bobe

Walter Lange is a grand old gentleman, and patron of his old family firm of A. Lange & Sohne. I always take great pleasure when meeting animated gentleman, he is wonderful in recollecting old memories, and beautiful things. I wish my German was more developed to converse better, but even through an interpreter, it is always such a great joy. Tino, the Head of Technical in ALS had the duties as interpreter this evening, and we ate at the hotel Walter was staying...Zum Baren at Oberbarenburg, a village near the Czech border. Another quaint village in this part of Germany, this was a the sports capital for winter sports in the region.

The village has almost 7, 8 hotels and guesthouses, but the Zum Baren is the grandest of them all. I spied a Michelin tag on the door leading into the hotel...promising. I arrived at was still rather bright.

The hotel is rated 4 stars. It was rather quiet when I arrived...this being spring, though a cold one...8C, with fog and light drizzle outside...the winter sports fans were absent.

We ordered our dinners...I had the zitroenengras curry soup with prawns in a stick. Interesting description. When it came it was rather interesting too...very fragrant, light curry flavour.

The prawns were truly spectacular in taste. Sweet with a light salty flavour, very beautiful fragrance...this was lake or river prawns...but it has a fresh smell. Crunchy, and very nicely done. The curry was a bit mild for a curry, but it was flavourful and very nice. Loved every drop.

My main course was 3 fishes, in a lobster sauce with wild rice.

Almost worthy of a Michelin star on its it was not as exquisite as Guy's sea bass with skin and scales I had in Paris, but we don't pay those prices either. For E13.90, you get this beautiful plate.

Three kinds of fish, wild Norwegean salmon, and a white fish I don't quite recognise and two large pieces of scallops, but quickly devoured. The sauce was quite exceptional. Very creamy, a punchy crustecean flavour, and goes perfectly with the al dente cooked wild rice. Amazing dish.

Tino and Walter had the asparagus:

These asparagus was described in the menu as Konig Spargel...king asparagus...white, thick, huge. They looked wonderful. I didn't taste, but both Tino and Walter enjoyed the asparagus. But having tasted slightly smaller samples of the giant king asparagus at the Heidehof, I can imagine it is quite fantastic.

It is interesting that restaurants in the middle of nearly nowhere, we were about 9 km from the Czech border, in a mountain some 700m above sea level, and the chef and team took great care with their cuisine. Exceptional cooking with wonderful ingredients. The cuisine at Zum Baren is a bit more developed and finer than the more homey food I get in Heidehof. But both are very pleasing. Worth a visit.

Restaurant at the Hotel Zum Baren
Talblick 6
01773 Altenberg, Germany

Get Directions
035052 61-0

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Rob said...

That set of prawns on a stick on a curry soup is looking mighty delicious. Pair that with your main course and it is sets it up as a must have meal for me some day! Hoping hoping.

Thanks for sharing Peter!! Am so happy for you that you are enjoying yourself there!!

SLPW said...

Thanks for the review Pete !