Friday, December 24, 2010

More postcards from Germany: Michelin Star in the Baltic Sea

with FM

I took some time off after I completed my photography in Glashutte, and drove to the Baltic Sea, via Berlin. More on Berlin in the next blog post. I stayed in Arhenshoop...a small village with an excellent access to the Baltic Sea...but this was an early winter, as noted in the Dresden and Glashutte posts...and a harsh one. Temperatures by the beach was typically -3C during the day when I was there...but with strong north winds blowing, it felt like close to -15C most of the time.

We drove to another small village of Wieck auf dem Darss...and visited a favourite of FM and his family...like many Germans, they vacation during the summer (Whitsun period) in the Baltic Sea, and it has become a tradition for him, wife and daughter to drop by Haferland to have a meal when they are here.

Reputed to have one Michelin star, the chef of cuisine Kurt J├Ąger cooks up a storm in this quaint little hotel.



Inside, it was a quaint, cozy smallish restaurant. The establishment has a hotel and an attached art gallery as well...and this seemed to be a common theme with hotels in the Baltic Sea area.

We started with aperitifs, then a nice house white, and finished with a great bottle of Volnay 2001. We later retired to the hotel's smoking room and had a wonderful Partagas Churchil, and a my favourite Talisker. But for now, the food...

We started with the fish soup:



The fish was superb. Lightly cooked, ultra fresh. The hot soup certainly was a treat for the cold winter. The soup itself was like a consomme. Jager had a light touch, not too spiced up, not too much salt. Just a touch to enhance the sea flavour, and the freshness of the ingredients.

Both of us opted for the lamb.



Interesting for Jager to mix two slices of rack of lamb and a tougher saddle of lamb together in one dish. Superbly cooked...again, light touch with the seasonings, allowing the nice meat to blossom to show the flavours of the lamb. Even the sauce was light, unlike the jus served by many other restaurants which tend to be very concentrated and sour. But this was light in taste, and compliments the lamb. The cooking was just right...grilled just shy of medium...slightly on the rare. Accompanied by vegetables and potato.

Dessert was two scoops of home made ice cream...served with some confit of berries. The berries added a touch of acid to balance the richness of the ice cream nicely.



Excellent dinner indeed. And cooking worthy of the star.



Hotel Haferland
Bauernreihe 5a, 18375 Wieck auf dem Darss
Germany
http://www.hotelhaferland.de/
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