Quarter Life Crisis

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Mom’s birthday

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Yesterday I went to Bremen for my mom’s birthday. Using our new term ticket for the three and a half hour ride (good reading time) and arriving as a surprise. Which went down well.

For dinner we went to a new-ish and styleish restaurent in Bremen called Le Madame Hô. It’s a stylish modern Asian affair, rather costly (leaving us at slightly more than 50 Euro per person) and got good reviews. So we wanted to try it. It’s atmosphere is nice. A spacious room, yet parted into little bits by transparent veils which hang from the ceiling. The paint is a black glossy affair on the angular walls which gives it a modern and Asian look. In addition to the usual tables they also have a very long and slightly higher one where several parties can eat. We sat there and I thought that was quite good. The table is quite wide and spacious.

My parents tried the tasting menu and I ordered some other dishes to give them a spin. In total we were a bit disappointed – While the vegetables tended to be well done and with interesting tastes, all of the meat or fish portions were (large but) disappointing, almost tasteless. To us it seemed that this wasn’t due to lack of cooking skills but more like a shopping problem. Good meat will have taste by itself after being fried or cooked otherwise without needing more spices. But those pieces of meat and fish were simply bland. Quite disappointing – particularly as they looked quite good.

In detail, my meal started with a lemongrass soup with chicken which for my taste had too much cream and not enough spices in it. It was nice and fresh but ultimately a bit bland. Still, it was much better than the soup my parents had. Next, I had a tuna carpaccio. I never had one of those before and the idea sounded good. Again, the fish had almost no taste of its own (and a strange orangeish colour that I’ve never seen in tuna), the mango sauce on top was nice but tasted stronger than the main component – particularly when getting some of the generously added pepper at the same bite.

As my main dish, I had deer and vegetables. this was probably the most tasty piece of meat during the whole meal but still fell short of the deer we had ourselves. The vegetables were interesting and nice though. Finally, I nicked the dessert of my mum’s menu. Some frozen creamy cinnamon stuff with a fruity sauce. Not too bad, but not subtle enough and not remarkable at all.

The service was friendly and quick, the menu was nice – in a wooden photo album with handwritten pages and – as I stated earlier – the location was stylish. However, their design somehow makes the place extremely loud. Too loud for a nice restaurant. And, as my mum and myself immediately noted they had paper napkins (nice paper, but paper still) which I don’t mind too much but which doesn’t cut it for a place trying to be a really nice restaurant.

In total we were disappointed: A nice idea and potentially nice atmosphere – which still needs fixing for the noise levels. But the food couldn’t live up the expectations. That may be a problem of the meat they buy rather than the chef’s but good shopping is part of running a restaurant and they can’t do it. This made the whole affair seem overpriced by a factor of two, I’d say. So they should really fix it.

On the other hand, my mum pointed out, that the owner (or so) of the restaurant works at the local TV station and that all of the media people are going to move to that part of the city. So the place may ultimately be aimed at people who want the stylish atmosphere and the high prices but don’t care for the food anyway. Then, of course, they wouldn’t need to change anything but it would be a shame.

November 11, 2004, 18:45

Tagged as food.

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