A Night With Holger Zurbrueggen at Balthazar, Saturday, 27th May 2006 (BOOKED OUT!)
Who can forget the dinner we had at Louis a couple of years ago? It was a wondeful setting, matched by excellent food and fine wines. Well, the cook at Louis has set off on his own and has recently opened his own restaurant, Balthazar, at Ku'damm 160, 10709 Berlin, where he has been getting rave reviews. So I went along and discussed with Holger the possibility of having a special event just for us Dinner Club people. And so a 5-course "surprise" dinner gala menu has been agreed, along with all the accompanying wines for a fixed price of 75 Euro per person. In case you think that's a lot of money, well, it sort of IS a lot of money, but then Holger has his own Michelin star and I can promise you that nobody will be disappointed with the menu (which even I myself don't know for sure). On top of it all, I am planning to start the dinner with aperitifs at a private lounge inside the restaurant and we will then be seated at the Balthazar table, which is a grand table in the middle of the restaurant. The table can only take 12 people, so that is again the limit of the number of people we can accept for the May dinner. And as this is a special fixed-price event, anyone booking for this dinner may be asked to pay upfront as otherwise the remainder of the group will have to pay for the missing people. After dinner, we can go casual and do some 10-pin bowling or mosey over to Juleps for some cocktails or something. As usual, I am open to (sensible) suggestions.
The menu is as follows, with options for those who don't eat seafood:
Komposition of king prawns and potato
Involtini rolls of tuna with sesame asparagus
Teriyaki duck with potato lime mash and spring onions
Fillet and a crispy parcel of beef with sage polenta and stuffed mushrooms
How it went on the night...
Well, to be honest, I don't want to be picky, but it was not quite as spectacular as I had expected, which was due mainly to the cook actually being away ill that evening. The prawn composition was a bit samey throughout the 3 variations and not that warm either. The tuna was better but not massively mouth-watering. This was followed by a duck dish which just did not work too well, in my humble opinion. It was almost as if the cook had tried too hard, and it was also the same with the beef parcel. Not as inspiring as the taster meal that we had there before but it is still a place I would try again, especially if I can be assured that Holger will be in charge of the kitchen. Still, overall, a reasonably good night for everyone, and still a top restaurant which should be tested again.