Restaurant Lafleur is a 2 star Michelin place located in the southern edge of the Palmengarten. It is a medium sized place with about 14 tables, a combination of rounded booths and free standing tables, all with white tableclothes on top of floor length beige ones. There was some background music but the noise level was good even though the tables were fairly closely spaced on a wood floor. A lowered ceiling probably helped. Windows to the outside lined one wall and a semi-circle of them made up the end of the space. Some modern art was on the walls and a few interesting sculptures were in the deep windowsills. They offered an a la carte menu as well as two tasting options of various numbers of courses. In 2014 the chef offered a totally vegan tasting menu, the first Michelin starred chef to offer one. We chose the 7 course Degustation Menu. Service was helpful, fun and friendly but the food was mixed in quality. Pacing of the meal started nicely but then slowed to a crawl and stayed really slow.
Two amuse bouche started our menu, a shot of fennel and garden herbs with bell pepper-apple wine foam and a baked praline of fine fish with coriander mayonnaise. The fish was warm and tasty and the fennel shot very good.
Two breads were placed at each table along with unsalted and salted butters. One bread was white and the other a traditional dark variety with cumin, rye and fennel. Both were dense with a doughy interior and a good crisp on the crust. Both butters were slightly softened but not whipped and quite nice.
The next amuse was ginger and soy marinated hamachi tartar with pak choi-alga salad and fruity ice cream of curry. All the parts went together well and yielded lots of flavor. It was also a good mix of textures and temperatures – a great start.
Tartar of Vogelsberger Wagyu, piquillo jelly, ice cream of anchovies and goose liver, Ossitre Imperial caviar, radishes, cream of mustard and relish of cucumbers. It was tender, flavorful and the goose liver in the ice cream went great with the anchovy. Little bits of stuff ringed the tartar and all blended nicely. A crisp chip, which was a slice of focaccia, was inserted in the ice cream which added a nice bit of texture and the caviar added a little pop to the plate. A success.
Hand-dived roasted Scottish scallop with almond crunch, mussel gravy, cauliflower, almond crunch, Amalfi lemon confit and salty fingers was a good one. The scallop was tender and nicely coated with almond crunch. It was a nice set of flavors that blended well but there wasn’t much textural contrast on the plate. The scallop was cooked perfectly and a good sweet.
Mackerel and cliffs octopus, mediterranean fish gravy with smoked bell pepper, aubergine with nori, fennel and creme of white beans was okay. The mackerel was velvety in texure but the octopus was dull. The eggplant was a strange combination with the seaweed – it made the eggplant taste fishy which I didn’t care for. The beans and fennel were good but overall this plate seemed to have 2 diametrically opposed portions that didn’t compliment each other at all, but at least they didn’t totally clash.
Ochsenschläger’s free range chicken as roasted breast, raviolo and egg yolk, lemon-thyme poultry velouté, cabbage with porcini and pumpkin was next. The raviolo stuffed with heart, liver and wing meat was okay but the breast meat was tough. The pumpkin and porcini were nice and the egg yolks on the plate were cooked to a fudgy consistency. Again micro greens decorated the plate, which felt overused. This one was not exciting but better than the next.
Roasted saddle of venison with herb crust, venison gravy flavored with currant bush, tartar of turnips and rapeseeds, chicory chutney, coulis of lamb’s lettuce, wild cranberries and book mushroom was the last savory course. They left the extra sauce, which was fruity, on the table which was a nice gesture. However it could not save the mushy and dry venison meat. It was inedible. The cranberry compote was good but I didn’t care for the taste of the lettuce coulis and the mushrooms had no flavor. This was not a good course. and went back mostly uneaten.
The selection of matured raw milk cheese from Maître Bernard Antony came plated, there was no trolley. The cheese was accompanied by a spicy fig mustard and a selection of breads. It was fine.
A cantaloupe espuma was the transition course to dessert. It was cool and refreshing with lots of soft chunks of sweet fruit inside. There was something in it that added a hint of bitterness, but it worked. It was very good.
Delicacies of berries, sour cream with Tahitian vanilla and elderflower, sorrel gel and ice cream of herbs and pistachio was the dessert. It was a nice compilation of crisp and soft textures as well as sweet flavors. Some of the green goo around the edges was too pasty and the berries were not ripe enough to blend well and add the punch they should have. Maybe it was too many things but it didn’t work for me.
Final treats were an almond amaretto praline, lemon tart, raspberry praline and a canele. They were all unremarkable.