Saturday, April 25, 2015

Fine Dining at Restaurant Hohenzollern an der Ahr in Ahrweiler, Germany

In Ahrweiler, I stayed at the Hotel Hohenzollern which has a fine dining restaurant of the same name. I actually didn’t know that the hotel sits on the Red Wine Trail (Rotweinwanderweg) which was a lovely surprise. The main reason why I booked this hotel was for its great location and lovely views. It sits on top of the vineyard valley overlooking the town of Ahrweiler which is part of twin town, Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler.

So it was only when I was there that I realised that the restaurant of the hotel is actually one of the highlights of the Red Wine Trail. Many hikers stop here for lunch whilst enjoying a lovely panoramic view of Ahrweiler.

Restaurant & Hotel Hohenzollern an der Ahr has beautiful panoramic views of Ahrweiler.

Having found this new luck, I decided to have dinner here. But I forgot to book a table thinking I can just swing by since I am staying at the hotel anyway. When I arrived at the restaurant that evening, the waiter asked for my reservation. I told him I didn’t have a reservation but I am staying in the hotel, so he lit up a bit and quickly excused himself to check for an available table for me. The restaurant was busy and full but luckily there was 1 table available. It is just too bad that it was not on the window, but I do not mind really because I have the same view in my room anyway.

I went for the 3-course meal which included a little surprise dish from the kitchen and some bread. For wine, I had the local red wine called Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir), with grapes grown, made, stored and bottled in the valley. This is the red wine counterpart of Riesling.

The food was good but nothing near smashing. I loved however the scallops, it was almost perfect. I didn’t finish the lamb though and the waiter was worried that I didn’t like it. I told him I am not a big meat eater and if I eat meat I like it well done a bit, well depends on the meat really. He asked if he can have the meat recooked, he probably was horrified to see the large chunks of lamb left on my plate. I said no and reassured him that everything was fine. The dessert was quite okay—the ice cream and the fried cheese dumpling were a great combination together but the pastry tart was too much already.

After dinner in my room, I thought to myself—Have I become picky much? I shrugged the thought off. Perhaps it’s the headache. I walked for 14 kilometres under the heat of the sun in the afternoon and I’m one of those people who can’t stand the sun directly hitting my head. Good thing I had some paracetamols with me.

Here are the pictures of my dinner:

The cheese and beetroot pate (I think beetroot? I did not carefully listen to the waitress) in the middle was really good.

Surprise from the kitchen: Melon chunks and Jamon Serrano on matcha cream, and a fresh cold little cucumber melon drink. This tasted like this was made several hours before being served. They probably made these in advance so they can quickly serve these to guests.

Roasted scallops on a bed of peas and mint cream with matcha. This was very nice, my favourite for the evening.

The main course is this roasted pink lamb and tender braised cheek with thyme sauce, artichoke (this was coated with cheese), roasted eggplant and tomatoes, runner beans and polenta. I ate all the vegies and perhaps only ate 1/4 of the meat which must have horrified the waiter!

The dessert platter. I like the berry ice cream (raspberry and strawberry I think), the fried cheese dumpling and the bits of cooked rhubarb and sour cream. The tiny crunchy nuts were also very nice. The creamy tart and that light pink scoop did not score high for me though.

Travel Period: April 2015
Destination: Ahrweiler, Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler (Rhineland-Platinate), Germany

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