This review of a Munich restaurant is a break from The Picky Glutton’s usual London-based coverage.
For most British people, German cuisine means sausages, pretzels and beer. Or perhaps just beer. Although you could certainly gorge on all three to excess when visiting Germany, there’s more to German food than that. Boettners is a Munich institution, having been established for over a century. While the décor is certainly old-fashioned and the clientele middle aged to elderly, at least it was on my weekday lunchtime visit, the food is by no means a bland stodge fest.
As a Brit with a faltering grasp of German, I definitely appreciated the friendly and welcoming staff. There was an English menu and one of the waitresses spoke fluent English. With only three waiting staff serving a busy U-shaped dining room however, service wasn’t quite as quick and efficient as it could’ve been.
In a charming touch, the owner’s dog wanders around the dining room quite freely. The docile, elderly mutt is very well-behaved (no pouncing on tables or begging for treats here) and the staff are clearly used to the pooch, stepping around him with consummate ease.
The food at Boettners is generally German, but with some French and Italian touches. I started off with the chestnut and white truffle soup and was surprised by its dessert-like appearance. I had to resist simply picking up the glass to slurp down the moreish soup thanks to its tangy nuttiness. This was only enhanced by the delicate truffle shavings which added an earthy aroma and an almost indescribable richness to the soup. Excellent.
My main course of pheasant breast served with calvados cream, Brussels sprouts, sauerkraut and walnuts is similarly deceptive. Although definitely hearty, it’s not at all stodgy. The relatively dense, hearty bird is topped with bacon and crutons and has a vaguely duck-like taste which is complimented well by the distinct, but not overpowering booziness of the calvados cream. The sauerkraut is mild so it doesn’t unbalance the dish. The walnuts taste bold, but are delicately textured and I could’ve eaten their soft and crumbly forms all day. Even the Brussels sprouts, which I usually avoid at Christmas, are a joy thanks to their buttery, slightly sweet taste. It all comes together as a tasty and warming dish – perfect on a cold winter’s day.
Unfortunately Boettners fell flat on its face when it came to dessert. I opted for the intriguing sounding Bavarian cream with raspberry sauce. The large mass of Bavarian cream tastes of vanilla, but I found it heavy going despite its fluffy texture sitting somewhere in between clotted cream and panna cotta. The sheer mass of it overwhelmed the taste of the scattered, crushed pistacios and the raspberry sauce which was only mildly tart. Such a shame – and the rather tepid chocolate and peanut petit fours didn’t help either.
Boettners isn’t cheap, especially with the unfavourable sterling-euro exchange rate at the time of writing, and the atmosphere is hardly electric. The generally excellent food makes it all worthwhile though.
Address: Pfisterstraße 9, 80331 München, Germany
Phone: +49 89 221210
Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 11.30-15.00 and 18.00-midnight, closed Sundays.
Reservations: probably a good idea.
Total cost for one person including coffee and mineral water: €80 (approx. £70 at time of writing)