I had never eaten in a Michelin-star restaurant till it came knocking at my door. It came from a beautiful 1970s villa in Bangkok, where the Sühring twins live, down to Varq, the Indian restaurant at The Taj Mahal Hotel, Delhi. The Sührings’ restaurant-cum-home, also named after themselves, is in the heart of the city. They serve progressive German cuisine to guests who dine at their Küche (kitchen), Esszimmer (dining room), Wintergarten (winter garden) and Wohnzimmer (living room), each done up in stylish, homey taste. They borrow flavours from their childhood, and blend them with the Central European palate and the finesse of haute cuisine. And, of course, they present it with warm hospitality.
The twins Thomas and Mathias, are almost indistinguishable. After years of travelling and working, they decided to settle down and open this place, where their culinary journey continues. I met them at their Delhi pop-up in August, where they promised to wow me with a 12-course Sühring Erlebnis (or experience), in three chapters.
Chapter One: Appetisers. Obatzda, a Bavarian soft cheese, in a crispy and spicy roll, was washed down with a Radler shandy—the savoury, the zesty and the spicy. The Berliner Pfannkuchen, the German pastry that came next, would have been ‘good’ in isolation, but was ‘excellent’ with a truffle filling. Next the fish fare: a delicate sturgeon served with buttermilk was a mild precursor to the sardine-in-a-bun blast. The chicken salad next was presented in a green mound, and finished in a bite. Its buttery flavour lingered into the final part of the chapter—duck liver placed on top of a glass of German dessert wine, with a pastry between them. It made love to my tongue.
Chapter Two: Main course. It began with river trout in a beetroot-horseradish arrangement, followed by codfish with brown butter and Ossetra caviar. A bitter sake complemented the former’s sweetness, while the gourmand’s favourite caviar (both for taste and value), the Ossetra, was telling of how much a dish can be enriched with roe. A Sühring favourite, spätzle pasta served with a black truffle (harvested in winter), was extraordinary. The chapter concluded with the Louis Jadot Chablis (fresh as a daisy) as a penultimate wine; then a bone-roasted Lozère lamb, just as it is done in the South of France; and, finally, a Pinot Noir, as red as they come, as the ultimate.
Chapter Three: Dessert. The menu just said ‘gin and tonic’ and ‘peach and vanilla’, and what a paradox that turned out to be: these ubiquitously named sweets turned out to be the most unique I have had. The former, especially, was an achievement—tart buttermilk in a tonic water flavour, layered on top with cucumber infused with gin.
After this bona-fide experience, the after effects of which lingered for days, the only thing I found missing was the actual Sühring experience. Things will probably taste the same as they did at the pop-up, but there’s that extra bit of love that makes all the difference.
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