Celebrating my 50th blog entry at ScharferZahn, Muenster

My 50th blog entry!!! wu-hoo!!! Can't believe that I have been blogging for almost 14 months!! Thanks to the (visible and invisible) readers who have been following my posts :) There are still many things that need improvements- I am working on those skills ;) To celebrate the occasion, we went to ScharferZahn, one of the top-ranked restaurants listed in my blog. I was SO surprised when the owner (Frau Gaby Gausepohl) recognized me and my blog entry about the restaurant. Seriously guys, it means a lot to me, especially to receive appreciation for my blogging efforts from someone I hardly knew.. We were rewarded with free starters; everyone was super duper happy, yay!

The sincere tokens of appreciation from the owner, danke Gaby ^O^. They were stupendo fantabulously fantastic! My favourite was the mini-bread!
[Minibread and Chicken Salad - 4 1/4 stars]

I opted for pasta since I have tried the chicken 'steak' before. The pasta served with slices of roasted chicken breast and the pepper cream sauce. I was not SO excited with the pasta as compared to the steak. There were a lot of black pepper seeds and I wish there were some vegetables included in the dish. .however, it was still good!
[My Rating - 3 1/2 stars]

To sum up, 5 reasons to visit ScharferZahn : (1) Excellent steak, yummmy! (2) A large portion at an affordable price ;) (3) Service in restaurant - Top Class! (4) A casual dining atmosphere and finally (5) I can't think of anything to complain about ^O^

Note : My previous entry about this restaurant is available here.

Meine Culinarische Reise durch Münster : Cooky's Maikotten

It was my first time to dine at Cooky's Maikotten, a restaurant which is located at outside the city centre. This is the place to go for an exclusive dinner with a great ambiance. I really liked the atmosphere and decor - a large dining area with high ceilings, wooden tables and wicker chairs, potted plants including cacti, large glass windows decorated with cream curtains, overlooking the corn field. Our table was decorated with candles and rose petals which added a nice romantic touch - it was funny, though..we were three women who try to immerse ourselves in a literally romantic environment, hehe..The restaurant bring Mediterranian flavours combined with the Westphalian cuisine. It also offers breakfast buffet on Sundays and a special menu on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

The restaurant has a special menu for dogs - some of them are gluten-free! In fact, you can make a reservation for your dog birthday party!!!

Bread with creamy spread while waiting for our food ;)

I had one of the main dishes - a large salmon steak with lime-ginger sauce and served with homemade white pasta and vegetables. It was supposed to be the black pasta, but it was not available on that day. So I chose the white pasta instead. The salmon was grilled well, but it was a bit oily. The vegetables were ordinary, not as good as the one I had at Noites de Lisboa. For me, the pasta was probably the best part of the dish ;) I ordered two glasses of pineapple juice. The first one tasted good, but the second one was actually more watery! [Rating] Grilled Salmon with white pasta - 3 3/4 stars ; Pineapple juice (for the second one) - 3 stars

To sum up, this is the place to go for a great atmosphere - especially if you want to have a decent food at a *romantic* spot! - I am not really an expert in romantic dining, so this is solely based on my intuition...However, I believe that a bike-dinner trip to Maikotten is a good way to escape from the busy city ;) If you have the Schlemmerreise mit Gutscheinbuch, don't forget to use the Maikotten's coupon.

Meine Culinarische Reise durch Münster : Pier House

Last night, I went out with my friends to celebrate my birthday. We went to the Pier House, a Texan-Mexican restaurant located along the canal. The first thing one notice on entering the restaurant is the large space - a huge bar, spacious indoor and patio dining areas with stunning views of the canal. Further, the decor is well set with soft and mood lighting with candles on every table! The menu selection is almost overwhelming with choices ranging from salads, soups, ensaladas, empanaditas, quesadillas, fajitas, tacos, steak, texan specialties, several house specialties and many more. I ended up choosing the Pollo California - a grilled chicken breast served with grilled pineapple, salads, BBQ sauce, Mexican rice, sour cream and salsa roja (red sauce). The grilled fillet was ok, but it seemed as if something was missing. I found it a little bland. The rest were good, especially the Mexican rice.

The cocktails were little bit expensive. But, there was a late night rewards (from 10pm) featuring half price on selected cocktails (like margaritas) .. I had the "Biker", a non-alcoholic cocktail - combination of pineapple, orange, passion fruit, lime, lemon - liked it a lot!!
  • [service] The restaurant was very crowded, even on the weekday evening. Reservation is recommended especially for large group. It took a while for the waitress to get our orders, but once we placed our orders, the food was served very fast.
  • [rating] Pollo California : 3 1/2 stars ; Biker cocktail : 4 stars

Meine Culinarische Reise durch Münster : Die Bohne - Kaffeerösterei

Are you addicted to coffee? Looking for the best cappuccino in town? Die Bohne is probably the cafe you are looking for.. It's a very small place and primarily in the business of selling coffee beans. However, it also offers a wide selection of coffee, light snack, homemade cakes and smoothies. It's a little tricky to find the cafe, the entrance to the restaurant is quite narrow. It's nearby the wineshop on LudgeriStr. Here is the google map link .
I have to admit that I am not a big fan of coffee of any kind, but based on my personal experience, Die Bohne is a great place for a cup of coffee(especially cappuccino). It reminds me of my 'cappuccino days' in Florence..The only two drawbacks are (a) the cafe is VERY small and probably not suitable for a large group (b) I like the presentation of the cakes more than the actual taste of the cakes. They were not too sweet (Das ist OK für mich), but they were just not moist enough to be considered as great as the coffee! To sum up, if you want to have your 'cappuccino day', this place is an option to visit. Perhaps, you may want to take home some grams of coffee.. [Rating] Coffee - 4 1/2 stars ; Cake - 3 stars

Meine Culinarische Reise durch Münster : Noites de Lisboa

I have been craving for good seafood lately, so I decided to visit a Portuguese restaurant called Noites de Lisboa . I am glad we found it ! This restaurant is not very appealing from the outside, but it has a great atmosphere inside. With traditional and contemporary decor, friendly staff, quiet atmosphere, it offers a great sense of warmth and coziness. Here are a few things I have tried :

(a) Bread with olive oil and creamy garlic dip - appetizer while waiting for my meal!

(b) Main courses are served with a choice of side dish - rice, salad or potato slices. I had the "Bacalhau Grelhado" - A grilled cod fish served with zucchini, mushroom and paprika, and accompanied by green salsa sauce (Salsa Verde). The fish was tasted good, moderately tender and not over-grilled - it was grilled just right so that the edges are not too charred, loved it! The 'zucchini+mushroom' was brilliant, loved it even more!! Suggestion : You may opt for rice or potato instead of salad..

(c) My dessert : A Portuguese Custard Tart. The crust was little bit dry and the custard filling was far too sweet for me. It was served cold and didnt enjoy it much.. I prefer the one at room temperature or warm from the oven ;)

  • [service] Service was slow, but tolerable..
  • [price] Grilled fish + Apple Juice + Tart + Tips ~ 20.00 EUR
  • [Rating] Grilled Fish - 4 1/4 stars ; Dessert - 3 stars
For seafood lovers...the verdict is simple: go for it!!

Meine Culinarische Reise durch Münster : Indian Curry House

Indian Curry House is more like a takeaway restaurant. The place is quite small; there is indoor and outdoor seating. The restaurant also offers a delivery service. The menu is extensive (soup, starters, varieties of paratha & pita , vegetarian, chicken, biryani, fish, lamb, beef and dessert).

I ordered a chapati with chicken tikka masala (grilled chicken marinated in yogurt and spices). The flatbread was a little bit hard and cold. The grilled chicken was good. The tomato cream sauce went well with the chicken. The dish was served with a mixed salad. The salad dressing needs some improvements - a large amount of spices was added to the yogurt sauce! The plain lassi was smooth, slightly creamy but too sweet. The owner was kind enough to replace it with a new salty lassi (at no additonal cost!)

Few reasons to visit Indian Curry House...
  • A cheap stomach filling food : Plain lassi + Chicken Tikka with Chapati ~ 7 EUR
  • Good food and service! It was way better than a fancy Indian ready-made meal..
  • The menu has many options to choose from...
A few things to take note about...
  • It's not a great place to go for special occasions...
  • The restaurant is quite small and congested...
  • Your clothes end up smelling like curry...
[Rating] Chicken Tikka with Chapati - 3 1/4 stars . Fine dining is exciting, soul-satisfying! but, sometimes all you want is a decent daily food at a very reasonable price. If you agree, give this place a go..;)

Meine Culinarische Reise durch Münster : Sushi Bar

It's my sushi day, again! We went to the SushiBar, which is located not so far from the main station. This fast-food restaurant includes a bar with *sushi train* that is attached to a large open kitchen; there are few regular table seating and the traditional Japanese floor seating. The restaurant is subtly decorated with some japanese artifacts and plants.

I had the (a) "Grosse Portion" sushi menu which includes 8 nigiris (Tuna, 2 x Salmon, Prawn, Octopus, Mackerel, Tamago and Squid) and 8 maki sushi... (b) unagi sushi (ordered separately).

Here are the good points...
  • Incredibly low prices! Sushi Menu + Unagi Sushi + Green Tea (pot) ~ 21.00 eur
  • The service was F2 - fast and friendly!
  • Home delivery service is available!
  • *All you can eat - 16.99 EUR* - only on tuesdays, thursdays, sundays from 6pm!
Here are the bad points..
  • The serving size was small..
  • The quality was..hmmm...below average! The rice was not sticky as I expected..the seafood was not fresh...(except the unagi sushi which was slightly above average)..the soy sauce was too salty! overall, I was not happy :(
[Rating] Sushi set - 2.5 stars ; Unagi - 3.0 stars

Conclusions : This is my first (and most likely the last) visit to SushiBar...I agree that it is hard to find a good sushi bar with low prices...but, in my opinion the sushi was not satisfying at all...! If you just want to fill up your stomach with tons of sushi, this is the place to go...

Meine Culinarische Reise durch Münster : Issel Konditorei Cafe

Cafe Issel - an absolute treasure! Luv it ALOT!!! The cafe, located at 42 Hammer Str., has a pleasant seating area inside as well as an outdoor patio with several tables. It offers a selection of cakes, tarts, cookies, handmade chocolates and pralines (to eat in or take away).

Various hand-made dark and milk chocolate bars... Some unique flavours of chocolate: (a) Tomato (perhaps, sweet and tangy?), (b) Nutmeg (c) Rosemary (both are interesting!) (d) Ginger (I prefer ginger snaps to ginger chocolates...), finally (d) Pumpernickel ?!! - very unusual, for me!

The cakes range from classic to innovative...they are SO tempting ^O^...

Yummy pastries - I will give them a try on my next visit ;)

Bicycle-powered delivery service is available...

Here are the slices of cakes we tried (each slice costs 3 euros) :
  • Schokoladen Trüffel Torte or Chocolate Truffle Cake (4 1/2 stars) : A moist layered cake with bittersweet filling, topped with chocolate ganache and decorated with fine chocolate crumbs. Unlike other truffle cakes, it is not overly sweet and not too buttery. A perfect indulgence for the chocoholics! Well, to put it in a nutshell, the slice you should not miss!

  • Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte or Black Forest Cake (3 3/4 stars) : Thin layers of chocolate cake and very thick layers of cream filling, and some cherries between them. A slightly dry bottom layer, but it's no big deal!

  • Champagne Truffle Torte or Champagne Truffle Cake (4 stars) : This is pretty much the same as the chocolate truffle cake but with champagne ganache filling. It has strong alcohol taste (at least for me) ... If you are a boozy cake fan, this is worth a try ;)

Summary : If you have a sweet tooth, then Issel is the perfect place for you :)

Meine Culinarische Reise durch Münster : Maredo

Maredo is an American-style steakhouse with over 50 restaurants in Germany. Although it is best known for its steaks, the restaurant menu includes several appetizers, salads, chicken, seafood and desserts. The place looks like it has just been recently refurbished with the emphasis on casual atmosphere (comfy booth seating, exposed brick walls, live plants, etc.).

  • [food] I had the Spring special dish- 220gram New Zealand's lamb rump steak (medium doneness) served with creamy mustard sauce, papa asada (a baked potato with sour cream) and fried vegetables. The steak was very tender and juicy. The mustard sauce went well with the meat. The fried vegetables were really good, but it had way too much onion. My only dissatisfaction with the dish was the sour cream - it was too creamy and a bit too sour. I prefer the one with a mild flavour.
  • [service] Fast and pleasant!
  • [price] Spring special - EUR16.90 (free warm water, danke!)
  • [rating] Steak - 4.0 stars ; Baked potato with sour cream - 3.0 stars
Summary: Good food, nice setting and decent portions... recommended! (although, my personal preference would definitely be ScharferZahn over Maredo...)

Meine Culinarische Reise durch Münster : Vapiano

Vapiano is a self-service chain restaurant. The restaurant offers a simple yet 'chill' atmosphere. The dining room is huge and features high ceilings and glass windows. There are plenty of carefully spaced long tables and sofas. Reservation is not required - don't worry if the place is packed...at Vapiano, it's easy to share a table with strangers...Another nice things about this restaurant is it has a great outdoor seating!
The restaurant serves reasonably-priced pizzas, pastas, desserts and antipasti. The pizzas and pastas are grouped according to price on the menu. With a chip card, you can directly order your food at the food-serving counters. The food is prepared in front of the customer. There are different types of pasta (e.g. spaghetti, fusilli, ravioli, campanelle, penne, linguine, etc.) available. The chef can assist you in the selection of pasta that goes well with your dish. If your order (like pizzas) takes some time to prepare, you will be given a wireless device which vibrates when your food is ready for collection.

  • [food] I had the Asian fusion pasta "Tacchino Piccante" - Campanelle served with chicken, orange-chili sauce, pak-choi, and peppers. The pasta was cooked properly - al dente! The sauce was thick and flavorful :) Some minor drawbacks (my personal opinion) : The pasta lacked vegetables, perhaps, some mushrooms... and the food was a little bit oily!
  • [price] Pasta + Orangina ~ 7.50 EUR (reasonably priced and well portioned!)
  • [food quality] Tacchino Piccante : 3 3/4 stars
Summary: A great place to enjoy pasta/pizza in an informal and relaxed atmosphere. The price is right and the food is acceptable but not overly exciting!

Meine Culinarische Reise durch Münster : Mongo's

I just got back from the Mangos - a Mangolian restaurant and my overall experience was good. Mangos is a restaurant chain operating in cities like Muenster, Munich, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, etc. The restaurant is a visual knockout! a fusion of simple, elegant with a traditional touch. The dining room features several golden chandeliers with 'lighted spoon' (see below), Mongolian-face relief in wooden frames and brass hanging plates . They give off a soothing yellow glow that creates a nice atmosphere..the animal prints add punch to the restaurant benches.. and the bar is decorated with wine bottles..

(a small light bulb attached to the spoon)

The process for ordering is simple. (1) Select your option (either buffet or 'one-way' meal). With the buffet option, you can keep going back for more as many times as you like. (2) Let the waitress know about the choice of marinade (there are 9 kinds to choose from). She will jot it down on the bowl-holder..(3) Hunt your food! Take a big bowl and make your individual dish from sliced meats, seafood, fresh vegetables and noodles. Hand your creation to Mr Chef, he will do the rest!

Enjoy half-price cocktails from 10.00pm!

The free starter @ tomato soup with coconut milk. It reminds me of the light-version of thai-spiced tomato soup.. "Goyo amttai baisan"!

My first creation: Chicken, noodles, and vegetables with the Malay Satay sauce. Sorry, they need to improve it - way too much of peanut and the flavor was not well-balanced!

My second creation: Stir-fried oryx with pineapples, vegetables and Thai Red Curry sauce. I like it! Nice aroma and not too spicy :) The meat really tastes good...

My third creation : Mongo's Ocean - recommended with the seafood. Slightly above average!

My final creation: Stir-fried turkey chunks with spicy noodles, pak choi, bell pepper and Curry Mango sauce. Not bad but not great either.. average!

  • [food] A good variety of meat (e.g. oryx, kangaroo, lamb, beef, ostrich, etc.) and seafood. However, a limited selection of *fresh* vegetables.
  • [service] The waitress was helpful and friendly.
  • [price] 2 cocktails + Student's special (EUR 16.90) ~ EUR 28.00. The price is slightly expensive.. but not for an ardent buffet fan ;) With the happy hours, you can save a few more euros!
  • [overall food quality] 3 1/2 stars .. The 1/2 is for Thai Curry and Oryx .. hu-hu..
Summary : A nice venue with great atmosphere; good food but there were not many WOW moments..I enjoyed a lot the 'hands-on' eating experience - looking forward to visiting another similar restaurant.. Any restaurants serving dishes from the Land of Five animals??

Meine Culinarische Reise durch Münster : Griechischen Taverna

I am always amazed by the Greek eating culture - It is fun! Poeple gather around a dining room to share delicious food, humorous stories and lots of laughter! I was so pleased when AB @ (my half greek friend) suggested me to visit Taverna - a Greek restaurant situated not so far from the city center. The restaurant is not overly decorated, spacious and cozy. The interior décor of Taverna features "face brick" installed on the main wall with some simple framed illustrations, few huge mirrors, a decent number of tables and chairs, etc. The menu is extensive, from mezze (a selection of small dishes) to grilled seafood, meat, fresh salads and wines.
  • [food] I started with a glass of Apfelschorle @ apple juice mixed with carbonated water - didn't work for me! the juice was over-diluted and tasted more like water!! However, my appetizer "Kolokithakia mehliert" was excellent. The zucchini fritters were served with some pine nuts. They were warm and crispy on the outside and light and soft in the inside - like them a lot! My main dish was "Arnisio Fileto"- lamb fillet with rosemary sauce, grilled paprika and zucchini and served with Mediterranean vegetables. The lamb was tender and spiced very well. The juicy chunks of zucchini and paprika blended well with the grilled meat. My only issue was with the portions - they were SO huge and with LOTS of meat! it was just 'too-much' for me. It would be nice if the lamb served with some rice or more vegetables. My suggestion > if you are not a meat fan, then go for the seafood or side-dishes. We received free Ouzo at the end of our meal - if you like licorice or absinthe, then you will like Ouzo!
  • [service] S L O W .... Service with a LOng Wait. Don't be surprised if you have to spend almost 2 hours to get your food..
  • [price] Decent prices > Cola + Apfelschorle + Appetizer + Lam fillet ~ 22.00 EUR
  • [food quality] Kolokithakia mehliert - 4 stars ; Arnisio Fileto - 4 stars
Conclusions : Great food, decent prices but requires more patience for waiting for the food!

Meine Culinarische Reise durch Münster : Buddha Palace

Buddha Palace is a medium-sized restaurant which offers Nepalese cuisine along with Indian and Tibetan specialties. The atmosphere of the restaurant is clean and comfortable. The decor is simple yet elegant, with the traditional touch. The bright orange walls are decorated with Buddha and Tara paintings. The dining room is festooned with several prayer flags. There is a large Buddha statue opposite to the entrance. Potted plants are arranged around the seating area.

Some items in my order are:
  • Starters - papadom (Indian crackers), momos (dumpling stuffed with spices and minced lamb) and vegetable samosa. The appetizers are served with mango chutney, pickles, and yogurt-mint sauce. The dumplings are terrific, however the others are ordinary.
  • A bottle of mineral water.. well, it is tasted bad/weird - like the chlorinated tap water. I will not order it again!
  • Himali Masu (pieces of lamb flavoured with mint, coriander, green chillies, herbs and spices) served with a bowl of seasoned rice. Love it alot!! I would prefer a naan bread over the rice though. The lamb is cooked just right and it doesn't have the gamey taste. The gravy is a little spicy, but tolerable. If you want to try a similar dish but has a more sour taste, then go for the "Masu ko Achar".
The service is not good nor bad. It may takes some time to get your order. The price is reasonable. Rating : Himali Masu - 4.5 stars

In a nutshell, a comfortable dining restaurant; great food but forgettable service!

Meine Culinarische Reise durch Münster : Aspendos

The initial plan was to have a simple dinner, but we ended up in an exclusive Mediterranean restaurant. Aspendos is quite deceiving from the outside..It looked like a normal kebab house, but as soon as I walked in the door, I knew it was going to be a great dinner. I was impressed with the decor and overall ambiance which is much influenced by Middle Eastern concept. With four dining areas, there is plenty of space for guests to sit..The place was decorated with colourful rugs and curtains, nice paintings, ceramic wall tiles, Arabic lamps, a fireplace, table linen, cushioned sofas, and many more! The atmosphere was simply laid-back..

  • [food] The menu includes various Mediterranian dishes. It is divided into different types of meat - very helpful :) Several vegetarian and seafood dishes, doner kebab are also available. I had the "Hähnchen Aspendos" - A huge portion of chicken breast served with tomato pesto sauce, baked potatoes, mushrooms and grilled feta cheese. The food presentation was great. The chicken breast could have been just a little more tender. The sauce was a bit salty for my taste. However, if you like a tangy flavour, you will probably enjoy it..
  • [service] The staffs were very pleasant and polite.
  • [price] Hähnchen Aspendo + Ginger Ale ~ 15.00EUR...The price is acceptable due to the large portion and decent food..
  • [rating] Hähnchen Aspendos - 4 stars
Conclusions : We could see the owner put much effort in decorating the place - the atmosphere is beyond fabulous! Decent selection, reasonable prices and above-average food. Should give it a try :)

Meine Culinarische Reise durch Münster : Ristorante FIU

Today, I had a seafood dinner at FIU - a restaurant which serves grilled meat and seafood. This restaurant is owned by the same owner of the Mocca d'or and Cafe Med. Although it is located within the main restaurant @ Mocca d'or, FIU has its own distinctive design features - a dining area surrounded with brick walls, a huge wine bottle rack, charcoal grill in an open kitchen, a small salad bar which includes selection of salads and several fresh seafood displayed on ice. The restaurant is decorated with black and white photos of seafood, a colorful abstract portrait, and the menus are provided on a large white board. Don't forget to check the small, old clock hanging in a corner of the room! There is limited seating inside (around 7 tables) and a small amount of outdoor seating.
  • [food] The complimentary homemade bread served with dips set the evening off to a good start. I love the sun-dried tomato dip!!!The grilled fish set meal includes a decent sized Zander fillet and a large bowl of salad with yummy yogurt sauce. The main course served with some tomato sauce and a seasoned bread. The fish fillet was well prepared to ensure they retained their taste of seafood. The sauce could have simply benefited from a little extra seasoning though...
  • [service] The service was slow - good grilling takes time anyway!
  • [price] Prix fixe (A fish fillet with salad) = EUR 13.40 .. Affordable and generous portion
  • [rating] Fish fillet - 4 stars
In a nutshell, if you are a fish-lover, this place is worth visiting :) The drawbacks are that the restaurant offers limited menu and the a la carte options are little pricey. The restaurant is small, so reservations are highly recommended.