Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer – Opium for the Senses
I've been waiting for this evening at Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer, to be cooked for by the brilliant chef Hendrik Otto and his team, for a long time. Awarded with two stars and three chefs hats on more than one occasion, along with a number of other honours. Shahab Jalali at his side as head sommelier. Together with host "Maître" Boris Häbel, they ensure that the guests feel well round and round. Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer is, truly, a fireside lounge. Wooden boards. Decked in low light. A bust of Wilhelm II over the crackling fire. And with a view of the Brandenburger Tor at night. Upon entering it feels as if Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer has enveloped you in its cosy ambience.
We’re received with a warm welcome. Mr. Jalali. Mr. Häbel. And Laura Torrico, who accompanies us through the evening with warm, humorous ease. Together with Jalali, who serves us such a perfectly paired wine with each course that we’re left in reverent awe more than once. Right from the pastry appetiser, we’re over the moon. "Incredible, just how much there is to experience in the mouth," gushes my companion excitedly. Cold, crisp, creamy. Hendrick Otto’s cuisine masters the game of textures with excellence. And while we continue to muse over the stunning start, a spectacular bread basket with truffle mayonnaise arrives.
It’s impossible to continue describing every detail of the menu that follows. Each course is so fine, so lovingly arranged, and so harmoniously formulated that we can hardly find the words for our excitement. Eel on a cornbread chip within a smoke-filled glass cover. Goose liver in three consistencies, with an intense consommé. It smells and tastes like Christmas. King prawns, lobster, and calamaretti take us to the Côte d’Azur by way of a luxurious bouillabaisse with vegetable caviar. So intense. So good.
The following aubergine with green gazpacho and a basket full of warm focaccia reminds us of hot summer days in Tuscany. The marinated pork belly comes in cubes fried in panko along with a soup with glass noodles, lemongrass, and peanuts. Absolutely theatrical! The main follows, "Etouffé duck with rouennaise sauce." A captivating aroma. And dessert? "Caraibe chocolate" and green pepper ice cream. A whiff of verbena sprayed on the table. The petit fours in an aromatic coffee fog. We’re enraptured.