After having dinner at Aqua last spring, the following day my food journey continued with a lunch at La Vie, located in the old town and historical city of Osnabruck. Prior to this visit, I did not know much about Osnabruck. If you have some extra time, 1-2 hours strolling around the area before or after your meal would be an enjoyable thing to do. I did this kind of activity at Sluis, a small town in Holland, a long time ago.
Like Sven Elverfeld, Thomas Buhner, la vie’s chef-patron, was also a prominent chef in the ‘new German school’. Chef Buhner consistently delivered innovative cooking with maximum ingredients that were meticulously crafted for each dish. Classical French cuisine was the fundamental, integrated with contemporary technique while ensure German would always be the soul of the dish. la vie was very open about using produce form all over the world and it’s reflected from the dishes I had as well as the wine selection I drank during this lunch.
Normally, I opted for the chef’s classic tasting menu whenever I visited the restaurant for the first time. However, as the avant-garde degustation menu offered more dishes, I decided to go for it plus ordering a couple of extra dishes from supposedly Thomas Buhner’s signature items. I observed that Thomas liked using “surf & turf” pairing for the dish. For instance, there were raw wagyu beef & cod, pork belly & octopus, oyster & sweetbread. Low temperature cooking highlighting the (many) ingredients’ natural flavors and textures contrast was pretty much the core of la vie’s approach. While sometimes I found certain flavor was too dominant, when the combination worked well such as in the case of ‘huitre’ with ‘ris de veau’; you will be “wowed” by the Buhner’s exquisite creation. For the main courses, the method was simpler by carefully preparing and perfectly executing the (main) produce. The results were indeed excellent especially the etouffee pigeon. Please see the link below for more details
The dining room was moderately small and it was not a busy lunch. Contrary to the classic exterior, the interior décor was more modern and graceful. The table was big, the chair was comfortable and distance among tables was spacious. There were about 10 guests and we’re served by 4 attentive, warm and genuine staffs. Thus, you could expect from a restaurant at this caliber, everything went smoothly from the topping of water/wine to the pace of the food. As a bonus, Thomas Buhner himself, after having finished conducting a weekend cooking class, showed up and greeted each table.
A meal at La Vie, once again, showed that at the 3-star level, the restaurants in Germany truly capable of performing at high level. Along with Aqua and restaurant Vendome … it’s not an easy task to say which one is “the best”. The review of la vie marked the last fine meals I had in Germany this year. Hope I could savor a few more new places around this country in the future
More detailed review: https://zhangyuqisfoodjourneys.blogsp...
Meal photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/7124357...