The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

James and the Cook in Kiel restaurant revue

James and the Cook

It had been a busy morning, we had been out taking rubbish to the recycling yard, it all went very well and we got rid of a lot of electronic and other jetsam. Next port of call was to IKEA, to have a look at kitchen cupboards (you can never have enough), I have a top of the range, unused Miele all singing and dancing oven, which I am thinking of building in at eye level so this wanted checking out.

That done and I wanting to watch Saturday Kitchen on BBC, I dropped Linda off to go shopping at the market, we had agreed that fish would be on for evening meal and that Linda would be cooking the Hairy Bikers belly pork  with apples, sage and cider.
The bottom line is that the fish was left on the fish stalls counter and we went out to have dinner instead.

Not far away from us is a small restaurant, that we had often passed but had never visited, as it was a bitter evening and only a short walk to get there.

The restaurant is called James and der Cook, it has a menu based on Namibia and South Africa with a local twist (they use a lot of local produce), the menu is not large (not a bad thing) and does have a very good vegetarian selection (if you’re that way inclined). The wines list is also short but well selected, I would have expected more SA wines but they had only one on offer.

The owners  James Pennell,  the front of house and the cook, Andreas Hansen run a small (25 seat- 7 tables) restaurant, it is well situated at Eckernförder Straße 59 just a stone’s throw from the large Wilhelmsplatz so no problem with finding a parking space.
It has a rather non-descript appearance from the outside, it does have a couple of outside tables, so may be a place to sit and have a bite to eat while watching the traffic zooming up and down. The inside is simply but pleasantly decorated (not a lot of faff).  The kitchen is directly adjacent to the entrance and is open for all to see, this was previously an Indian take away restaurant and the kitchen is in the same place.

We had booked (as advised) and James gave us a choice of tables when we entered, he is an expat but has been around the world a bit before settling in Germany, he met his business partner Andreas and as both had been around the world and had a liking for Namibia, they had turned this into the main theme of their restaurant (though not only as they use a lot of local meat and fish).

We had a little chat with James expats to expats and then he informed us that Andreas was not cooking this evening as he also runs a cookery school and he had a course that evening. James also informed us that a couple of things were not on the menu.

The menu is a nice triangular shape and well sorted, it is not large (in the number of dishes), but covers most things, it even does vegetarian food and a lot of their recipes can be adapted to suit.
We ordered a Spanish wine, this was Cal Y Cantos and very nice as well. I ordered a goats cheese Crème Brûlée as a starter and Linda a curried fish and apple fish soup. My starter was very nice and the sweet crust cracked and added a wonderful  roundness to the dish, alongside was a fried potato cake (not as was on the menu a Rösti) and sautéed mushrooms (button and Shitake) with paprika. It was a very large portion and was very, very tasty.

Linda’s was not so nice, in fact she said it tasted as if they had just  put a spoonful of bought curry powder into the soup, she also said it lacked seasoning.  So mine was good and Linda’s not so good.

I had ordered the wild boar ragout, served with spring vegetables and spätzle for my main and Linda a stuffed chicken on a bed of Ratatouille served with roast potatoes .

Now as many will know I am a huntsman and pride myself in being able to source, hang and cook game and in particular wild boar. Alas this missed the point; it came served in a small cast iron pot (I think to give it a SA campfire feel).

The meat was nice and tender, but that was all that could be said of the dish, I found it lacking in flavour, it could have done with a bit of pepper and salt to season, in fact it was so bland that it could have been anything, but not the strong game flavour of wild boar. Alas the spätzle were not homemade, at the price of the meal I would have expected them to be. The vegetables were done a la dent, crisp and very nice, but I would question the reasoning behind serving them with a winter meal and would have expected something a bit heartier.

Linda said her chicken was very tasty and cooked perfectly, but that the Ratatouille was not at all what she would have expected and said the tomatoes were tinned, such a pity that they are taking short cuts that lowers the status of the meal.

The starter that I ordered was the one saving grace, even though it was my second choice as I would have liked the South African plate as this consisted of Ostrich salami, Ostrich ham and Babootie served with a sweet-potato and pineapple bake, this was a one that was off that evening.

We eat out quite a bit in Kiel (in fact we eat out quite a lot in many places) and feel that we have eaten at some of the very best restaurants in Kiel, but this is not one of them. Both Linda and I agreed that there was a lack of attention to detail and a lack of tasting in the kitchen as why else would they serve such bland food.
May be if the “Cook” part of the team had been in the kitchen it would have been more accomplished, I certainly hope so. I do not think that we have time to visit gain before leaving Kiel, and I must say that I will not be disappointed.
Sorry to publish such a negative revue, but in the on a scale of 1-10 in the Kiel restaurant scene it is pretty low down.

No comments:

Post a Comment