Bistronomic restaurants are seldom to be found in Germany – besides the meanwhile established and Michelin-starred Weinsinn and the Schaumahl in Offenbach along with some newer concepts in Berlin the German gastronomic ladder is missing some intermediate steps that could facilitate the climb-up, especially for younger and less experienced but interested diners.
Nevertheless, in Munich a team of young enthusiasts led by Holger Baier has created Tramin in the up and coming French quarter in Haidhausen. As a chef, the then 24 year old Daniel Schimkowitsch was hired, trained by Christian Jürgens at Burg Wernberg and the Seehotel Überfahrt.
Interestingly, without being too dogmatic, the concept for the restaurant was clear cut from the beginning: modern cuisine on a classic basis based on a reinterpretation of traditional (also German) dishes with an emphasis on regional produce, all served and mixed up in a quite relaxed and down-to-earth atmosphere.
Since the opening in 2010, the cuisine has immensely matured and has become more world-open, without neglecting its regional roots and DNA. Schimkowitsch himself has made extreme progress and, right now, has to be ranked among the very best chefs in Germany under 30. My recent meal at Tramin was flawless, unique and very very tasty and, to be sure, on a clear two-star level. Schimkowitsch is someone to watch as he will be soon blasting the boundaries of the unpretentious Tramin concept…
We decided to let Daniel cook for us and he prepared a quite special extended menu for us. Generally, Tramin offers only one menu that changes regularly and can be enjoyed to the full (7 courses at 115€) or reduced to 4 or 5 courses (70€ or 85€).
As a start, fantastic and aromatic nibbles were served, all with a deliberate touch on textures and flavors without overstressing the crunch element like in so many other places where you basically eat crackers…
Then, three amuses: an intense veal tafelspitz as a classic reminiscent of a traditional Bavarian dish served with baked potatoes and horseradish – quite excellent but a bit too much jelly-ish.
Unfortunately, the foie gras – caviar pairing worked not that well as the caviar dominated the gently flavored foie and the Jerusalem artichoke didn’t really add much…
The last amuse was one of the stars of the night, a dish that could be very well served in much higher acclaimed restaurants: the smoked eel provided a solid and tasty fundament to the interplay of cucumber, coriander and apple accentuated by some blueberries crème. The eel was of perfect quality, tender, almost silky in texture with subtle smoky notes. Outstanding.
When I first came across Huchen, or Donau salmon as it is frequently called, at Christian Jürgen’s Überfahrt, I was blown away as this river inhabitant is a more that good ‘replacement’ of normal salmon – more structured, less fatty and nevertheless with a well-defined aroma. Martin Fauster (Königshof, Munich) frequently serves it hardly marinated and pairs it, for example with pumpkin elements…
Schimkowitsch created his very own version building on a thick and lovage/lime marinated piece with different cauliflower structures, some soy jelly (adding just the right amount of sweetness and acidity), passepierre and frozen mustard peals. The overall picture is a masterpiece in dimensioning – the Huchen remains king in the ring whereas the other elements are just literally shading its different facets. Excellent to outstanding.
What a fantastic combination, a classic of Schimkowitsch by now: tasty langoustine gently kissed by sweet and earthy lardo (again exactly dimensioned) paired with intense avocado puree, grapefruit, curry ice cream, ponzu and cocos. The resulting flavor picture is broad, transparent and plays to the best of the langustine emphasizing its versatility and its distinct character. Excellent.
Getting a second langoustine dish is a bit reminiscent of Sergio Herman’s way of outlining the full potential of a product in two or three consecutive courses. In this second setting, it is more the rustic earthy character of the langoustine that shows, well accentuated by the crispy amaranth on top in combination with the baked langoustine croquet, artichoke structures and an ingenious malt jus. Excellent to outstanding.
The skrei, or Winter cod, was perfect. Served with an intense escabeche sugo, some slices of cucumber underneath, some potato cubes on top, the skrei itself was incredibly tender and juicy. Especially the cucumber did the trick: the effect of the temperature contrast, the al dente texture and the freshness made this dish quite special. Outstanding.
Although very delicious in itself, the risotto could not match the level of the previous courses – it was too dense and texturally too one-dimensional to provoke some surprising moment to the diner. Very good.
Game from Gutshof Polting is ubiquitous in the greater Munich area, yet the quality is indisputable superb. Schimkowitsch’ version is nevertheless unique – kohlrabi structures, a formidable hay jus, a fregola risotto (fregola is a typical Sardinian pasta similar to couscous) and some parsley make the dear dance on the plate. Excellent.
Desserts were always a weaker spot at Tramin, but the night’s parade was formidable: the combination of the chocolate ball with liquid ganache inside, passion fruit ice cream, chocolate “earth”, and got cheese was credibly yummy and intense – excellent to outstanding.
The tangerine with chervil provided a glimpse on Schmikowitsch’ take on the widespread Zeitgeist theme of vegetable desserts: he does not fully embrace this but integrates it within a rather classic dessert combination and achieved exactly the effect of counterbalancing the sweetness by adding a more herbal and slightly earthy notes. Excellent.
Last but not least, a very heavy ‘sweet’ truffles interpretation showing the full potential of the patisserie spectrum at Tramin these days. A bit more fruity or herbal elements could lighten this significantly. Very good, nevertheless
The verdict: overall, we ate at two star level. Daniel Schimokowitsch creates with virtuosity, curiousity and ease, without dogmatism or snobbism – the cuisine fits very well in the overall Tramin concept and atmosphere. And, the young and immensely talented Mr Schimkowitsch has not reached his full potential. So watch out and visit this unconventional place the sooner the better…
Lothringer Straße 7
Phone: +49.89.444 540 90