Schwarzreiter * | München (DE)

High level cooking with detailed precision.
Maike Menzel impresses with her interpretation of the “Young Bavarian Cuisine”!

Though now a grand dame of Munich’s (Germany) hotel scene, during its early years Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski Munich was something of a trailblazer of modernity. Opened in 1858 as the Zu den Vier Jahreszeiten, it was one of many jewels in a magnificent boulevard (Maximillian Strasse) that quickly became known as one of the most prestigious addresses in Europe.

Restaurant Schwarzreiter, named after the smoked schwarzreiter fish (from the Bavarian Alps), said to be a favourite of Bavaria’s King Ludwig II. is the hotel’s fine dining restaurant. The restaurant is getting a face-lift, so they’ve setup a popup restaurant and kitchen in one of their meeting rooms. Fortunately they’ve put a lot of effort in creating a nice atmosphere, so it really feels like a restaurant.

Interior Popup Restaurant

Head Chef at Schwarzreiter is Maike Menzel (since July 2018). After graduating from school in Ammersee in 2006, she learnt the tricks of the cooking trade at Munich’s vocational school for the hotel, restaurant and brewery industry. She worked for restaurant Blaue Bock, Emiko and Pageou, all located in Munich, before starting at Schwarzreiter in 2016. She worked her way up from Chef de Partie to Chef Tournant to Sous-Chef until she was promoted to Executive Chef in August 2018, taking over from Anton Pozeg, who had been awarded a Michelin star for his gastronomic mastery at Schwarzreiter. The young Executive Chef managed to retain the award for the restaurant, making Maike Menzel the youngest chef in Germany holding this accolade.

Schwarzreiter is currently open from Wednesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner. The menu let’s you choose 4-courses (at €110), 6-courses (at €130) and 8-courses (at €160). I went for dinner two weeks ago on a weeknight and had the 6-course menu.

Sesame Cracker with Potato Salad & Crispy Pig’s Head

First some tasters from the chef. The pig’s head was very flavoursome and delicious. Great start!

Macaron with Mackerel

Great amuse bouche! Savoury macaron that melts in the mouth (so without the chewiness of a macaron). Texture, flavour and taste are spot on.

Gentleman’s Choice

On the table was an inviting caviar menu, with different caviar dishes and suggestions. I couldn’t resist and ordered the “Gentleman’s Choice” (at €28) consisting of 10 g Osetra caviar, an oyster, some blini’s and a shot of Beluga vodka. Nicely presented with fresh blini’s and a lovely meaty oyster.

Bread & Butter cream

I prefer cultured or salted butter with the bread, or a nice olive oil. But the bread itself was nice.

Schuttelbahn Bread Spätzle with Emmental Cheese

And another taster followed, Spätzle is a type of pasta made with flour and fresh eggs and found in the cuisines of southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Here the spätzle were made from dough of a traditional Bavarian bread which definitely added to the texture and flavour. The Suisse Emmental cheese added to the comforting taste.

Mackerel – radish, cucumber, apple

The first course of the menu was ocean fresh mackerel. The cucumber and apple beautifully balanced. Could do with a bit more of the radish though. The piece of flamed mackerel was the star of the dish.

Pork Chin – Roscoff onions, smoked swede, lentils

Pork chin was a bit like bacon rib. Full flavoured with a nice bit of fat on it. Smoked swede worked really well. The lentils were a bit of an odd one out to me. Didn’t really play a part on the plate. Crunch already delivered by the onion and didn’t add to the taste as well. Very nice dish though.

Colourful Carrot – buckwheat, tarragon, sea buckthorn

Picture perfect, but also a brilliant vegetarian garden of flavours. Buckwheat very tasty and brings the whole dish together. Tarragon adds complexity and freshness. Fresh spring flavours and tastes. What an excellent dish!

Sea Bass – chive, mustard, turnip cabbage

Perfect cuisson of the sea bass. Mustard seeds and chives nice, but overpowering the fish. The green tomato sauce even more. Very good flavours, but couldn’t taste the fish anymore when eating everything together.

Simmertaler “Luma” Beef – beetroot, fermented garlic, speckknödel

Expected melted in the mouth beef, but it was a bit tough. Great taste though. Beetroot brings nice deep earthiness. Fermented garlic lovely and gentle. Not enough of the delicious jus though. But the staff offered to get more (without me asking). I gladly accepted. The speckknödel is like a bacon dumpling. Delicious! A good balanced dish and tasted great.

From the Alp – goat’s cream cheese, herbs, grapes

Pre-dessert was raspberry cream in a little goat’s cheese shell, with fresh herbs and a hint of grapes. The raspberry, herbs and grapes were nice and refreshing. The goat’s cheese was a pleasant surprise, throwing your taste buds in a different direction. A good palate cleanser with a twist. Clever.

Pear Helene – caramel, Valrhona chocolate, almonds

A symphony of pear. Delicate pear mousse on a crispy chocolate bottom. Fresh pear with pear puree and pear sorbet on almond crumbs. Pretty, delicate and scrumptious.


Coffee praline, jelly of Spätzi and a camomile and ghee cream. The jelly really capture the Spätzi taste. Spätzi is a drink I remember from when I was a child. It’s a mix of cola and orange lemonade. Brought a bit of nostalgia and a smile on my face.

The staff were brilliant. Informal and very knowledgable, attentive and creating a special atmosphere The lady running the dinning room deserves special credit. Really giving you that special guest feeling. Spending time at every table to explain the dishes, wine and answering any questions with a smile.

This was an excellent dinner! High level cooking with detailed precision. I thoroughly enjoyed every mouthful. The “Colourful Carrot” being the absolute star dish. Yes, I did have some comments here and there, but those were more nitpicking than real issues. Maike Menzel impresses with her very own interpretation of the “Young Bavarian Cuisine”, which focusses on regionality and innovative lightness, which is achieved by using light vegetables instead of heavy side dishes. This is definitely a chef to keep an eye on!