Dazzled by the headlamps and the strange smell of Norsemen's toes.

Tuesday 2/11/2004

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Diary and Notes

We're off out scoffing and a-noshing and a-chomping and a-guzzling through the restaurants of Göttingen again and this time we're going out in style. Today's review of my gastranomic extravanganza will sadly be lacking in any humour out of due respect to the fine trencherman delight that I was forced to endure last night. I can't be sarcastic or rude about good food (though I try) so today's little dull report will do little but challenge your preconceptions of what German restaurants are all about.

We went to Melange, one of Göttingen's more exclusive restaurants to clean the taste of my horrid home cooking from my mouth. The meal was excellent, the service good (the waitress cute - always a bonus) and even the wine, whilst of a German style (though actually French) wasn't to be complained at.

I wont say much else except that Melange is recommended by the German Slow Food Society - a branch of a Europe wide movement which started in Italy to defend against the invasion of vile American hamburgers and fast food in general. We sat for hours drinking wine, eating the little snacks the chef brought us to taste, slurping soup and biting through a very well cooked piece of venison.

I will add a few notes just to show I'm not a complete push over: I chose what I ordered, not so much because it sounded like the best thing on the menu, but for the likelihood that it would be the only time I'd see it this year. I don't eat a lot of venison (who does) so that was easy and what with the potato soup and coconut ice cream with fruit salad, I think we can safely assume this meal will be a one off. I will comment on why exacly I chose this main course - Gjetost . (pron:yay-toast). Now the sauce for the venison was made (so the menu said) from gjetost and pfifferlinger mushrooms (chanterelles to you and I). The latter I love, the former I believe to be made exclusively from the scrapings under the toes of long dead norse warriors in hell. It's disgusting. It is a sweet, brown, soft Norwegian goats cheese that no self respecting person would eat - even if starving and near to death and having already had their tongue and nose removed by the aforementioned Scandanavian ghosts. I just had to have a go. Fortunately for me the sauce had not a hint of toe scrapings and all the slimey stuff was reserved for a thin sliver, drizzled over the giant piece of bloody venison that was my main course. I tried the stuff, scraped it off and left it on the side of my plate. That is how to deal gracefully and with charm, to someone trying to spoil your dinner with human detritus. Much nicer than "Hey waiter, there's a fly in my soup..."

Quite an excellent meal, well worth the price and though the meal I chose had a very traditional German flavour to it, there were definitely options on the menu which would not have seemed out of place anywhere that fine food is appreciated. If you come to Göttingen, I recommend you go to melange for a fine evenings dining.


  • Pickled herring and beetroot canape with garlic and pesto dressing,
  • Potato soup with chives and flat leaf parsley,
  • Giant slab of venison, croquette potatoes with waltnut crust, pfifferlinger mushrooms, mixed vegetables,
  • Coconut ice cream, dragon fruit, pinapple and cantaloup fruit salad.

  • Alsace Riesling (I forget what exactly it was).