Cuski and I love all things German so when I opened my Open Table newsletter and I saw that there was a hot new German restaurant opening in Gastown, I knew we’d be checking it out sooner rather than later. It’s called Bauhaus Restaurant. Led by Michelin Star Chef Stefan Hartmann, they offer a contemporary take to traditional German cuisine. I decided to take Cuski there for his birthday and we were not disappointed. In fact, it may be our new favourite restaurant.
Decor & Ambience
It’s not your typical “brick wall” Gastown hipster restaurant. They designed their restaurant to be modern with clean, sleek lines and furniture to match. A bit industrial but trendy and comfortable… and vibrant. I can imagine enjoying myself just hanging out at the lounge for a drink. The cutlery they use is also made in Germany… little details that add to the experience.
Germans are known for their efficiency and I feel like their servers were trained this way. They were attentive yet allowed us to enjoy our food. My bread plate was empty and suddenly a fresh new warm slice was added. They offered us a choice of sparkling (no extra charge) or still water and kept it filled. I ordered a vegetarian dish but they asked ahead if I was vegetarian because the Amuse Bouche that was on the way out had meat in it. I felt like we weren’t being watched while we ate, everything just fell into place and happened naturally. The best part was that the owner, former film director Uwe Boll, introduced himself to each table. He even chatted with us in German, which was great practice for me. I also noticed he was helping serve his guests bread which I thought was really cool. It just shows how much dedication and love he has for his restaurant.
Food & Drink
I’ve never been to an upscale German restaurant (in Vancouver anyway) so I was very curious how they would execute a contemporary version of say… an order of schnitzel. We started off with drinks. They have German beers and German style mixed drinks. I decided to have a radler, which is a mixture of a German pilsner and house made lemonade. It was the perfect refreshment for this heat wave we’re currently experiencing. The bread, I believe it was sourdough, was freshly baked, warm, and served with a choice of two spreads. I think one was a dill/cheese mixture, the other was butter with herbs. I couldn’t remember, but I loved the butter. We were served the Amuse Bouche, which was a beet salad and a skewer of deep fried rabbit. I wasn’t a huge fan of the salad (I don’t really like beets) but the rabbit was awesome… crunchy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside.
Fuer Abendessen, we started off with a bowl of white asparagus soup. This soup was so delicious, creamy, rich. The flavour of the asparagus really pops. We loved it so much that we wiped the entire bowl clean with our bread, it was that good. Couldn’t let any go to waste.
Cuski ordered the schnitzel and it was the best schnitzel we’ve ever had. We don’t know what they did but it melted in your mouth. The flavour was rich and the house made hollandaise sauce only intensified the flavour. It was also served with potatoes and as you can see, they were quite generous with the portion. Quality AND Quantity on this plate.
I couldn’t decide between the halibut and the goat cheese strudel but in the end, the strudel won. It was a great decision, as I wanted something light. The strudel itself was so flaky and well made. Once I got to gooey goat cheese and mixed it all together with the peas and asparagus… the flavours all came together quite well that I didn’t even care that it was a meatless dish. I’m not one to eat every single piece of vegetable on my plate but I found myself scraping every single pea. It was that good.
We decided to cap off the meal with their chocolate bar dessert. It was a chocolate mousse cake with caramel, blueberries, and creamy ice cream (or was it just cream?)… Again, it was so good, we were scraping the plate clean. If it was socially acceptable to lick a plate clean, we would’ve done that too lol. We were so impressed with everything this restaurant has to offer. It is such a nice addition to the neighbourhood and we cannot wait to go back and try something new from their menu… perhaps their $68 tenderloin… is it really worth that price? Maybe it will be the subject of another blog post 🙂
All photos by Jeannine Avelino