Bianc Restaurant in Hamburg is defining culinary mastery
Bianc Restaurant in Hamburg, Germany takes contemporary fine dining to a level that will make experienced foodies rejoice. Every element of the gastronomic journey is paved with intense thought and creativity.
When I dined at Bianc in March of 2018, the restaurant had been open for only a month or so. Knowing that impressed me even more as it seemed the staff had been a well-orchestrated team for years (A testament to the chef and management team).
When I first entered the restaurant I was greeted immediately, while my coat was promptly taken and checked. At first glance the space looked rather simple, but once I was seated, I began to take in all of the subtleties of this well-designed restaurant space. The dining area is slightly broken up into two tiers with the focal point being a live olive tree growing in the middle of the restaurant. One floor of the dining area has a rich tumbled tile, while the next level has solid wood floor full of character.
Most restaurants are dimly lit for mood and ambiance, making it difficult to read the menu and see the intricacies of your meal. Bianc however has achieved the difficult task of dimly lighting the restaurant, while illuminating the center of each table with a spot light, providing just enough light to properly see the menu, the artfully crafted food, and your date. It’s as if the focus is placed squarely on where it should be, while creating a shallow depth of field and blurring out the background to create an intimate dining experience within a wide-open space. It appears that Bianc has taken some design cues from the art of photography.
As a photographer, I really appreciated having this light at the table so I could capture some of the imaginative creations coming from the kitchen. Even while doing so it made me think that the table illumination was intended to highlight each dish coming from the kitchen, as if on stage…performing for the gourmand.
In the back corner of the restaurant is the kitchen, which is walled off in large panes of glass so that you can see the entire team preparing each dish. It’s almost as if you’re on the set of a cooking show as bright lights provide illumination for the chefs to focus on the most minute details of each dish. No noise emanating from the kitchen, or swinging doors banging each time a server goes through, but rather the kitchen seems hyperbolically sealed with an automatic sliding glass door for servers to enter when needed.
When dining at Bianc, you can order from the menu, or opt for a prix fixe extravaganza like I did. In my case the prix fixe was 20-courses. Well, perhaps 13 if you consider the first 7 items were part of the amuse bouche. Each course was like a work of art, but the creation does not stop at the presentation, as each course can be paired perfectly with wine, most of German origin. The sommelier would explain each wine as he poured and explained why he chose it for the dish. The prix fixe menu is called “Emotion” and it indeed evokes a culinary emotional reaction.
If you choose from the à la carte menu and wish to select your own wine, you’ll be presented with a sophisticated box where you withdrawal a book on the wine of interest, i.e. red, sparkling, white, dessert, etc. I have no idea how extensive the wine selection, but it is robust!
My “Emotion” Prix Fixe Meal Consisted of:
- Granny Smith Gazpacho
- Radish with buffalo butter
- Oyster with sour cream
- Duck liver with mango
- Beef Tartar with aioli
- Mini prawns
- Parmesan sandwich
A sensational start to an unforgettably meal. Each brilliantly presented using an array of creative serving apparatuses. The wine pairing was a 2016 white burgundy from the Gut Hermannsberg Estate in Niederhausen, Germany.
The Main Menu
- Tuna with anchovy and blood orange
- Lobster with carrot and lemon
- Carabiniero with pomelo and pate negra
- Loup de Mer with sepia, chickpea and a quail egg
- Split pea risotto with stracciata and bianchetto
- Chicken with scallop, corn and capers
- Iberico Porc with pearl barley and chorizo
Imaginative, vibrant and succulent. Each course had its own wine pairing.
- Goat yogurt with raspberry and rhubarb
- Cocos with pineapple and vanilla
Like a perfect summer day on your plate, bright colors and flavors paired with a sweet Sauvignon blanc.
- Pine nuts
If the desserts where not enough, the Petit Four was a nice parting gift.
The experience at Bianc will truly take you on a culinary journey. Your taste buds will celebrate at the circus that performs in your mouth. It’s not just the food and atmosphere that make Bianc a world-class restaurant; it’s also the service. Every facet of the team is like a well-oiled machine. Well trained and informed, passionate about their craft and meticulous about the details. Chef Matteo leads by example, visiting nearly every table as each course is served to personally describe the dish and answer any questions. It’s a remarkable dining experience, one that I will not soon forget. I am very fortunate to be able to dine at some pretty extraordinary restaurants around the world, I have to say that Bianc truly impressed me.
Bianc Restaurant Information:
Address: Am Sandtorkai 50 – 20457 HAMBURG
Phone: +49  40 18119797
Prices: Bianc is not an inexpensive restaurant; the meal I described with wine paring was 260 Euros.
If you’ve ever dined at Bianc, or, have questions about the experience, please leave a comment below.