Kochfreunde.com is the culinary magazine of Oliver Wagner. Here, everything revolves around the almost most beautiful thing in the world: good food. The focus ranges from reports on exciting restaurants to recipes from his own kitchen, cookbooks and culinary gadgets.


Kochfreunde.com ist das kulinarisches Magazin von Oliver Wagner. Hier dreht sich alles rund um die beinahe schönste Sache der Welt: Gutes Essen. Dabei reicht der Fokus von Berichten über spannende Restaurants bis hin zu Rezepten aus der eigenen Küche, Kochbücher und kulinarische Gadgets.

Lunch at La Vie, Osnabrück

Almost four years have passed since my last visit to Thomas Bühner in Osnabrück. I have often played with the idea of finally returning to La Vie. In the meantime, they also open their doors on Fridays and Saturdays at lunchtime and offer a compact, four-course menu (89€). Reason enough to make the journey to Osnabrück.

Naturally, I was very curious to see what had changed in the years since my last visit. At that time, the third Michelin star had not yet been awarded, we had a consistently perfect culinary evening. Together with business friends we dined in one of the séparées on the second floor and were able to enjoy a menu that was outstanding in all respects, individually designed for our round under the motto Courage & Confidence. But also the whole atmosphere was very relaxed and extremely friendly, it seemed that everyone was united by the great pleasure of an unpretentious perfection, both in the kitchen and in the service. There was joking, laughing and talking together with the whole team of La Vie in a very charming way about each dish and its concept.

Amouse: Gillardeau oyster under algae
Amouse: Gillardeau oyster under algae
Amouse: Norway lobster, basil, tomato
Amouse: Norway lobster, basil, tomato

These consistently positive memories thus formed part of my scale of expectations even before the revisit. Of course, the atmosphere on the first floor of the restaurant is somewhat different, less intimate, and of course, a lunch menu with four courses (plus four additional intermediate courses and amuse-gueules) follows a different concept and rhythm than one of the large menus in the evening.


In fact, we first had to adjust to this somewhat brisker midday rhythm. But it didn’t just start quickly, it was also decidedly fabulous. The aperitif was joined by the first amuse-gueule in the form of an excellent Gillardeau oyster under crispy seaweed. The order for the menu was taken just as quickly. A little more peace, less speed and time to arrive and for the first drink would have been desirable (at least in our round). Still unsure whether I wanted to choose the sweet version or the cheese for dessert, I tried to reach an agreement with Thayarni Kanagaratnam to postpone a decision of such magnitude until later in the menu. So properly we did not find there together, with a somewhat brusque “cheese you get finally everywhere” I let this question then also out of my hand and submitted me to the sweet fate.

Goose liver
Goose liver as crème, Coca Cola jelly, arugula & lemon granitèe

The first official course, in retrospect, already gave part of the later direction of the menu. A rather mighty crème of foie gras, cooled in slanted china and topped with a Coca Cola jelly. Visually not really as beautiful and present as one would actually expect from Bühler’s cuisine – and unfortunately not the true pleasure, clearly too heavy was the crème and for my sensation also in connection with the Granitèe as a fruity companion not quite in balance. So our plates went back to the kitchen half-filled and recommented by the service.

Turbot, 2x broccoli and steamed noodles, Jabugo ham and stock

This was followed by a great turbot, bedded on various vegetables and complemented by a stock of Jabugo ham to be drunk separately. A great combination and a presentation that immediately reconciled me and reminded me of all the great pictures of harmonious and elaborately arranged compositions from Bühner’s kitchen, which I always followed with so much enthusiasm in recent years.

At this point in the menu, however, I had wished for the (still, by the way) advertised on the web ( no) Bouillabaisse Calamari, gurnard. After all, one of the absolute classics of the house. In preparation for our lunch together, I had even still sent to my table company this article from the world to this very course. The turbot was without question a good substitute, but I still think it makes sense to align the menus on the web with the reality of what is served in order to prevent (actually unjustified) disappointments. Managing Expectations.

Mashed potatoes, curry ice cream
Mashed potatoes, curry ice cream
Lamb saddle fillet in garlic-coriander crust, Comté as tart, sweet potato, wheat grass

The lamb was not only the main course, but also the impressively placed highlight of the menu. An excellent product, perfectly cooked and great combined with the sweet potato and the Comté Tarte. However – and this has been the case throughout almost the entire menu so far – much of the food on this plate is pureed, foamed or made into crème or a delicate tart.

Tanariva Lactée with marinated cherries and caramelized quinoa

When it comes to dessert from the hands of pâtissier René Frank, I have to admit with appreciation that I was nudged in exactly the right direction here. Here again everything is right, the beautiful presentation, the great play of the cherry in different textures with the chocolate (Tanariva Lactée is a “Grands Cru de Terroir” from Madagascar).

There are not so many concrete points on which I can base my slight dissatisfaction. Not all dishes really convinced, too many was me pureed, foamed or deprived of its natural form and consistency in other preparations sometimes for no reason. The service didn’t really seem to be on the ball, at least not as responsive and engaging as you might want. But maybe it just wasn’t an optimal day; after all, you can’t look behind the scenes.

Regardless of this, I am still firmly convinced that I can find fantastic culinary delights at La Vie, but for my part, maybe next time in the evening again and in a somewhat quieter setup…

La Vie
Krahnstr. 1-2
49074 Osnabrück
Fon: 0541 – 33 11 50
Mail: info@restaurant-lavie.de

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