For an evening at Sosein, you not only set off for the Franconian town of Heroldsberg, but also on a search for the essence of the products. Because that is the maxim of chef Felix Schneider and his team. In our recent case, the overarching theme of the menu was Fully Ripe and Passing , marking the gentle transition to autumn.
Although this is my first visit to Sosein, it was not the first time I have come into contact with the kitchen. It was only in April that I had the pleasure of attending a pop-up dinner by Sosein in Nuremberg. In a very cool location, the spring was ushered in there culinary. In addition, Stevan Paul read from his novel The Great Glander. Another and very special pleasure was the table company of Uwe Spitzmüller, who had just completed an “internship” at Sosein and could explain to me the dishes of the evening en detail also from the inside view of the kitchen. His very readable behind-the-scenes looks can be found in the virtual report card at Highfoodality.
In contrast to April, the menu this evening is not characterized by green freshness and the first products from the garden, but in accordance with the season, earthier, stronger and just fully ripe. With its very product-focused approach, it joins the ranks of my current restaurant visits around Nova Regio cuisine, or natural cuisine, wonderfully. At the same time, the handwriting in Sosein is somewhat different in many parts. Just like the interior of the restaurant. In a former stone farmhouse dominates a very clear and reduced design. Clear structures, muted colors and a generous arrangement of tables create a pleasant atmosphere. The guest area is divided into two rooms, we are placed in the smaller, more rustic area. It is Thursday evening and the restaurant is not really crowded, accordingly only this compact area is played.
We do not decide on the beverage accompaniment but instead choose the Graf from Maria & Sepp Muster, a Petillant Naturel “Rosa” in advance, and for the meat courses I look at the open red positions of the digitized wine list on the iPad during the course of the menu.
The prelude is five wonderful little snacks. First, a yeast cookie with fermented garlic. Strong and crisp, a crunchy start.
The onion that follows immediately releases a strong, sour-sweet aroma throughout the dining room. The onion heart is fried in goose fat and flavored with a currant smoke oil. Exceptionally good and surprisingly mild.
Just like the next little snack: a leaf of young spinach combined with small aromatic crutons and vegetables.
In the next aisle, I make the first acquaintance with a six-year-old heifer that was processed whole in Sosein. Here first the heart, combined with pickled vegetables and oat root. Strong, a slight acidity and small aromatic pieces of large heart muscle.
The vegetarian equivalent is a piece of baked ringberry on a spinach cream, also surprisingly intense and full of light smoky flavors.
Already a classic or signature dish in the restaurant’s young history: the Schlachtschüssel. Typically Franconian in aroma, but much more elegantly implemented. A perfectly cooked Bamberg croissant from our own farm is served together with the juice from the sour fermented red cabbage, on top of which some dried liver from the woolly pig is shaved for seasoning. A wonderful course that I was looking forward to days before.
The bread takes a special place in the Sosein and is served as a separate course with some ripened butter. That’s great. So good, in fact, that at the end of the evening we kindly ask what happens to the second half of the large loaf that was cut. So, in fact, the remaining half loaf travels back with us to Hamburg the following day, perfectly packed, and is carefully consumed here. Crisp crust, tender and airy crumb and a clearly perceptible acidity. How I wish I could buy bread like that from a baker somewhere….
Tomato, shrimp head: the description of the first official course. A great combination of fully ripe sweet tomato, some herbs from the garden and an extremely intense broth made from the heads of Bavarian shrimp.
The matured trout matured on honey-mustard-dill has its premiere that evening. She is butchered using the Ikejime method (here is a video of a demonstration of the technique by Dylan Watson from Ernst. The team also explicitly refers to him and his presentation during the performance). In addition to the subsequently matured fillet of fish, the insides of a fresh trout are combined. An exciting course in which the basic product comes out very well and multifaceted.
The following course I could already try at the Cooktank on the subject of natural cuisine and can only confirm my impression at the time: An extremely aromatic course full of umami and concentrated mushroom flavors. Only the mushrooms used I found this evening partly because of their consistency not quite as good as then.
This is followed by small noble pieces of chicken: liver, heart and gizzard, and sot-l’y-laisse or peacock piece. Since we are only four guests this evening, we are given these small pieces, usually the menu tends to use the whole chickens, however, I am very pleased with this exception.
But the real sensation of the evening comes in the form of the second encounter with the six-year-old heifer. The extremely long matured (3 months) back of the old cow is served perfectly roasted and is incredibly aromatic and a new refrenz for this particular type of meat. It is strong in bite and full of deep flavors, most comparable to the Spanish Txogitxu. The fire and bush beans are cooked in their own juices, also new to the repertoire, and complement the course beautifully.
With Tagetes and Blackcurrant, we now turn onto the culinary home stretch of the evening. The composite is combined here in various preparations with a light ice cream, I mean of fiche sprouts and honey ,.
I find the cereal even more exciting, that is, an ice cream made from the grain, plus wheat malt from our own production, caramelized and powdered, and a porridge-like porridge.
This is followed by a small donut, or doughnut, and a trip to the snack section.
Sosein is a very special concept. It is great fun to stop in here and accompany the culinary journey of the young and highly motivated team and Felix Schneider. The menu is extensive and has a nice tension and exudes the great enthusiasm for the products of the region.
Heroldsberg is not far from Nuremberg, but if you are traveling to Franconia just for dinner, it makes more sense to stay overnight in the town. And that doesn’t turn out to be quite so simple. Hotels have not kept up with the times to the same extent. On the premises there is the courtyard 9, but the rooms here look a bit in need of renovation. In fact, it would be perfect if Sosein could take over the entire complex and still transport the great experience of the dinner to the rooms in the hotel next door. In addition, you could then also access the sensational bread again first thing in the morning. In this way, Sosein could become a true destination restaurant. Everything else is perfectly prepared for this…
Particularly recommendable before a visit to Sosein (and in general, of course) is the two-hour interview podcast by Holger Klein with Felix Schneider.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 19:00