For many years, the long, curved counter at Kevin Fehling’s three-starred restaurant The Table has been the benchmark in Hamburg when it comes to the highest possible accolade. I have often taken a seat here in the past years, both privately and again and again for reporting or joint collaborations. The other day I was back in Shanghaiallee after a long break, this time with two good business friends to celebrate a successfully completed project. And of course, the table is also and especially predestined for exuberant and very special evenings.
So even though the focus was not exclusively on the dinner this evening, I still recorded the current menu sequence here and made some exciting observations – of course, my notes turned out a bit tighter in this context.
The gateway to the world
The current menu (250€) already plays in the title with the balancing act of local ties and at the same time opens the space for flavors, dishes and products from very far away and is thus already the first constant on this evening.
A constant that is directly followed by the second with the first snack, the Labskaus. The macaron on the iconic Table wooden board is virtually a classic of the house. Delicate on the outside, now much more rustic and lush on the inside and filled with clearly recognizable components.
An Indian taco brings directly exotic impressions and a pleasant light spiciness that harmonizes perfectly with Perrier-Jouët Blanc de Blancs.
Egg, aspic, trout caviar comes in the ever familiar chicken foot cup, which I unfortunately still find a bit weird. Apart from that, these two snacks are of course great fun, especially the Bun Mexico again testifies to great craftsmanship and awakens wanderlust.
Hamachi with raspberry, coconut, horseradish & beet impresses above all with the high product quality of the yellowtail mackerel, which is delicately supported by the other components.
Unstuffed foie gras on blackberry, shiso, ponzu & nori seaweed. And again, I’m glad to see that the days of foie gras being pressed into elaborate molds are long gone. In general, the presentation of the dishes is now much more product-centered, but at the same time always underscores the high level of craftsmanship and the immense effort behind the implementation. But more discreet, more elegant and much more natural. By the way, a sensational course, which also does not have to make the guest feel guilty thanks to the use of Happy Foie Gras.
Cod with “AKI” caviar on coriander emulsion, ponzu vinegar foam & miso sets the ideal stage for the caviar. Together with the perfectly cooked fish and the intense, very creamy emulsion, every spoonful is a delight.
Ceviche with radish & apple-jalapeño ice cream then gallantly leads into the evening’s meat courses.
Quite different then the crépinette of quail “Rossini” to truffle cake, duck liver, tarragon & sauce Choron. A sensational plate, with quite a lot of appeal to the great classic and yet quite modern and simply stunning. Exactly one of those great dishes for which every journey is worth it to open the gate to the world a little bit.
So it continues with the saddle of venison and braised ragout on apple, pointed cabbage maki, sherry vinegar hollandaise & pepper jus. Intense, great products, staged clearly and precisely and a reference for a modern game dish.
It’s always hard to get me to go on great gales of enthusiasm when it comes to sweet courses – and once again, the lemon yuzu tart with fennel, sancho ice cream & cantuccini doesn’t want to do that in the final analysis.
Some very nice Petit Fourfollow : Kindercountry Guatemala, Strawberry “Raffaello and blueberry cheesecake. This is excellent patisserié and great craftsmanship, but it also feels a bit like the classic dessert variation with many components and little conceptual superstructure. But maybe the last two courses just didn’t hit the mark 100% for me.
What remains, however, is the certainty that The Table serves some of the best courses currently available. And rarely have the products, classic craftsmanship and a clear, often straightforward presentation that is committed solely to taste been more central here. Above all, it is the large, complex courses, such as the quail or the saddle of venison on this evening, that tell of opulence, depth and always of Kevin Fehling’s individual signature. Good to be back, again.
The Table Kevin Fehling