[WERBUNG/AD – Gifted Experience] Welcome to Foodie Friday! Today’s Grist & Grain review is part of a special weekly feature from @whatandieeats, featuring a new restaurant recommendation every week. For more tasty food photos, be sure to follow her on Instagram.
Hello Munich Foodies and Happy Foodie Friday!
This week, thanks to a kind invitation from Grist & Grain, we are taking you on a culinary roller coaster, but not in the sense that you might think. The highs are high and the lows are, well… pretty much also high.
What I mean about the roller coaster though is that during the course of this meal, I was constantly surprised and so was my stomach. I was also eager to get back in line.
So, keep reading if you want to know why Grist & Grain should be on your Munich Food Bucket List!
First Impressions: Grist and Grain
Grist & Grain is a local Munich restaurant located in beautiful Schwabing, slightly hidden along a quiet side street… but that’s literally what makes this place a “hidden gem”.
Here, they serve up a delicious mix of surf and turf, where ingredients are locally and sustainably sourced to ensure that the food quality is perfect and consistent in every bite you take. This can be expensive depending on what you order, but after you read my review, maybe you can decide if it’s worth it.
What We Ate: Starters
Let’s dive right into the four starters we had beginning with the Gespazcho di Pomodoro. This dish was certainly a treat! Traditionally served cold, this Spanish dish at Grist and Grain was impeccable. It was just the right amount of tomatoey goodness without the “I came out a can” taste, which I find most tomatoey dishes can have.
Overall, the soup had a nice element of crunch from very finely chopped veggies and was topped with fresh tomatoes and basil. It was also perfectly seasoned and because of its cool temperate, extremely refreshing. Now, this was quite a fancy place so licking the dish wasn’t appropriate (when is it ever really?), but trust me I can say there wasn’t a single drop left in that bowl.
Now let’s hop over to the soft shell crab. OK, so call it my culinary ignorance, but I have never tried soft shell crab before, nor have I really ever heard of it… What can I say, I’m from Texas. If it doesn’t come from a farm and eat grass, it’s rarely on the menu.
I am so happy my first encounter with this dish was at Grist and Grain, and I feel l now have a very high standard of how it should be prepared. It was served up tempura fried and baked on a bed of Kimchi with drops of lemon quark which made the whole presentation even more aesthetically pleasing.
I can’t even begin to describe how good this dish was. It was one of those dishes where the first bite actually surprises you with every single element it consists of; the taste, the crunch, the juiciness of the butter that pours out into your mouth with every bite. See, there’s that roller coaster I was telling you about.
At this point we thought ok, can this meal get any better? Lo and behold the gods heard us because we then got served the beef tar-tar with the most beautiful drop of egg on top. I have to say, I love meat. I’m one of those people that says, “I’d like to be a vegetarian, I’ll start tomorrow.” But then I get dishes like this that make me think, how could I ever.
Beef Tar Tar is something I often order off the menu. It’s basically seasoned raw meat with an egg on top with some sort of side. All restaurants prepare it differently but not all get it right, at least in my humble opinion. The tar-tar at Grist and Grain was perfect. It was juicy, creamy, seasoned to perfection and just overall good. I literally can’t think of a word to describe this dish other than it was blissfully good.
The mushrooms on the side also kicked my tastebuds into gear. I even told the owner that I hated mushrooms, which I normally do, but I loved these! They didn’t taste like dirt, which I encounter quite often when eating mushrooms.
And while I usually avoid ordering them, when they’re paired with one of your favorite dishes, you have to cave… and they certainly didn’t disappoint. Did Grist and Grain restore my broken relationship with mushrooms? Maybe…
I know I said that this place is more surf and turf, but that doesn’t mean the chef can’t get creative.
For our FOURTH starter, we had the homemade wontons…
Again, I need to mention that I don’t like mushrooms, especially shiitake mushrooms. Some will say that’s blasphemy, so sue me… HOWEVER, the shiitake mushrooms in these wontons (marinated with glass noodles), were cooked so richly that again, I didn’t have the overpowering taste of earth. It was just the right amount of flavor to get me going in for another taste.
We finally made it to the main course, are would still with us? Or maybe you’ve already closed your computer and are on your way to Grist & Grain. To be honest, I wouldn’t blame you! Well, if you’re still here you’re about to hear about the most amazing steak I’ve probably ever had, and there’s a good reason why.
The steak I had was the Bloody & Well, an Ox steak served so perfectly cooked that no one would blame you if you were to shed a tear. A moment of silence for the beautiful creature that produced the luscious meat I had the honor of eating, your gift was not cooked in vain. Have you ever eaten something and immediately sank into your chair, almost in defeat with the thought that up until that moment you have never actually eaten anything in your life? I had that, for the first time ever.
This sculpture of meat was everything, literally everything. Where do I even begin?
I tend to judge my meat by the type of knife I need to cut it. Normally I always ask for a standard steak knife, you know the kind with the black handle and the fiercely serrated edges that are meant to tear through flesh…
Well, have you ever cut through a steak with a butter knife? The owner convinced me that it was a steak knife, but I think that goes to show the types of steaks I’ve had in the past. Cutting through this steak was like slicing butter, no – room temperature butter. The tenderness of it all just engulfed me. For a moment I forgot where I was or what I was doing, I was in such awe. But then the first bite, I was done. Done with every other thing I had eaten in the past, the only thing that existed up until that moment was me and this ox steak.
From the perfect salty crunch of the seared top and bottom to the wonderful rare but not overly bleeding warm center… wow. I did not deserve to eat such a filet! No one does. The steak was glazed with a chimichurri sauce that sent this dish over the edge, atop a nest of perfectly parmesaned potato croutons. I don’t know how else to tell you this, but if you haven’t tried this dish, you’ve been starving up until this point.
The second main course we tried was the Tuna Steak which rested upon cubed red beats with a side of wasabi puréed potatoes. You’re probably wondering how I could follow up that steak with something else, well keep reading cause I’m gonna try.
This tuna filet was unlike any other fish I had ever had. To be fair, I don’t usually order a fish filet if steak is on the menu, but I’m happy that we got to try both because I definitely would have been missing out. The tuna was delicately cooked with a nice raw center. Along with a combination of the sweet red beets and spicy wasabi purée, this was a pairing made in heaven.
The combination of all three was something I don’t think I could have ever imagined together, but the chef at Grist and Grain really knows whats he’s doing. I would suggest that if you are going on a date or with a friend, order both of these dishes and don’t dare to be greedy, although I can assure it will be difficult.
If you can imagine, yes, we still had room for dessert. One of the great things about coming from Texas is that we eat so much and our portions are so big that our stomachs become wastelands for food, especially good food.
For our last course, we had two very simple yet very delicious desserts. The first was a slice of heaven AKA the lime quark cake. If you aren’t a dessert person like me this might be for you. It wasn’t sweet, it was tangy and creamy and melted oh so calmly in your mouth. Topped with a lime jelly and lime zest and lined over a baked crust this dessert was everything a non-sweet eater would love. I always go for a more tangy desserts cause that’s my style. I was thoroughly pleased with this choice.
We also had the pleasure of trying their Kirsch-Liebstöckel-Granité. You’re probably wondering why I didn’t write it in English, well the word doesn’t translate well, at least not well enough to perfectly capture this dessert. It was basically shaved ice, the kind you beg for as a child but with actual flavors and colors from nature. This icy treat was perfect for a hot day, again not too sweet, just the right amount of natural cherry flavor from real cherries.
Overall Impressions of Grist and Grain
Overall I would say my experience at Grist & Grain was beyond exceptional. My tastebuds were constantly on the edge anticipating the next bite, very much like a roller coaster where you don’t know how steep the next dip is but you love every bit of it.
It’s the type of place that is a little fancy but not fancy enough that the owner hides in his office. Dirk Gerrard, the owner, was also our waiter. He was attentive and extremely knowledgable about food, not just the food at his restaurant but food in general.
Leonie was our other waitress. She was also super knowledgeable about the menu which I find quite refreshing. Sometimes you go to a place and ask a question and the waitstaff doesn’t have much information, but it’s nice to know that the staff here are well versed in the dishes they are serving.
Overall, I have to say: go visit this place! As I mentioned at the beginning, it can be a bit pricey, but trust me, it’s worth it… TOTALLY worth it! Not only is your money going to the local food community around Bavaria, you’re also getting an exceptional culinary experience in return.
To learn more about Grist and Grain and to make a reservation, be sure to visit their website here.