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Relais & Châteaux, The Dresdener Hotel Bülow Palais, Dresden Germany
Breakfast at Relais & Chateaux, Hotel Bülow Palais in Dresden: Perfection in the Details
The Caroussel of the "Relais & Châteaux Hotel Bülow Palais" is considered "THE" culinary address in Dresden and has enjoyed good ranking among the country’s top restaurants for years. Here, Michelin star-chef Benjamin Biedlingmaier and his team offer a contemporary, fresh and seasonal cuisine with Mediterranean influence.
Comfortable chairs, chandeliers made from Dresden porcelain and light woods create a classically elegant atmosphere. To the restaurant belongs a winter garden, the light-filled heart of the hotel with a large glazed roof with ornaments. The seating capacity is for up to 35 guests.
The Caroussel is one of the first restaurants worldwide offering a complete service with the ‘White Gold of Saxony.’ All plates, bowls, and cups in various forms and sizes belong to the collection ‘Wellenspiel’ of the famous Meissen factory. Since three centuries Meissen Porcelain exists – tableware from which princes, kings, and head of states used to dine and still do.
Described on the website: A new era begins with Head Chef Benjamin Biedlingmaier. He brings a breath of fresh air to the culinary flagship in the regional capital. He brings a passion for seafood from the island Sylt, ingeniously pairing this with his love of French and Mediterranean cuisine. His dishes are colorful, light and playful. The delicate golden hues of the luxurious interiors create a friendly and warm ambiance that blends with gentle green tones.
I felt proud: Our Lebanese Chateau Musar wine has made it on their wine list.
Let’s taste and see: Walking the alley, seeing the awards, having a sneak peek at the inner garden put you in a good mood before even arriving and discovering a brightly lit space, big tables decorated with flowers, silver cutlery and old-style chandeliers on top of an orange carpet. It feels good to dine in a brightly lit space, the ceiling painted in green, several windows give you a view on the street, and a handful of paintings add color and life to space.
You are welcomed by a glass of sparkling wine or champagne, homemade grissini crackers, and a wet towel to refresh. It was the first time that I eat grissinis that are as thin as these. The wine list follows. “The kitchen staff would like to welcome you with a small mise en bouche,” the waiter approached us saying. Three layers in a verrine. Green pepper, mushrooms, and espuma of Parmesan. Served warm, the mix blends several textures together. A light spiciness caresses your tongue, creamy mushrooms and a kick of acidity.
At Caroussel, you can order individually from a selection of fourteen plates or choose the four, five, six and seven-course menus. While we chose the four-course menus, another welcome plate landed on the table — scallops with anchovies and sundried tomatoes. To feel the ingredients, you have to put everything together in one spoon. The softness of the scallops, the olive oil, the lemon, the mousses have of sundried and a rolled anchovy. I liked the balance of ingredients and the flavors that stay in the mouth for long minutes after you’ve finished your bite.
Another stop before the official dinner starts; Tender, spongy bread with butter, fleur-de-sel, and olive oil; I enjoyed the mix. Is the bread homemade, is the butter homemade? Why is the butter hard textured?
Dinner is served:
- Pumpkin praliné; pear, lamb’s lettuce, and goat yogurt. A sticky ball of pumpkin, battered and fried, a white yogurt cream, a pear mousse, and a green juice. Complicated things when coming together create a classy mix.
- “Faux Gras”; kumquat, brown bread, chili. Not the best of things I’ve had. A strong flavor of onions, a bizarre ice cream sorbet and no trace of spiciness.
- Halibut; leek, truffle and nut butter. Big-sized scary leaks filed with kimchi mayo, a fish, like any fish I had at a bistro and truffle oil aromas.
- Venison, chervil root, and orange. Good venison, a good sauce, some crunchy panko bits on top. Not Michelin quality though.
- Fourme d’Ambert, cornichons, pear and pecan nut: The cheese course: I was dreaming of a plate of cheese not a plate of complicated things set together like a mountain. The mix is too gooey, too acid and unpleasant under the palate. I didn’t like it at all! I’m not sure if the chef tasted it before serving.
Details I expected to be treated better: it's a Michelin starred restaurant after-all!
- When I write, I go into very detailed descriptions... I didn't find anything to write at Caroussel; this means something.
- Plates are not as clean as they should be. Fingers are clear all around the border.
- Bread can be better, softer, more innovative.
- The basket of bread remained empty during dinner with no refill. Why was it left anyway, alongside the bread plates?
- I’m curious to know why the fish spoon is set with every dish?
- Plates, spoons, and glasses smell bad for a five stars; the kitchen has a clear cleaning issue.
- Service lacks finesse and perfection.
- Plates take too much time to be prepared.
- Food is good quality, but there’s nothing super exceptional that made me want to scream, shout, smile and write long descriptions; prices are too high for what you get.
Now that dinner was done, the least we expected is that someone cleans the table. Left as is with a hundred breadcrumb, we waited for dessert.
Before dessert, we were offered a complimentary pre-dessert made of carrot sorbet, thinly sliced carrots, a mousse and cranberry coulis with some crunchy crumbles — an interesting combination but not the carrots that spoil the enjoyment.
Desserts are good enough, too complicated and missing unique distinct flavors:
- Coconut, coffee, amaranth, and almonds.
- Whiskey wood, spelt, tapioca and apple.
Three complementary desserts to end up the experience in style. Homemade cinnamon chocolate, chocolate macaron, and orange profiterole bite.
Conclusion: not worth it! This restaurant is too pretentious.
PS: it’s too hot in the restaurant.
I’m not sure who awarded this restaurant a star: if it’s simply for marketing reasons for them to have one restaurant in Dresden, the Michelin academy needs to reconsider its credibility! I’ve been to thousands of restaurants worldwide and believe me I’ve had better food and better service at French “bistros-de-quartier,” and at a lower price. An excellent hotel but can’t say the same about the restaurant.