Karlsplatz 25, Am Stachus, Munich, Germany

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This restaurant is on the first floor of the hotel of the same name in central Munich. The dining room has a handsome view looking out over the Karlsplatz (aka Stachus) square with its large fountain. The head chef since 2004 has been Martin Fauster, who previously was at Tantris for five years, including three years as sous chef there. It has long held a Michelin star.

The dining room is lovely, thickly carpeted with large, well-spaced tables and plenty of natural light coming in from the picture windows overlooking the square. There was an a la carte menu with starters from €28 to €38, main courses mostly €60 and desserts at €24, though tonight we went for a tasting menu at €155. The wine list was very extensive, with considerable depth in Germany and France, but with additional offerings from elsewhere. Sample labels were Dr Loosen Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Trocken 2016 at €40 for a bottle that you can find in the high street for €27, Weingut Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Grosse Gewachs Riesling Trocken 2012 a steal at €65 compared to its retail price of €84, and Domaine Zind Humbrecht Gewurtztraminer Clos Windsbuhl 2007 at €90 for a wine that will set you back €69 in a shop. At the posh end of the list there were references such as Coche Dury Meursault Les Perrieres 2007 at a seriously bargain price of €900 compared to its retail price of €2,293, and Domaine Romanee Conti Echezeaux 2002 a relative steal at €850 for a bottle whose current market value was €2,334. As can be seen, markups were quite kindly compared to London, and with some genuine bargains at the high end of the list. There were lots of my favourite Mosel Rieslings but tonight we decided to be adventurous and tried a somewhat obscure wine from a small Mosel producer (with 3 hectares, producing just 2,000 to 3,000 cases a year) called Willi Schaefer, a Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spatlese 2015 at €55 compared to its shop price of €46. This turned out to be superb, a classic tasting Riesling with lovely freshness and a touch of minerality; an excellent tip from the helpful sommelier.

Bread was from a baker called Arnd Erbel in Nuremberg, and we enjoyed good sourdough bread as well as flatbread, and a particularity excellent pretzel that was a world away from the rock-hard concoctions that you usually encounter in the UK or USA. The first course was tartare of a fish called Huchen that in English translates to “Danube salmon”, a somewhat obscure form of wild trout that is apparently prized by anglers. This came with basil oil, basil seeds and also basil roots. This has a delicate flavour, nicely lifted by the basil (17/20). 

This was followed by lake trout with avocado and green almonds, with a sauce of buttermilk and elderberry flower. This was another enjoyable dish, the mild flavour of the trout pairing well with the almonds and the sauce, the fish itself accurately cooked (17/20). Crab tartare came with two different types of radish and also sorrel, and a couple of pieces of very tender lobster. The crab was excellent, fresh and shell-free, the lobster superb and the thinly sliced radish adding a contrasting texture (18/20).

Egli (freshwater perch) came from the Alps in Switzerland, and was fried and served with boletus mushrooms and a smoked mushroom sauce. The fish was lovely and was nicely seasoned, the gentle smokiness of the mushrooms going really well with the fish (18/20). Burbot came with spinach and foam of potato, and a sauce made from the liver of the fish. Burbot, a freshwater fish related to marine ling, has like its cousin little distinctive flavour, so the liver sauce was quite a good idea in order to add some flavour. However ultimately I just don't think it is a particularly exciting fish, nicely cooked though this was (16/20). 

This was followed by calf head terrine, with tartare and terrine of calf as well as fried calf sweetbreads, served with tomato. The little sweetbreads in particular had excellent flavour (17/20). Scorpion fish came with carrot puree, hazelnuts, tayberries and a lightly curried sauce. This was another precisely cooked fish dish, the hazelnuts bringing a textural contrast and the gently spiced sauce nicely lifting the dish (18/20). My main course was venison with cherries, pumpernickel, mushrooms and foie gras, the deer served as both saddle and fillet. The venison itself had good flavour, though I am not sure it needed the foie gras, but the acidity of the cherries nicely balanced its richness (17/20). As a pescetarian alternative there was lobster Thermidor, with extremely tender lobster topped with a delicate cheese sauce, with lobster tartare and a little rice crisp with a lobster bisque (17/20).

Cheese arrived on a trolley, and was a fine selection from one of the top affineurs in France, Bernard Antony from Alsace. The cheeses were in good condition, and certainly the sourcing in this case is about as good as it gets. A strawberry dessert had quite a few elements: the strawberries themselves had unusually good flavour, strawberry sorbet had silky texture, a pair of square Florentine biscuits contained coffee mousse, and there were also two cubes of chocolate encasing a praline mousse topped with dark chocolate curls. Peanut ice cream seemed superfluous, and indeed I am not sure that the coffee element was really needed either. The various elements themselves were superb, but the dish seemed just a bit over complicated (still 18/20).

Petit fours comprised a raspberry tartlet, passion fruit jelly, chocolate with marzipan, marzipan with black currant, Grand Marnier flavoured chocolate with almond, a miniature cheesecake, chocolate with peanut and a further chocolate filled with cream of lime and yoghurt, These were excellent, the star turn being the raspberry tartlet, which had fruit with glorious flavour (18/20 petit fours). Coffee was a brand called Oro, and was pleasant enough. 

Service was lovely, out waitress being friendly, professional and speaking flawless English. The bill came to €229 (£203) per person, though this involved plenty of nice wine, including cocktails and dessert wine. If you ordered three courses and shared a modest bottle of wine then a realistic cost per person might come to around £108 all in. Overall we had a thoroughly enjoyable meal at Konigshof, the menu being appealing, the ingredients good and the cooking precise. It was also interesting to see the kitchen using some distinctly Germanic ingredients, such as the various freshwater fish, rather than just luxury staples like lobster and turbot. The standard of this meal, like my last one here, was clearly in two star territory (right on the border between 17/20 and 18/20) rather than the one star that Michelin actually give it. The wine list here is a real bonus, and reason enough to come here.

Sadly it transpires that the entire hotel is due to be completely demolished and rebuilt, closing at the end of December 2018, so if you want to try this restaurant then you will need to do so before then. Since the rebuild is scheduled to take three years, it is unclear at this stage what will happen to the Konigshof restaurant, but clearly the future of this lovely place is distinctly uncertain, which is a real shame.

Further reviews: 01st Mar 2007

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User comments

  • Scott Murray

    Andy Hayler is spot on, as always. This is a two-star and has been for years. I don't know why Michelin gives it only one. I have eaten here several times and chef Fauster's food has never left me less than very, very happy (and happier than a 2-star restaurant nearby did). The sommelier is wonderful and worth trusting absolutely (something I don't say often). He is responsible for setting me off on an enriching journey through Santorini whites. (A table of millennials arrived while I was there and ordered a magnum of Masseto before even looking at the menu. I guess they know what they like and were as happy as I was throughout the meal.) I stay at the Konigshof Hotel, so it is sad to think of it being demolished, though I also love the Geisel family's simpler hotel (Excelsior) around the corner. The family's Munich portfolio brings much joy and the delightful Konigshof restaurant should be enjoyed while it can.