Get ready for landing. In Munich, you can expect light drizzle, around 15 degrees, and still sunny appetite prospects: That’s how you could figuratively imagine the announcement when you land in front of the entrance to Mountain Hub Gourmet at Munich Airport. I’ve had the wine thing for a while now, and since a few years ago I’ve become even more consciously curious about food and cooking, so of course I keep my eyes open even more when new, cool restaurants or street food concepts appear on the scene somewhere. Even better when it happens in your own city. Admittedly, the airport, which is located a bit unfriendly far out in Munich anyway, is not on your radar as an exciting food address at first. Rather as a place for something quick to fill up with little flavor but a lot of euros. But it’s worth it to throw prejudices overboard, to briefly clean your own mental windshield and to jump over your shadow, I experience again and again in my personal Gentlemens Journey and am grateful for it. The same is true in this restaurant discovery. Because the Mountain Hub Gourmet, in the back of the restaurant of the Hilton Hotel at Munich Airport, offers really entertaining short trips on a plate that you can fly off to. I hungrily and investigatively researched what’s on the flight menu in a practical test.
Just outside the entrance to the Mountain Hub Gourmet area awaits the first adventure playground: Bonjour, wine cabinet.
When it comes to hotel rooms or restaurants, I’m simply a big fan of feel-good ambience. Beautiful architecture, beautiful design: I like it when there’s a smart idea for the eye. And an idea with a background. I just don’t like it when the most fierce design is at the start, but the room is just cold and without soul. When you look at the pictures of the dishes in the Hub below, you might be tempted to think of many star kitchens where you look for the food on the plate and wonder what you’re supposed to get full of. And in my case: on what basis should I please bed my wine? But even though the presentation of the dishes here is nicer than I could ever deliver in Power Point, it’s just the authentic design of the small restaurant area with colors and elements from the mountains – wood, green forest tones, gray, cozy materials, or as a highlight a gray colored butter in pebble look – that make the whole thing an approachable feel-good experience. Just check out the picture with the elegant design fireplace. And neatly satiated, by the way. But more about that in a moment.
The interior design focuses on colors and materials that reflect the mountain world. Forest green chairs, lots of wood, but everything interpreted in a modern way, not aloof, but very cozy.
Next to the moss green framed bar is a planted wall. A beautiful play with contrasts.
Please take a seat! Then the takeoff through the alpine cuisine starts.
Mountain Hub Gourmet: the culinary idea
The “Mountain Hub” concept combines two actually very different and contradictory themes: on the one hand, the international, busy Munich Airport, and on the other hand, the proximity to the Alps and the associated feeling of freedom. It was important to the team to combine these two factors in all facets and to put everything on one plate. In addition, the architectural ambience also plays a major role in the guest’s culinary experience. Over 24 months were occupied with the conception, since under the mark Mountain Hub also a further restaurant, as well as the hotel Spa with as mark were integrated.
The dishes look beyond the alpine rim of the plate, so to speak, and incorporate international cuisine vibes. For chef Stefan Barnhusen, the – for me – unusual location is the special attraction and also inspiration for new culinary departures: “Due to the special location at the airport, the daily airport hustle and bustle with international guests inspires a lot of new tastes, but I definitely get a lot of inspiration myself on my own travels. For me, the variety of a menu does not only come from the highest-quality basic products that are available. I enjoy the freedom to use all techniques, whether modern or classic.”
Chef Stefan Barnhusen composes taste experiences from flavors and textures in his unmistakable way. Always demanding contrast. Seeking the antithesis to each component. Setting the stage for every aroma.
The focus on conscious enjoyment is honored in the concept. A lot of attention is paid to regionality and seasonality, which begins with the selection of suppliers. Of course, this type of cuisine thrives on international components, but here, too, great care is taken to ensure that the products are sourced fairly, sustainably and in high quality. The selection would be made in direct contact and visits to the suppliers, which is also particularly important to the kitchen team, reveals the chef. Since one is regionally and seasonally on the way in the Mountain Hub Gourmet, the map changes once per season. For returning guests, however, they always try to develop new creations, so that variety is created.
Speaks wine fluently in several languages: Host Johannes Gahberger
A clear line is also evident in the wine: “For us, it is very important to be able to offer wines at fair prices. But they also have to be of such high quality that they can hold their own with the well-known producers. Here, too, the focus is on the Alpine region – in keeping with the concept. But anyone who wants to fall back on a classic and old-fashioned wine will be disappointed here, too.” I can sign that after serious practice research in such a way, in addition however more in the next section. For the fluent wine-speaking host Johannes Gahberger, the direct, honest manner is also a signboard: “Authenticity plays a key role, especially nowadays. The most important thing today is the emotional intelligence needed to meet the needs of each individual guest. This also has a lot to do with research and training. But above all, Austrian lightness comes through: Guests really appreciate open and refreshing service.”
Mountain Hub Gourmet: Dinner-Tour through the alpine region
Some dishes from the 10-course main menu are served for the taste journey. Depending on whether you count some small starters individually, you could also come to 14 courses, but the number is secondary, the taste counts. By the way, you can also choose individual dishes, but the team has already thought of something with the sequence, like choreographers with their moves, which together then result in a story. When I looked at the menu for our evening, I could see right away that there was a lot on it that I hadn’t eaten before, because it intimidated me, or, for example, the mackerel was there, with which I had had uncool experiences. In the end I tasted everything, because you should only form an opinion when you have tried things yourself. That also means sometimes jumping over his shadow, but I was also rewarded.
Flavor-intensive trio to start: kohlrabi and parsley on the left, a wrapped veal tartare with capers, and a filigree praline of mackerel.
Transparency on the plate: The char from Bavarian waters with horseradish and herb emulsion.
In the menu, I also try a course that, for chef Barnhusen, is one of the dishes that took a particularly long time to polish, that was a challenge, but in retrospect also became special. So to speak, young classics of the menu, of which one is particularly proud: “The char from the fish farm Birnbaum is such a dish for me: inserted as a ball on the outside sashimi and inside filled with tartar, in addition a fresh herb emulsion and iced horseradish pearls, a nice fresh course to start the menu.”
Filigree, honest, exciting and finely tuned, the whitefish with N25 caviar, apple and sour cream shows itself to be a very flirty partner for the apt choice of wine …
… a Grüner Veltliner Federspiel from the winery F.X. Pichler. Fish can swim, after all, and it does its seahorse here very happily.
Already after the first courses you can recognize a pattern. So it’s not mine on the knitted polo, but on the plate. The focus is clearly on product quality, but also on purposefully bringing out the characteristic flavors like Lewis Hamilton on the Formula 1 circuit. It crunches, it cracks, it bubbles, it refreshes, smooth textures alternate with nice crunch. Just like a beat by Ryan Leslie, you can feel that there’s an idea behind it, that it’s composed with subtlety, that it deliberately has rough edges, and that it’s everything, but not just one-size-fits-all. You don’t have to be a food junkie for that – I’m not either, but simply curious – but this exciting balance really makes you feel good. If there is something to complain about, it’s that the way to the toilet is a bit longer, but the kitchen can’t do anything about that, and wine was immediately poured at the right temperature.
The skrei with eel, sea buckthorn and swordfish broth combines several fish characters, edgy, with temperament, but never off track.
The pigeon with macadamia crunch and a really terrific jus was one of those dishes that made me flinch for a moment. Never eaten before. And: pigeon? So yes, already seen on Netflix Chef’s Table that the product is in demand in the star cuisine, but just even on the plate … Let’s make it short: this was a precision landing with such a soft approach, the play with textures and flavors also here really exciting and class implemented. Soft, crispy, intense fruity sauce, butter tender meat, and above all: fair portion. You don’t have to worry about not getting full. Looks like a work of art, but fills down to earth. In addition, with a dead wine from the Cinsault grape a fruit salad, which I did not know so yet, which has taken the pigeon very gentleman-like to the hand, oh sorry, the wing and carried wonderfully with unagitated-light, but classy, elegant-dark-fruity way.
Not only a visual hit: the dessert of coconut, shiso and blood orange.
Only on the genuinely with attention selected wine selection – including also sometimes unusual pairing – one may toast.
At Mountain Hub Gourmet, you can swap your boarding pass for an exciting menu.
I liked the way it starts from innovative alpine cuisine and travels across the world – not in an abstract way, but in a rousing way. The play with textures – creamy, crunchy, crispy – thrilled me so much that I jumped over my shadow and tried a few things, especially with the fish courses or the spot-landing pigeon, that I wouldn’t have dared to try. But perhaps this was also due to the wine selection, which was put together at the highest possible altitude, from Grüner Veltliner to the unexpectedly crisp Scheurebe-Spätlese. If you’re a wine fan who likes to do basic research and enjoys culinary discoveries, you should put this spot on your list of places to visit.
Even if I look thoughtful, you do not have to think long: Here you can book the next taste flight over the Alps promptly.
Mountain Hub Gourmet: the touchdown infos
Opening hours: Lunch – Wednesday to Friday 12.00 – 13.30 (Last order), Dinner – Tuesday to Friday 18.30 – 21.00 (Last order)
Adress: Mountain Hub Gourmet @Hilton Munich Airport, Terminalstraße Mitte 20, 85356 München
Contakt: +49 89 97 82 45 00, Email: email@example.com
More infos via: mountainhub.de/gourmet