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Agata's in Dusseldorf, Germany - 1 Michelin star

Rating: 90.
Rating index:
Extraordinary (96-100)
Outstanding (93-95)
Very good to Excellent (89-92)
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Düsseldorf currently has one two-star restaurant (the legendary Im Schiffchen) and seven one-star restaurants - not a huge number considering the city has a population of just below 600,000. Agata's is a restaurant named after its owner Agata Reul. The restaurant opened its doors in 2012 and the following year it was awarded a Michelin star (2014 guide). At the helm of the kitchen is chef Jörg Wissmann, who previously worked as sous-chef at Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant Nagaya in Düsseldorf.

Agata's is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. There's an a la carte menu (starters €14-€26, mains €29-€42, desserts €9-€18) and at lunch there's a set lunch menu (2 courses €25.50, 3 courses €31.50). In the evening there's also a multi-course tasting menu available (5 courses €88, 8 courses €112). I had lunch at Agata's with my husband and a friend and we all ordered dishes from the a la carte menu.  

First to arrive was a delicious amuse bouche of pumpkin puree, yuzu-flavoured miso, crisp radish and a slice of tender beef coated with caramelised crushed black sesame.

My first course was homemade buckwheat noodles and a soft quail's egg, served in an a concentrated cep broth that had been seasoned with bonito flakes, the latter adding a lovely smoky touch. To accompany the dish a glass of 10-year-old Bual Madeira was served, which brought out the nutty and earthy flavours of the ceps wonderfully.

Second course was a piece of 48-hour pork belly, lacquered with a dark and sticky soy-sesame sauce. Deliciously tender and rich pork belly, with a good meat-fat ratio. To balance the richness of the pork there was some oyster cream, pickled cucumber, kimchi cucumber and a small seaweed salad. Using a fresh oyster cream, instead of the more traditional oyster sauce, is a creative and elegant touch and the pork-oyster combination worked a treat.

Even better was my main course of beautifully cooked dry-aged Simmental beef, complemented by a terrific saikyo miso jus, that had a lovely touch of elegant sweetness. Also on the plate was a wonderful and well-prepared selection of vegetables, such as courgette, green asparagus, baby onions, grilled corn, radish and pumpkin puree. An outstanding dish with exquisite beef and great textures and flavours from the vegetables.

Dessert was various preparations and textures of pumpkin and pumpkin seeds. There was smooth and silky pumpkin seed ice cream, pumpkin powder, pumpkin seed cream, a few slices of pickled pumpkin, some pumpkin seed crumbs and finally some pumpkin seed paste. A lovely and satisfying combination of flavours and textures.

Agata's is a great place to know if you're looking for a contemporary Michelin starred restaurant in Düsseldorf. The interior design is light and elegant, service is informal and attentive and last, but by no means least, the cooking is accomplished and delectable. Today the kitchen delivered well-executed, attractive dishes with Asian flavours sensibly incorporated. This is the type of restaurant that clearly knows what they're doing and they do it well.

Posted 03-02-2016

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