Bauhaus Restaurant, located in Vancouver's trendy Gastown neighborhood, upends typical German cuisine, by transforming it into a fine dining art form.
When we heard there was a German fine dining restaurant in Vancouver we were intrigued. We have never heard of this before. Typical German food is heavy, filling, not pretty, but absolutely delicious! So when we read that Bauhaus Restaurant gave a contemporary spin to one of our favorite cuisines - we had to see it for ourselves.
The name, “Bauhaus” stems from a famous German art school in the 30s that combined arts and crafts with the fine arts. It has since come to delineate a modern style that blends art and design with technology that is found in both art and architecture around the world. It’s a completely perfect name for the restaurant, which streamlines rich German flavors into delicate works of art on each plate.
Located in a trendy part of Vancouver known as Gastown, the restaurant is beautifully designed and just cool, in everything from the art to the cement walls. Even the bathroom is worth visiting from the fun graffiti style art…one of the many nods to Berlin. It’s an industrial style, completely parallel to typical “Bauhaus design.” The ceilings are exposed, graffiti is in the bathroom, and for a second, it feels like we’re back in Berlin, one of our favorite cities.
Chef Stefan Hartmann has a badass sense about him. He’s the type of person you want to grab a beer with, spend all hours of the night wandering from party to party and just hang out with. He’s fun, and it comes across instantly. Fun aside, the chef is serious about his work. He knows the rules of German cooking and breaks them. The result is beautiful dishes that are undoubtedly German.
Chef Stefan is a Michelin starred chef that has worked all over Europe in some of the most revered Michelin starred restaurants. He's has since made a name for himself as a founder of “new German cuisine” and has earned praise from international food critics and publications. Although he’s super serious and renowned, his laid back demeanor trickles down to his team and makes us as diners feel comfortable and relaxed. Don’t let the casual feeling fool you though - the restaurant is elegant, the food refined and the attitude a bit punk rock.
Diners have three choices - they can order off the a la carte menu and have some of the freshest produce from British Colombia infused with Chef’s German capabilities or they can order the tasting menu - which we did. The tasting menu is where the chef really shines and his creativity comes out as he showcases his love and knowledge of German cuisine with his own special twist honed from years in working in internationally acclaimed restaurants.
You can choose between a five or six course tasting menu, which is smaller than many fine dining tasting menus but offers larger portions, such as a small steak rather than a few bites of each dish. The larger portions help link it to the homier style of German cooking that we are more familiar with and always seems to be oversized in portion.
Overall the food doesn't look German, except for maybe the schnitzel - but looks are deceiving. In every bite is a bit of German flavor, whether it’s bits of brown bread in the smoked mackerel or the root vegetables in the lobster consommé. We’ll see you soon Bauhaus!