It is located in a castle “Schloss Bensberg” in the suburb of Cologne, Germany. I arrived there about 8 pm on a Sunday night. The place was full. The restaurant is spacious allowing plenty of rooms among tables. Staffs were very polite and professional. Since I was very hungry and would like to try out as many dishes as possible, I chose the medium menu offering 13 courses.
Although the restaurant is located in a castle, inside is with modern setting and tables are arranged with proper space in between, providing customers with a relaxed mode.
The meal started with Amuse Bouche which was a plate with four petit-four looking items. They were not desert, but the appearance was so elaborate. It was rather unusual that chef devoted so much effort to the appearance, taste and quality for Amuse Bouche. Each of the four Amuse Bouche was a bite size, but each required substantial work to make it so presentable as well as pleasantly tasty. Chef Joachim Wissler is a true master of Amuse Bouche, expressing his big ideas in small bites.
Vendome served good variety of breads. Their focaccio was excellent, light, fluffy, tasty with crunchy top.
After Amuse Bouche, the 1st course was served. It was “Silence – a walk through the Forest." It was a plate of varieties of mushroom, mashed chestnut and some cooked or pickled vegetables.
The 3rd course listed on the men was “Raviolo – Calf’s Head: sweetbreads: meat-bouillon." Since I did not like sweetbreads, the manager offered “Mascarpone Ravioli mottled- Perigord Truffles: white tomato-Veloute” as the replacement. The ravioli filled with melt in your mouth mascarpone was fully covered with truffles. You can imagine the taste of truffles permeated my palate with great pleasure.
The substitute for the 11th course was “Brin D’Amour- lavender: sabayon." A cheese course with floral accent. It was very difficult to extract fragrance and incorporated into food and still remained the pungent flavor. This is also the 1st time that I tasted a floral accented cheese dish.
There was another dish, not indicated in the menu, was served as a palate cleanser. It was raspberry flavored frozen foam. It was frozen, with a fluffy and light texture probably made with some high-tech equipment. I had similar thing at Noma in May 2012.