Au Quai is well worth a visit for the harbourside views and sea-influenced menu, which includes king crab, caviar and freshly caught fish from the Elbe. The food is excellent and comprises a balanced mix of Mediterranean and local recipes such as fried cod with a warm bacon and potato salad. Finish with a scoop of Granny Smith apple and Calvados sorbet.
Au Quai, Grosse Elbstrasse 145, 22767 Hamburg, +49 (0)40 3803 7730
Jacobs Restaurant is an exercise in refinement and restraint. The restaurant’s interior, with its stucco ceilings, murals and crystal chandeliers, evokes the glamour of a bygone era. While the décor is truly grand, the menu steers towards the contemporary with panache. Chef Thomas Martin’s take on classic roasts is nuanced and clever, using ingredients such as rapeseed oil and fennel to maximum effect.
Jacobs Restaurant, Hotel Louis C Jacob, Elbchaussee 401-403, 22609 Hamburg, +49 (0)40 822550
The Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten boasts a collection of restaurants, but the Haerlin is arguably the best. Head chef Christoph Rüffer’s motto is ‘taste counts more than the optic’ although the culinary pairings he creates show a clear focus on flavour, texture and appearance. Highlights include the grilled Breton turbot and the Eiderstedt lamb. Don’t leave without trying the chocolates, which are made in-house.
Haerlin Restaurant, Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten, Neuer Jungfernstieg 9-14, 20354 Hamburg, +49 (0)40 34940
Located near the city’s historic warehouse district, Restaurant Brook serves sophisticated food of a standard and presentation rarely found. The service is efficient and the style of cooking has Asian influences: note the gazpacho with tuna and Thai basil, or the caipirinha parfait with pineapple carpaccio, which adds a wonderfully tropical twist.
Restaurant Brook, Bei den Muhren 91, 20457 Hamburg, +49 (0)40 3750 3128
Casablanca-born Wahabi Nouri, who was named German chef of the year by the Gault Millau guide, has brought creative flair to Restaurant Piment. His energy and exotic sensibility shine through in dishes such as the parsley foam with pickled vegetables, and the cottage cheese dumplings with ginger and raspberry sorbets. Reserve a place on one of the cooking classes to pick up a few tricks in the kitchen.
Restaurant Piment, Lehmweg 29, 20251 Hamburg, +49 (0)40 4293 7789
Housed within a former ship propeller factory, Restaurant Eisenstein bears all the hallmarks of German industrial design. The lofty, beamed ceilings, exposed brickwork and strip lights call to mind high-style austerity, and this chimes with Restaurant Eisenstein’s pared-down approach to food. The menu hinges on pizza; the piquant Fire and Flame and the Helsinki, topped with marinated salmon, onion and crème fraîche, are among the most memorable variations on the theme.
Restaurant Eisenstein, Peace Allee 9, 22765 Hamburg, +49 (0)40 390 4606