Located at Viktualienmarkt, the restaurant’s been open since mid-November 2014, a sister to its Michelin counterpart in Vienna. The founder of the two Tians is Christian Halper, an Austrian passionate about seasonal, largely local organic ingredients. His mission is to offer contemporary, aesthetic cuisine that’s also ethical and sustainable.
After several confusing minutes spent floundering at Viktualienmarkt, wondering where on earth Tian was (I was convinced it had taken over the Milagros space, but that’s now the very antithesis of Tian – the El Gaucho steak house), I found it and was ushered to the bar to wait for Sasha, while the table was being cleared.
A waiter arrived with two prosecco glasses and a bottle of Markus Altenburger rose brut. He asked if we fancied a glass of bubbly while we were waiting for the table to be set, and we agreed. Both of us assumed it was complementary – a welcome drink while we waited for our table to be prepared. Alas, it wasn’t – and we were billed for them at the end. It was cheeky – and put a downer on an otherwise lovely evening. Maybe we’d have ordered prosecco anyway, maybe not, but coercion wasn’t the best example of service.
Thankfully, the rest of the evening was wonderful. Service was professional, and the food was exemplary. Tian really does have the best vegetarian food I’ve had in a Munich restaurant. It’s pricier than other veggie places – around 16€ for a main course, but I think this is completely acceptable for such aesthetic, delicious and ethical food.
After the most delicious amuse bouche I’ve had in a long time (cucumber salad with a creamy yogurt foam, served in oyster shells), we ordered. Sasha chose Breznknödel, salsify and psychedelic Romanesco broccoli, and I went for quinoa with Brussel’s sprouts, shitake mushrooms, parmesan cream and spinach. Tian also offers five-course set menus – either vegan or vegetarian, for 54 € or 62 € respectively, excluding wine. For dessert, we shared an earthy almond, apple and caramel sphere and a white chocolate and Tahiti vanilla boat with berries and a blood orange sorbet. They were incredible.
The restaurant’s decor is modern and minimalistic, while the bar offers a flash of colour and warmth. It’s a restaurant for special occasions, while being reasonable enough to return to month after month. Our bill came to around 40 € each, which is totally reasonable for dinner, wine and dessert.
Tian’s also open for lunch, with Flammkuchen, risottos and three-course set menus for 24 €. Much of their menu is vegan, and they are also careful to consider food intolerances. The wines have been carefully selected by Alexander Adlgasser, who was chosen as Leaders of the Year wine sommelier of the year in 2013.
Frauenstraße 4 (tram 16/18 Reichenbachplatz or U-/S-Bahn Marienplatz). Open daily until 11pm, and Sundays just for breakfast, until 11am.
(Images courtesy of Tian/Daniel Schvarcz)