Time to write something about the restaurant Sein in Scheffelstraße.
For several years now, Karlsruhe native Thorsten Bender has been leading the restaurant to ever new peaks. On the occasion of the well-known cooking competition Koch des Jahres (Chef of the Year), where Bender is a member of the jury, I had a brief chat with him.

You simply have to salute his achievement.
Without investors or sponsors, Bender and his team recently won their second Michelin star.
According to the red gourmet bible, this award means that the restaurant offers top cuisine and is worth diversions.
I have to agree with that.
Those who manage to climb such peaks often have either a hotel or a generous patron behind them. Neither applies here. Chapeau

I recently tasted the “Querbeet” menu, read my notes here.

I would especially like to mention the fenugreek bread from the ” mood setter”, which proves to be a good bridge in combination with miso soup and chawanmushi.

Among the “pleasure makers”, all the entremets convince me. The “Golden Egg”, filled with Greek yoghurt, piment d’Espelette and chickpea, is particularly fun. The kitchen is already playing its little trump cards. Slight spiciness and acidity blend into a very nice, elegant and melodious overture.

Incidentally, it’s the first evening after the closing season. Service and kitchen are in the best of moods.

The six-course menu opens with Balfego tuna. The black garlic harmonises very well, red radish provides a fresh and exciting accent. The idea of using coriander is also great. Together with yuzu, it creates a Far Eastern sound that will stay with us for a while.

Next up is the Atlantic Carabinero. The kitchen prepares the “queen of prawns” to perfection.
Mango, cucumber, green pepper and matcha create a fragile frame for the shrimp, which sparkles bright red in it and spreads an extremely appetising perfume. Very nice!

The Breton turbot shines with its wonderful texture and reduction to its own aroma. This is achieved by a sparingly used red onion jam in combination with apricot, ginger and green almond.
I can literally feel the salt, wind and waves. That is the sound of this beautiful landscape, far in the north of France.

We fly to Asia together with a first-class Normandy plaice. Chanterelles, pak chor and katsuobushi form the background chorus for the dish.
It works, Bender plays very skilfully with umami, salty and sour here.
The plaice is still slightly glazed, it doesn’t get any better than this.

Borrowing from Japanese cuisine is part of the repertoire of many star chefs. By the way, the pioneer of the “movement” is Christian Bau, who is now also officially an “ambassador of Japanese cuisine”.
There is nothing to criticise about this. After all, it pleases our palate!

The Japanese Wagyu A5 can confidently be called the most valuable meat in the world and deserves to be processed accordingly.
Here the kitchen serves it with green papaya, fine, almost ethereal in aroma, with kimchi, miso and finally with ponzu. The latter is a strong seasoning sauce from Japanese cuisine.
All the elements are precisely matched to the Wagyu prepared à point. Perhaps a perfect plate.
For me personally, it could have gone on with fish. But that is a matter of taste.

The evening is rounded off with some excellent ” happiness makers”.
Quite classic, a madeleine, deliciously prepared. Yoghurt & amaranth, hazelnut & brittle and finally yuzu & plain.
All creations are balanced in sweetness and acidity, they convince with exciting sensory qualities and beautiful texture.
A worthy finale.
A fantastic menu. Often very entertaining, always elegant, sometimes very glamorous. As you would expect from a restaurant with two Michelin stars.
A godsend for Karlsruhe!

Restaurant’s Website…

über den Autor


Mathias Guthmann schreibt unter anderem für kulinarische Zeitschriften und den Schachsport. Seine Essays, Reiseberichte und Kurzgeschichten haben eine hohe Reichweite und werden in verschiedensten Fachmagazinen, auch international, publiziert. In der freien Wirtschaft berät der Autor eine Firma zu PR-Strategien.

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