Restaurant Chiggeri, Luxembourg – 12 February 2012

Chiggeri consists of both a bar, a brasserie and a “real” Restaurant. I especially like the small room right off the entrance where all kind of candle lamps are lit and hanging from the ceiling. I have been there a good 5 times over the years and the same in the “gourmet” part of the establishment on the top floor. It had been a good 10 years though since last time, but having a far-away friend visiting the town, we needed something central that was open on a Sunday, which in Luxembourg is not as easy to find as one should think. At least all the good places I know are closed.

So having heard scary bad things about the restaurant just up to this visit – my personal expectations were rather limited.

Chiggeri is known to have the largest wine list in town, but recently people have often complained that one or the other bottle was not availalable any more – but still on the list. Anyway, we did not have that problem with the  white Morey-Saint-Denis we ordered  in the bar for aperitive –  or with the reds that followed. Just a note – the kind waitress in the bar would later also tend our table upstairs.

.

But here it goes – at 19.30 we entered the room and was ever so nonchanantly – with a hand move showed our table at the other end of the restaurant. Good style is simply to folllow the guests to the table I think.

My fellow diners both agreed that they DID NOT like the waiter or his style. I agreed he did seem a bit fresh – and not in a funny way. An irritating way. But I held on to my horses. We ordered a great wine – a recommendation of my friend – and for me a seldom opportunity to try out an American wine.

Greatness, smooth, deep -100% Merlot

Apparently – and also according to the irritating waiter this is an outstanding producer. I shall try to remember that, because I really liked it. It was not cheap though.

The amuse...

It was not “Here we go again” – in respect to being offered a greeting from the kitchen that were out of place – but it looked better than it tasted. The terrine of rabbit nice, the fennel creme on top, tasteless, at least I could not find the fennel taste anywhere. 2p

I have forgotten why – but at this point I had to admit to the others that the waiter was getting on my nerves too. A younger waiter had emerged and served other tables, he was poorly dressed for a waiter I noticed. Also the waitress from the bar was now in the room and she was by far the only one acting like she belonged in the restaurant. However, neither of them prevented me from serving our wine ourselves a few times. No problem. I am grown-up – I can handle that.

Gravad Salmon with dark bread and Heering eggs....

Best dish of the evening. A very rustic tatste with plenty of dark bread. Especially the creme on both sides with the false caviar was great. And added just what the very crunchy bread needed. The salmon I have had a lot better, but the dish worked, there seemed to be an idea behind it. 4.5p

Zucchini with goat cheese and tomatoes...

Nice simple pesentation, the taste lacked a bit, both salt and pepper wise – and although the dish contained all the favourite ingredients of the missus, it failed to impress her. 3.5p

Scallops on a mash of carrots

Again the choice of the missus. The scallops cooked almost perfect…a bit too much but they were still tender. She knows how they must be and that how she likes them. The mash with good taste. 4.5p

Filet of beef from a buffalo - Caribbean style...

When I look at the picture I remember two things. That funny smell that came with the dish. From the meat. I was almost afraid to eat it. But I have no great experience with Buffalo meat, and maybe it does smell more strong. Funny thing when answering the irritating waiter how I wanted it cooked, I answered – as always – I would liked it cooked just the way the chef wants to present it to me. That will be rare, he informed me. OK, I said, rare it is. I am lucky to be able to eat and enjoy beef from raw to well done. But it is seldom that the chef proposes rare – or bleu as it is called around here. And bleu it was. However, I do think that it fitted the dish and the caribbean mango salsa on top. But I had that smell throughout the dish, and could not quite obstruct from it. The second thing I “remember”…is that I have no idea what kinda mash it was. It cannot have been that interesting I guess. I think I would have loved some fresh choriander here…but maybe thats not Caribbean, I just think it would have fitted the dish. The meat was not as tender as I had hoped, despite being bleu, – but again – maybe that is that certain breed and not the quality. I honestly do not know. 3p

I have no picture of the main dish of my friend, but I shall duly note, that it looked like a mess, not as neatly arranged as our plates. I do believe it was sea-bass. But apparently he liked the dish.

My conclusion:

Several disturbing factors here, but not nearly as bad as I had feared. But the waiter did not make up for the short-comings of the kitchen, on the contrary. He was waltzing around like a street boy in the ghetto, no offence to those, looking like he owned the place. Maybe he did. My advice. Get your act together and your nose down. The wine list is amazing, especially if you like older wines. They have a vast amount of old bottles of any wine region you can think of. The food is really not that interesting, but it is eatable. The room is nice – old fashioned, rustic. I would add a lot more candles if it was my restaurant. Will I be back any time soon. I think not.

My rating for this visit:

Food  4p (10) service 3p (5) ambience 3.5 (5), Total Score  10.5p (20)

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8 comments on “Restaurant Chiggeri, Luxembourg – 12 February 2012

  1. Chiggeri says:

    Monsieur,
    Nous avons bien étudié vos critiques et ne sommes pas tres convaincus par vos arguments :
    En effet, vous trouvez votre soirée trop chere alors que vous avez consommé pour 268 euros de vins et 47 euros par personne en nourriture, ce qui est assez raisonnable je pense…Nous recevons chaque jour nos produits tel le saumon que vous avez dénigré ,nous pensons que vous etes incapable de faire la difference entre un saumon d’élevage et un saumon d’Isigny, d’ailleurs le saumon que vous avez consommé était un gravlax…Vous voulez que la viande de bison ressemble à celle du boeuf, nous ne pouvons que vous conseiller de ne manger que cela alors…
    L’autre problème vient du fait qu’avec internet n’importe quel bloggeur peut se dire critique gastronomique et publier n’importe quoi.
    Prendre une photo d’un people devant un établissement comme le Georges V, constitue t il votre seul fait d’armes? publier les photos des plats que vous auriez soit disant gouté n’aurait il pas été plus professionnel?
    Le contact avec notre maitre d’hotel n’a pas été à la hauteur de vos esperances, mais son parcours au sein de notre entreprise et les retours que nous en avons depuis plusieurs années ont toujours été positif alors permettez moi encore une fois de mettre en doute vos pseudo analyses:::
    Aurions nous du vous inviter comme la Mirabelle l’a fait afin d’obtenir les memes notes élogieuses? Il semblerait que cela soit une habitude chez vous…
    Nous vous conseillons vivement en tant que “critique” d’avoir une opinion objective par honneté envers vos lecteurs afin de garder un semblant de crédibilité pour l’avenir:
    Notre maison est la depuis 17 ans, preuve de la constance de notre acceuil et nos produits:
    Que votre blog dure aussi longtemps !!!!!
    La Direction du Chiggeri

    • bo frederiksen says:

      Dear Sirs,

      Thank you for replying to my review. Unfortunately I dont read perfect french, but I do understand the sentiment that you dont agree with my review, and secondly that you question how obejctive etc I can only say that I seldom dine alone – so my experience is the experience of the table. You point out the fact that the wine was a huge part of the bill. Welll, dont you think that in that case the nonchalant waiter should have found time to serve it ?
      I never claimed to be a gastronomic expert, but I do have a certain experience in dining as a normal person, a customer, and that experiece I love to share. Live with that. I would question how objective the so-called experts from lets say Michelin really is. But thats another story. You have a nice restaurant, with a nice ambience, a nice ambition level. I think there were several things that was not working on that evening. But the real disturbing fact was the male waiter…and I think you should be happy that I told you this.

  2. bo frederiksen says:

    well now I used google translortor…you have to love the internet – or not.

    As for my credibility…

    The fact that I tell people that I have been invited tells it all I think. I could have kept that for myself. Let me just mention it again. I have been invited twice to a restaurant by the restaurant itself, and each time it was mentioned in my review. One time Mirabelle and one time Clairefontaine.

    I did not mention the gluten issue and how it was treated on that evening in my review. I told you personally in my email. It is however a huge issue for the people affected by the allergy – and their dear ones.

    I was the last one of the company that evening to be annoyed by the waiter. I mention that.

    I think a restaurant like yours scould score a good 11-14 points. On that evening it did not come into that frame of mine – mainly because of the “head”-waiter.

    I mentioned in my that my friend liked his main dish. I published that without having a photo, because being fair – he really liked it – and people should know.

    I called the beef – buffalo – and apparently it was Bison – my mistake. I apologize. It does not change my sentiments though.

    As for me mentioing Le Cing in my list of favourite restaurants….yeah you are right…I should have a photo from some of those dishes. I did not bring my camera on any of those 3 dining occasions. But I did bring my wife….and I love the photo I shot and published. But hey, point taken. Maybe we should go together to Le Cinq ?

    As for how long my blog will last…well I dont know. I hope Chiggeri will last longer, and it probably will.

  3. Johan Ludvigsson says:

    Hi Bo,
    Being a frequent reader of your blog my thoughts are usually that you tend to give a fair to above fair review. Meaning that you usually give the restaurants the room to not be perfect on the day of your visit.
    I think it is sad to see that your last visit to Chiggeries was not up to expectations. Mostly because you did not get the full experience that you were hoping for, but also for Chiggeries not being able to deliver as expected. As you rightfully mention they probably had a day of and would probably do better another day. After reading the review I would probably wait a while before I visit Chiggeries but what really does it for me is their response to your post. To me it comes across as ignorant and downright stupid. What ever happened to -the customer is always right? They should just fess up and promise to deliver better, not start an argument.
    I want to thank you for writing some great review and dont let this little mishap put you down. We are on your side.
    Best regards,
    Johan

  4. bo frederiksen says:

    Thank you Johan Ludvigsson, also for reading my blog.

    Yeah, You know, what can you do.Had Astrid´s scallop not been slightly overcooked. Had The management been in the house, maybe the head-waiter would not have tended our table, and he would not have irritated us the was he did.

    I dont think it was that bad, neither the review nor the restaurant, but there were certain flaws. The highlight for me that evening was the wines, the female waiter and the salmon dish.

    Nah…. I am not put down, but maybe thats because my French is not that good. LOL.

  5. Mickael says:

    Bonsoir … Je viens de lire les commentaires de mr Bo a l’égard du chiggeri et suis déçu de la manière par laquelle mr meril se défendent . A savoir que j’ai eu 3 expériences négatives au chiggeri autant a la brasserie qu’ au “GASTRONOMIQUE” a la fois pour la qualité de l’assiette ou les prix ne sont point justifie, tant l’arrogance du service . Service et non suivi, personnel non attentionné et ne sachant pas ce qu’ils servent!!! Également c’est bien beau d’être dans le guinness book pour la carte des vins mais lorsque vous commander une bouteille et que l’on vous dit qu’il n’y en a plu… Et ce trois fois consécutif …. Ça me laisse perplexe!!! Mais bon si mr meril était plus présent ou si il avait une VRAI personne de confiance peut être qu’on en serait pas la!!!! Cordialement ….

  6. bo frederiksen says:

    Well, I thank you for stopping by Mickael and for taking the time to comment on an older post. I dont speak French perfectly, but I do think I get the sentiment, that you share my sentiments and experience more than Mr. Meril will be happy to hear.

    I must admit I was a bit astonished by his reaction. Giving the fact, that I left out a few of my complaints and only told them to him in a private email in the first place.

    But – at the end of the day, I am sad to hear that you have also had bad experiences at Chiggeri.

    When all come to all, what we – the customers – want to avoid is bad experiences. Life is too short for bad food or in this case even more so – bad service. And if Chiggeri has customers that are not happy, they should be happy to be inform and this way be able to correct or improve.

  7. The arrogance of the statement by the Chiggeri, makes me clearly avoid their restaurant.
    Thanks Chiggeri for letting me know

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