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Forhaus. My Kingdom for a House.


By Celia in UnderlandPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 5 min read
Top Story - January 2024

This isn’t my first visit to Forhaus. Forever to be known as ‘for a house’, you can have a wonderfully exorbitant time. It is set in a beautiful location, and the rooftop bar, a new addition to the ever expanding space, smacks of money. Mine.

But on a rather drizzly Friday afternoon, the overarching mood was, ‘**** it, we’re on holiday.’

And so it was that we found ourselves inserted into some rather expansive soft furnishings looking out onto the damp veranda, the railing - safe enough to protect drunken clientele but low enough not to obscure the beautiful architecture of the old synagogue (now a café/bar) in front.

My blurriness The Synagogue:

I have weirdly mixed feelings about this here ex-synagogue. Once, a few years back it was the chosen location of the staff Christmas ‘do’. A typically rambunctious affair that ends quite unceremoniously when the last teacher standing, is well, no longer standing. This phenomenon usually occurs somewhere between 3 and 5 am. Or so I am told, I have never been upstanding long enough to witness it personally.

This particular choice of venue was a little disconcerting to say the least. It seemed more than a little disrespectful to be shooting tequila in any religion’s place of worship, albeit this particular sanctum holding the status of ‘ex’, it just didn’t shoot right. All evening I felt as if I might meet a furious rabbi who would wag his finger at me for being so utterly impertinent. Which probably explains why I didn’t make it past 10pm, slipping out of the sacred doors, with the vague excuse of ‘tired’. It might also go some way in explaining why we have not returned for any other social gatherings, Christmas or otherwise.

Anyway, opposite, on arrival, the waiter, armed with a selection of exotic looking tattoos and an attentive demeanour handed us the freshly-printed drinks menu. There was an interesting selection, ranging from the classic Cosmos and martinis to the more enigmatic, ‘The 5 senses’, a concoction featuring Campari, prosecco and coconut liquor. Being the traditionalist that I am, I opted for the standard Margarita, mainly because any time I opt for anything else, I instantly regret it. My mum, being the more adventurous of our duo decided on the ruby-red gin with raspberry tonic.

More blurriness but Cocktails. Yay!

To be honest, I don’t think there could have been a smaller glass in which to house a marg. And at 7 and a half euros a pop, it seemed a little on the stingy side. My mother’s however, came in a goldfish bowl on a slender stem. For the first time ever, I regretted my choice. Mine was tasty enough but the raspberry creation was fresh and tangy, made much more appealing with the addition of a caramelised slice of blood orange. My unadorned choice seemed rather sad in comparison.

Not feeling the cocktail vibe, we decided to move on to ‘a bottle of red for two, please Mr Waiter’. But not first without perusing the accompanying nibbles. The selection is small but well-rounded enough to give a few options to enhance the wine experience. And, after a brief discussion, Salmon tartare and a small version of the tapas platter. As on holiday as we might be, with the cheapest red on the menu being Dunaj at a princely 33 euros. A very palatable option in my Slovak experience, we went with that.

Wine cellar

We played the game of sniff the wine, which quite honestly, makes me feel rather silly. A hang up, I’m sure, from my working class welsh roots, we drank 20-20 out of the bottle and cider from the can back in the good ol' days. And there was no sniffing of any sort involved. With all the pretentiousness that you might expect from a ‘rooftop’ bar with a ‘Cigar room’, our observant waiter, after the customary nod of approval, imperially poured our wine. By ‘poured’, I mean more drizzled. Like a balsamic drip that gets flourished on a gastro pub’s plating. When he turned his back, I topped them up. ‘Real’ glass style.

Wine time

The nibbles arrived after a rather long 30 minutes or so, given that everything was cold, it seemed a little excessive. But still, the plates looked pretty. The tapas arranged neatly on the obvious choice of receptacle, the wooden cheeseboard. The salmon on a rectangular pompous black slate.

Sadly, both were somewhat lacking. The tartare, was, exactly what it said on the tin, I guess. Salmon and avocado, with little else to speak of. Said salmon was on its last fins begging for some kind soul to add vinegar, salt, lemon. My lord a few sprigs of coriander? Anything.

And so the idea of margarita salmon was born. A careful, delicate blend of salmon, avocado and coriander, doused in tequila, salt and lime, with a generous spattering of coriander leaf, served quite probably with a baked nacho though possibly a tortilla. Though the former, we unanimously decided would add the necessary crunch. I’ll let you know how that little experiment goes, when we get round to giving it a kitchen road test.

The tapas-y thing was fine. Boring TBH. A sad selection of blotchy chorizo and other such meats (for my carnivourous companion), some plastic, red-pepper coated cheese and a few large inoffensive olives. Well not to me anyway. My mother, though, is highly offended by most olives. She did try. But again, after many years of obligatory olive tasting was once again, very not amused.

We left, 70 something euro lighter. Pleased with our lingering afternoon, and content to return to the sofa watching a few episodes of ‘Fred's Last Resort’.

Did we have a lovely time? Indeed, we did. Will we return? Probably not. For the price, it really wasn’t worth it. The view from my balcony, isn’t half bad- a somewhat more countrified vibe -fields and trees and what not. I’ll nip to Lidl and grab a 4-euro bottle of Dunaj. Hell, make it two for that price. I’ll steep the salmon or whatever it is you do to tartared said fish (more research needed obvs.) and we’ll while away another afternoon, and continue into evening cheapskate style.


About the Creator

Celia in Underland

Just a voice finding its echo. Teacher - reader-writer-cat lover. Wanderer. Weirder than a koala in The Arctic. Magpie for shiny words and stuff. Taking the scenic route home.

Admin @ FB VoIces in Minor

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Comments (20)

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  • Oneg In The Arcticabout a month ago

    Margarita salmon?? Sounds real good ngl. At least you had a special experience!

  • ROCK 2 months ago

    😂. I would love to go out with you to sip wine and laugh as I spit margurita and salmon out my nostrils. Condé Nast needs more reviews like yours. You got me smiling again after a very rough week. 🥂 Cheers

  • Paul Stewart2 months ago

    Enjoyed this and like Caroline...remember MD20-20 lol. Ah, the 90s and underage drinking lol. We got the cheapest stuff though. Think it was Ice Dragon, which was something stupid for like 2 litres of the worst cider ever lol. But, pished it got us. Anyway, I digress...I enjoy your travelogue/foodie type posts and this was another great one. Well done on the Top Story...and don't moan about the Top Story! LOL

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Caroline Jane2 months ago

    Congratulations on the top story. I had to smile at the 20.20 nod. We passed an "offy" a while ago and saw a bottle of the orange variety in the window. We "had" to buy it. 🙈 Now it sits in our utility room unopened and when "old" friends come over we trot it out ...👀👁 what we found!🤣 Ref the synagogue/religion venue I have a confession... I drank a bottle of prosecco in a deconsecrated church on Christmas day. Now that I have read your very wise unease I feel a little guilty!!! Ah well. Wine's religious isn't it?? No clue. Heathen through and through. 🙈 Loved sharing your day out. ❤️

  • Jay Kantor2 months ago

    Cc ~ Who you 'F'WordLess. I won't 'UnStand' on Ceremony. I checked out the menu - down-sized drinks and all - My Treat ~ L'Chaim ~ 'Sniff -Test' me out Jb Jay Kantor, Chatsworth, California 'Senior' Vocal Author - Vocal Village Community -

  • JBaz2 months ago

    We’ve all been there, holidays, exotic views (for tourists) and over priced mediocre food. Yet I almost always walk away smiling. Great review, and I now want a goldfish size margarita.

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    Fabulous!!! Fun review and Top Story too!!! Congratulations!!!❤️❤️💕

  • Naveed 2 months ago

    Excellent effort! Keep up the superb work—congrats!s😁

  • L.C. Schäfer2 months ago

    I hope you do lots more of these, I was smiling all the way through. This is too close to too many of my restaurant outings 😁

  • Good review of a lovely place I doubt I will ever visit (as much for the fact that I never learned to like alcohol as anything, lol).

  • Dana Crandell2 months ago

    A fun read, Celia! Home with the cheap stuff and whatever snackums we come up with has always worked for me.

  • Daphsam2 months ago

    That was fascinating. A bar café in an ex synagogue. That would feel a little weird too drink at for me. Thank you for your review. 

  • "My mother’s however, came in a goldfish bowl on a slender stem. " "Said salmon was on its last fins begging for some kind soul to add vinegar, salt, lemon." Hahahahahahhahahahahahaha I laughed so much for those parts! And the way my eyes widened when you said margarita salmon 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  • Mariann Carroll2 months ago

    Very interesting. A party in a Ex-synagogue. The venue and location pictures looks very nice 😊

  • Hannah Moore2 months ago

    Cheapstake is my style!

  • Raymond G. Taylor2 months ago

    Great review and truly engaging story. I don’t usually read reviews but glad I read this

  • Rachel Deeming2 months ago

    Get yourself down to Lidl! Loving your travel/gastronomy reviews. I always feel awkward with the wine tasting/sniffing thing too. Just pour the stuff!

  • Shirley Belk2 months ago

    I so love that you are down to earth and have had some fun times with MD (mad dog) 20-20. Enjoyed your "feasting."

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    I think I'd prefer the cheapskate style, as well. Good review. You obviously weren't impressed.

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