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October 2006

Bits ’n’ Bites


Amateur chefs whose own dreams of culinary greatness have been shattered by a flimsy pan that scorched the sauce or a knife that couldn’t cut the onions finely enough, are well aware of the importance of competent tools in the kitchen. Whatever is on your menu, the following stores provide all the tools you’ll need to create the dishes (and drinks!) you dream of.

Manufactum in the Fünf Höfe (Tel. 24 24 36 69) is a large and airy space with scuffed wooden floors and high industrial ceilings reminiscent of a workshop or factory. It’s an appropriate design choice: The store’s name means “hand-made,” and the inventory features quality hand-crafted goods that will help you to better enjoy your own handicraft in the kitchen. Each item on display is accompanied by a laminated card explaining its provenance, and perhaps for some dubious shoppers offering justification for its price. Arare teapots from Japan (€ 75) are displayed alongside copper frying pans (€ 275), truffle graters (€ 19.50) and Yagatan vegetable knives (€ 13) modeled after French bayonets. Manufactum also offers high-quality ingredients worthy of its high-cost tools. To ensure that the little details aren’t the downfall of a carefully planned meal, cooks may wish to choose from a wide array of Spanish honeys (€ 6) and a small-but-solid variety of international wines. After press time, Manufactum will be in a new location in the Alter Hof near Dallmayr, Manufactum is open Mon.–Fri., 9:30 am– 7 pm and Sat. until 6 pm. The much larger location has room for an even wider array of singular items, as well as a bakery similar to those found in some of the chain’s other locations.

Kustermann (Viktualienmarkt 8, Tel. 23, 72, 50) is the largest of our featured locations. Here, shoppers can easily get lost wandering through its labyrinthine displays. From efficient Kenwood appliances to engraved flasks, picnic baskets (€ 32.50–269.00) and stylized gadgets by the infamous Italian design factory, Alessi, the store features absolutely everything you could need to create and enjoy wonderful meals. An incredible selection of fine china including Hermes teapots (€ 315), Wedgewood plates (€ 25/ea.) and Tiffany soup dishes (€ 213), means that you can nosh in style, and by signing up for the store’s gift registry, you can even avoid footing the bill. The store’s friendly and helpful staff is competently versed in the myriad inventory. They also present occasional demonstrations for querulous cooks. See for a regularly updated schedule. Kustermann is open Mon.–Fri., 9:30 am–8 pm and Sat. 9 am–6 pm.

So small, and so far off the beat-en path on its quiet corner near Sendlingerstrasse, Küche und Bar (Brunnstr.1, Tel. 260 39 31) belongs in the “out of sight, out of mind” category. But this gem should not be overlooked: Every kitchen tool you can imagine and some you probably can’t has somehow found a space in this tiny shop. The selection of bar tools here is what really sets the store apart: ice crushers (€ 59), margarita glass rimmers, (€ 35) wine coolers and plenty of other props for potables cohabitate with a solid collection of kitchen tools and such fun surprises as a vegetable cutter in the shape of the Chinese character for “luck” (€ 16.50). Küche und Bar is open Mon. – Fri., 10 am – 7 pm and
Sat. 10 am – 4 pm.
Exploring these stores is almost as inspiring as flipping through a recipe book. But before heading out to spark the creative process, beware: Using high-quality devices will leave you with no excuses for less-than-impressive concoctions.

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