The thing that has impressed me most during this strange season of takeaway geese is how well restaurants manage to pack their stuff. Not that I was expecting my geese to be wrapped in an old newspaper, but the variety of boxes and jars I have seen, all carefully sealed and arranged inside the bag as not to spill have earned the restaurants a lot of my respect. If you are wondering what the rating “atmosphere/service” means at the time of a lockdown, it’s basically packaging, ordering experience and the smile they give (or not give) me when handing over the bag.
I was therefore quite surprised when I took the contents of ÖEINS’s bag out only to find that the goose’s wing was simply wrapped in a double-layer of aluminum foil. The second aluminum-wrapped bundle held an open container with a dumpling and red cabbage. The container was also made of aluminum – so much for being microwave-ready. The only content that did not present any danger for a microwave oven was a small plastic jar with the sauce. As usual, I made quite a few holes in its transparent cap with a fork and placed it, together with a plate with the cabbage into the oven to warm up.
A couple of minutes later, the microwave started to beep like mad, while continuing to rotate the content inside it. A closer inspection revealed a seriously deformed plastic jar and the oven full of grayish sauce. On impulse, I took the oven’s sauce-stained inner plate out and poured whatever hot liquid remained on it over the goose, just not to have it totally wasted. There was not much of the sauce left, really (most if it remained on the floor of the oven), but the moment it hit the goose, I regretted my decision. What if the plastic cup actually melted into the sauce? As the sauce-sprayed goose was rotating inside the microwave making very suspicious noises, I carefully examined the cup. It was open and twisted but otherwise intact, which calmed me down a little. Still, the dinner did not start well.
The first forkful of cabbage brought the next disappointment. It was appalling. I would have been ready to blame the sauce disaster, but unfortunately I had noticed that something was not right about the cabbage even before placing it into the oven. It smelled funnily, almost of fish.
Pushing the bowl with the cabbage away, I tried the goose and was blown away by the quality. OK, maybe “blown away” is an overstatement, but the goose was really good: fresh-tasting and smelling, crunchy and salty at all the right places and with more meat than two goose portions from some other restaurants. ÖEINS’s cook knows his stuff when it comes to geese. Even the dumpling was not bad – I finished it despite the absence of sauce, which I am sure would have made it even better.
Thus, the dinner was saved, and I was contemplating on how the first impression could be wrong and blaming myself for being so lazy and stupid as not to pour the sauce into a glass before warming it up, when a quick realization hit me. The plastic cup had deformed without melting, but its plastic cap with the fork holes was nowhere to be seen. Suddenly, pouring the sauce over the goose started to look like a very bad idea indeed. And the funny noises that came from the microwave as the goose was warming up… shit. Google says I will most likely live, though, and I want to believe it.