Ven (Dresden)

Ven, an airy restaurant, located within the Innside Inn, is surprisingly modern compared to the cobblestone exterior of Dresden. In an alley just off the busy Old Town courtyard, the restaurant is a calm oasis from the bustling tourist traffic. As a bonus, prices are relatively inexpensive compared to the restaurant’s swanky environment.

To start, an amuse of spicy gazpacho with a crunchy crouton. It was a refreshing soup packed with flavour.

Their appetizers were the highlight of the meal. Sadly, I only got an appetizer portion of the pappardelle mit morcheln (€9). The creamy herbed sauce was just thick enough to cover the fresh pasta without being overwhelming. Plenty of morels were mixed throughout and the deep fried asparagus spear complimented the creamy pasta.

The schaumsuppe (€8), a beautiful cream soup infused with wild garlic, was a touch salty but had a lovely texture. Lightly poached scallops sat on a focaccia crouton, which added a great crunchy element against the smooth soup.

I should have read the description of the geschmorte keule vom weidelamm (€17.50) more carefully as it indicated the dish was a braised leg of lamb. The error was only apparent when a plate of completely cooked through lamb arrived – there wasn’t a pink center in sight! Indeed, it was tender and moist, but lacked the lamb flavour I generally enjoy with the chop cuts.


On the bottom of the lamb was a substantial amount of potato mousseline, made creamy with mascarpone and topped with the lamb jus. Surrounding the protein were grilled zucchini filled with a salty and sweet eggplant puree. These sides would have been more than enough but then tangy sun dried tomatoes were added that really detracted from the dish.

In fact, the biggest drawback to Ven’s mains was that there were too many elements. I agree, it makes the dish look good with the pops of colour, but they don’t necessarily complement each other in taste.

For example, the königssee (€19) or pan seared char was well cooked with a crisp skin. The sides were a bit over salted, but the slivers of crunchy snap peas and doughy oversized gnocchi were decent adding crunch, freshness and heartiness to the dish. Even the relatively tasteless apple foam was fine. 

But, then wasabi ‘caviar’ and apple spheres were thrown in: the caviar, although an interesting take on gastronomical cooking, was much too strong for the delicate fish and the tarte apple so pungent the flavour comes out of nowhere (especially when paired with the wasabi).

Maybe I’m just being picky. After all, if something doesn’t work with the dish you can just leave it on the plate. But, it’s disappointing when a meal starts off so good and then it's the main course, the bread and butter of the meal, that falters. Based on my experience, Ven’s tranquil environment and food is still worth a try. Perhaps, you’ll fare better but sticking to the first page of the menu – it’s where they seem to shine.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Dresden, Germany
 Address: Rampische Strabe 9

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!