Hilton Munich City: Restaurant MONA

Entrance to MoNa

MONA, the fine-dining restaurant at the Hilton Munich City, is perhaps one of the best on-site hotel restaurants I’ve experienced in the past several years. Too often, on-site restaurants are at once overpriced and underwhelming. That is decidedly not the case at MONA.


We visited twice during our three-night stay. On our second visit, which was hosted by the hotel, staff recognized us immediately from the night before and made us feel like welcome guests rather than paying customers. That is the essence of  hospitality.

Amuse-bouche of shaved beef

On both visits, service was excellent, even though our first night was limited to appetizers and wine.

When we got around to choosing our beverage, our server had Maître Gianni, the in-house wine expert, join us to discuss our tastes and preferences. He then recommended a Sauvignon Blanc from the Sud Tyrol region of Italy. With floral notes on the nose, it was grassier on the palette with far less citrus than the New Zealand Sauvs we prefer… and a nice change of pace!

Sauvignon blanc from the sud-tyrol region of Italy

The next night, we enjoyed a full dinner, which started with an amuse-bouche of shaved, rare beef on wafers. We followed that with steak tartare made from the meat of Bavarian oxen and served in a split shin bone.

Steak tartare served in a split marrow bone

Repeating the wine selection from the previous night, we moved to our entrees. My wife chose wild-caught Alaskan turbot fillet with spring veggies, mashed potatoes and wild garlic Hollandaise. 

Turbot fillet

I enjoyed a fillet of beef accompanied by sautéed mushrooms and mashed potatoes. All dishes were excellently prepared, with her fish steaming and flaky and my beef seared outside and medium-rare in the center. After dessert of a glass of port, we called it an evening.

Throughout the evening, our server Gabriel and Gianni checked back frequently to ensure all was as we’d requested, and to keep our wines glasses refreshed to the proper level. 

Understand that, in Europe, dining is more an event than in the U.S., and service tends to be slower to allow time for diners to enjoy their company and their dishes. The folks at MONA struck the perfect balance between the relaxed European approach and the more proactive service North American guests may expect. 

MONA has several separate seating areas that have only a few tables in each, making the large restaurant feel more intimate. It also has an open kitchen so diners in certain areas are treated to a show. Hard-surfaced floors make it rather live acoustically, so be prepared for an experience that can occasionally be described as "lively," but certainly in the best way possible.

Whether you're staying at the Hilton Munich City or elsewhere, a dinner at MONA should absolutely be on your "must-do" list when visiting München.

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Photos by Carl Dombek
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