We recently went shopping in downtown Stuttgart; admittedly Stuttgart is an utterly ugly city if you focus on the CBD. But as soon as you wander further into the suburbs, you will find an astonishingly serene city reminiscent of Italy’s Florence. There are cosy little neighbourhoods with architectural gems, lush vegetation and cosy little bars and restaurants. My current favourite is LA Signorina on Marienplatz, serving pizza that scores on my personal ranking higher than any other pizza I have eaten in my entire life. They combine Crème Fraîche, Chicorée, Roquefort, Walnuts and Honey Cress on a luscious pizza base.

The owner of LA Signorina, in my imagination, travelled to Italy in the search for a culinary magician. He heard of a monastery where the ancient art of pizza cooking had been perfected over many centuries, lured the grandmaster’s exemplary student and promised his first-born daughter’s hand plus all the gold in the world if he came to join his team in Stuttgart to cook the world’s best pizza. I believe the story cannot be far fetched. Another example of great food is the Golden Dragon where we enjoyed unbelievably delicious Phở Trộn. Their cooks may not descend from a long line of monks who perfected Vietnamese cooking, but what they do is miraculous.

If you intend to enjoy Turkish food in Stuttgart, I recommend not to go to ‘Sultan Saray’. We didn’t expect much from this restaurant in the first place apart from something a little better than the average kebab served at a random street corner. We were served entrées for two (Mayonnaise with vegetables) and a platter of mixed meats, probably leftovers from previous dissatisfied customers: dry and tasteless bits and pieces of badly flavoured meat accompanied by brown lettuce as a side. When we told the waitress at Sultan Saray that their food was not fit for consumption, she said that ‘most people eat this without complaint’. In my imagination, they do not employ a cook at all but a monkey who was trained to operate a microwave; no daughter and no gold attached.