Posts tagged ‘Berlin’
Reinstoff is a restaurant in Berlin which had just received two Michelin stars. On a roadtrip back from Poland a couple of months ago I was in Berlin. We were running late to the train station from our initial planning and I had singled out reinstoff as the place where I’d go (after ditching my travelling partners) for lunch. I rushed over there with the iPhone guiding me only to find out that they’re closed for lunch… was I ever disappointed. So when I came back to Berlin for a couple of days this was the first restaurant on my list of must see. I had reserved a table for two, but my fellow food blogger had stood me up and I guess I was like the classic myth of a Guide Michelin tester, single man having reserved for two and then showing up alone. Before you get the menu a selection of small, salty tapas is presented to the diner. The duck liver between dry & crispy duck skin almost reminded a bit of Noma’s sandwich and the herbal iced tea lollipop was a funny way to start a dinner. What followed was a wild succession of dishes which offered superior flavours, interesting techniques and even ingredients that were new to me. I’m not going to ratlle off every individual detail of every dish. The ones I liked best were potato harvest (a potato variety) and the oyster with peas & pistacchio ice cream. The food felt very german avantgarde since the intellectual density and the absence of redundancy due to an enormouse concentration of information in every dish was exceptional. The dish I liked the least were the snails with wheatgrass, papadam and mushrooms. I think reinstoff clearly qualifies as a must-visit for anyone enjoying a sensual and intellecutal relationship with food. It’s an experience you won’t forget that quickly and it does away with the feeling of pity you get when you enter an average german supermarket, which sports sausages in jars and idustrial baked bread. reinstoff is a beacon of light and is the cornerstone of a radical development of a new understanding of food in the bustling german captial. I wish we had a place like this in Zurich. Prices where very steep (consider I spent 30 Euros on beer for the kitchen). A funny story I’d like to share was when I got into the taxi outside, I told the cab to take me to a bar (this was a tuesday night). He asked me if I meant a bar with girls and I replied “sure”. After a couple of minutes I’m put off by his smile and it begins to dawn on me. Awkwardly clearing my throat I tell him, that I didn’t mean a brothel but wouldn’t mind if the bar he’s taking me wasn’t an all male affair. After all this is the gay capital of germany. He laughs at me and says it was good that I spoke up, because he was taking me to an gentlemen adult entertainment facility and was glad I corrected our misunderstanding before we got there. He dropped me off at Savigny Platz, where I grabbed a good night cup at the Zwiebelfish.
Unexpectedly, stumbling into decent restaurants is what makes my day. I’m very interested in modern german history (late 19th century onwards), so I started off my trip by visiting the Stasi Museum. I couldn’t resist the lovely stall outside selling meat and over the counter take away offering they had in the shed next to it. I went for a “Pferdebulette” which is a horse burger for a mere 1 Euro 50 with a nice bread and mustard. It’s not often that I head to a museum in such a good mood. The museum itself was somewhat bland since it’s currently residing in a side building and it focussed too much on the technical gadgets. Important topics such as the Rosenholz Dateien are not even mentioned. Oh yean and they wouldn’t let me into the Stasi archives either, since I did’nt have an appointment. How very german. But you’re not reading this blog since you wan’t me ranting about museums in general, you’re interested in my experiences in the world of dining. Wandering back I first picked up a sweater at a local department store since I had tickets for two Berlin Unterwelten tours in the afternoon and thougt I might be cold. Let me tell you something, I did the standard tour 1 and tour 3. Three is not as spectatuclar for a swiss guy, since you’ll most likely have spent time in similar bunkers in the army (except for the one where the whole subway station transforms into one). The first tour is fantastic and I even went so far as to give the tour guide a golden handshake (slipping him a Euro bill) since he was rivetting, interesting and entertaining. If I were a billionaire, I’d donate a hefty chunk of cash to this simply fantastic organisation. But again, I’m missing the point. I walked to a place called Wirtshaus Fünfländereck which I saw when taking the taxi to the museum. I was literally the only guest and even asked if they were opened, but she replied sure no problem and that they’re serving food for lunch. Another two guest appeared about 30 minutes later, but that was it. Now I keep making the same mistake in german restaurants, I apply my swiss baseline of prices and serving size which tends to lead to surprises. Keeping in mind that I already had a horse burger I see something on the menu which catches my attention since it’s pitched as a small thing to eat while drinking. So as an appetizer I order Berliner Bitok, whicH are meatballs, mustard and a pickle. They were homemade, of decent quality and just a bit too much to start off a meal. My main course was a pretty good Schnitzel accompanied with sauteed potatoes (Bratkartoffeln) a staple german dish. What pasta is to italian sons, Bratkartoffeln are to german boys. I’ve once seen a program on television where the crew of a large german freighter went into full-fledged mutiny, since the Smutje (boat cook) couldn’t make Bratkartoffeln. Anyway – they were great and so was the Schnitzel. The whole course was dubbed Wirtshausschnitzel. Only downswide was, that I didn’t finish them since it was too much. Prices (for a swiss perspective) were cheap:
Paris Moskau is a single house in the no mans land next to the Berlin Hauptbahnhof. I wanted to go there after a rave review from one of my two favourite sisters. Apparently the german politician Schäuble likes to dine here. The place has around 40 seats and is easy to reach by foot (if you like walking through dark parks). The menu looks interesting and my two companions and myself all pick different dishes. The rock lobster with peppers and pumpkin was a nice way to ease into the meal. The next dish had a couple of suspensful components such as trout cream, ham, roasted onions and pear. Surprisingly this worked to make a well-balanced and pretty unique plate. I was looking forward to the duck liver in tempura batter but got disappointed. Overall it’s a liquid mess and the whole richness, creamyness and depth of the liver is lost, since the thing is no longer in a solid state. My short ribs were on the dry side and the sauce with grill aromas didn’t carry enough punch. Nothing to complain on the venison, except maybe the plating. The big schmear of chive sauce was rather amateurish and looked like my own creative work at the age of six. You won’t be disappointed by dining here, but you’re better of going to a place like reinstoff if you’re looking for a more modern and avant-gardish gourmet dinner. Prices for three:
Restaurant Transit is a newer pan-asian uncomplicated restaurant which was recommended to me by a friend. You sit down, mark all the dishes you want on a piece of pre-printed paper and send off the order with the waitress. The concept is pretty fun and rather cheap considering the amount of dishes I had (didn’t finish them all). But I wasn’t happy with the food, they do a lof of different stuff, but none of the dishes really captured my attention. I’ve read great things about Transit but was slighty miffed after dining here, since the food wasn’t up to par. A good example is the duck in pyjamas dish. It’s duck wrapped in a pancake which is obviously a play of peking duck, but it never managed to capture the magical feeling you get when eating a great duck. Prices: