Tim Raue is to Berlin is what… Gordon Ramsey is to London? Well, except his eponymous restaurant is currently ranked 52nd on The World’s 50 best restaurant list (2015), so I guess, erm, when Gordon Ramsey still knew how to cook? But with a series of restaurants? And judges Masterchef? Anyways, his latest project is a mini brasserie chain in conjunction with a posh old people’s home. Not that I knew about the OAP bit, I only happened upon it walking home after scoffing some oysters at KaDeWe (So, so, so tasty as usual). The posh old people’s home realization only came at dinner when I saw their lounge behind the restaurant and googled it (because what foodie doesn’t want to retire in something that looks like a 5* hotel serving gourmet meals if they could?)
But no worries, the restaurant wasn’t filled with a whole load of OAPs on a sunny Sunday evening (and good thing it was opened too, because not many great places outside Mitte are opened on Sundays- especially fancy/semi-fancy restaurants, where the norm is to just open Tuesday to Saturday, lunchtime optional, some are happy with even a 4-evening week). With a lovely dark, yet well lit room, no music and friendly wait staff, this is the kind of restaurant which makes crotchety old-before-their-time people like me happy.
They presented us with some jewel coloured homemade pickles and some fantastic bread with a spiced butter to start. The pickles were perfect, cutting that fine line between sweet/sour and showcasing the fantastically fresh veggies available in Germany, and were perfect to whet the appetite- perfect with the tasty crunchy onion bread/light as air whipped butter- setting a good vibe for what’s to come.
I started with a beef tartare, dressed with some espelette pepper and served with some fantastic wafer thin bits of toast. It was a bit peppery for my liking (you know me and spice). A bit of egg yolk and some chopped gherkins solved that and I gobbled it up like a starved turkey. The onion soup was super tasty but a bit overly salted- this is something we experience time and time over again dining out in Berlin, perhaps it’s the addiction to salami and cured ham? My nephew, indeed, hoovered his cured meat platter up like we starve him on a daily basis (which we don’t- he’s just blessed with a high metabolic rate).
Perhaps the most interesting starter was my sister’s sardines. A selection of sardines tins were presented to her and the gourmet tin was gently heated up and served with fried bread. They use la belle-iloise sardines (which I helpfully linked for you, you can buy them at edelices.co.uk- I shall be getting me some of these beauties!)- arguably delicious but not something that we can’t repeat at home.
For mains, we shared an awesome chicken wellington. Moist succulent chicken breasts (never thought I’d say this) wrapped in fluffy pastry with a fantastic truffle based cream sauce- even Mr. I-don’t-eat-truffles-because-I-don’t-know-what-they-are lapped it up (don’t worry, he’s now a convert!). The steak frites was perfectly cooked with fantastic chips and a textbook bearnaise sauce and my brother-in-law won’t share his lobster- it was gone in the blink of an eye anyways so I guess he loved it (hence no photo). We washed this all down with a special bottling of Markus Schneider’s Rough Cut for Tim Raue. A perfectly delicious German Red, and apparently that’s what the famous chef drinks (I dunno, what is it with me visiting restaurants with fairytale stories…)
Alas we were too full to have any desserts (this often happens with the generous portion sizes in Berlin), so we wandered off home with promises to come again soon.
OAP counts: surprisingly, 0.
Price: around 40 euros per person, plus wine