Sarah Wiener: Das Speisezimmer; Austrian Food (mostly); Mitte.

I finally got round to trying one of the Sarah Wiener places this week: Das Speisezimmer (The Living Room).

Ladles hung in the window and at the bottom, a cluster of mismatched planters with a haphazard but homey feel of plants belonging to a person rather than a restaurant.  It was charming enough to tempt me in for a meal, which I guess is the idea.

The menu is peppered enticingly (to me) with references to provenance.  Take for example this; ‘a selection of  organic raw milk cheese from cow and goat from Dormann’s Bioland in Petershagen served with homemade fruit bread, apple chutney and celery salt’.   Organic raw milk goat’s cheese from a location I can get into my car and drive to?  Not that I would because it’s three and a half hours away but still!  I was duly impressed and consequently expecting very good things.

I was amused by the ‘Sarah Wiener’ glass cabinet that met me at the entrance.  Heaving with her books, DVD’s, Sarah Wiener salt and Sarah Wiener knives.  It seemed a bit much, a bit Gordon Ramsay: uncouth.  But then again, if she has written all those books and she is proud of them then why not?

Still…

Not sure about the salt but then I haven’t written a cookbook, maybe some kind of fever overtakes you or maybe her PR people made her do it.  I stopped speculating and sat down at my window table.I loved the feel of the place, especially as it was lunch and there were only 4 other occupied tables.  The clunky, turquoise wardrobes interrupted the possible monotony of the wood.  I loved the thick, teal coloured cafe curtains and the chintzy chandeliers.  It’s easy on the eye this place.  And its sheltered location in a hof  (courtyard) in what is anyhow an extremely quiet area of Mitte makes for a lovely lunch place.

I was disinclined to try the schnitzel because I can never get through the practically A4 formats they come in on my own.  It too had a provenance, from a Linumer veal which is a calf that is allowed to feed from its mother before feeding (for a short time) on Brandenburger pastures.  Resulting in meat that is rose-coloured (hence the name rose veal) not the tell-tale pallid colour that is indicative of  boxed veal. Read more of this post

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