Tim Raue’s newest venture is at the Bötzow Brewery. Championing German food (yes – apparently it’s possible) in the original space of the former brewery.
Two of us sit perched up high on leggy metal work. Surrounded by Futuring, an exhibition by Eva & Adele (who were described to me as Berlin’s answer to Gilbert and George when I asked Sylee what on earth was up with the bald couple in drag?) The sharp acoustics of cutlery and voices in the cavernous space are offset by the rain coming down in a persistent rhythmic patter.
At lunch time on Saturday, there are 4 tables occupied besides our own. The customers are all german, slim, elegant and wearing navy. The men have either allowed themselves to go silver, all the more to set off their naturally tan (not sunbed or spray on) skin. And the women have silky blond hair, the kind that can be washed in the morning and suffer no ill effects when exposed to 24 hour downpours.
I want to invite the female Maitre D’ to the bathroom so I can bop her on the head and steal her outfit: blue peep toe wedges on top of which she wears skinny trousers with a blue flowered pattern that looks like it would be equally at home on fine bone china.
I resist the urge and apply my attention to the business of ordering. There is the Prawn Cocktail KaDeWe (€14) which comes with prawns bigger than my thumbs, the dressing enlivened by punchy Piment d’Espelette (a spice I own and love often).
For the main course, two handsome Königsberger Klopse appear wearing crowns of fluffy crumbs, a third sphere made up of thinly sliced beetroot nestles at the top. Besides being the most attractive plate of meatballs I’ve ever seen,the perfectly seasoned mash that comes with them and the sauce they are bathed in are utterly delicious.
My dish is rabbit liver with tiny pearl onions, dyed red from the vinegar they have stewed in and manifesting more as an unknown berry than an alium.
German fare is hearty stuff, even in these delicate portions. Especially as we started the meal off with a plate of pork fat (Schmaltz) in place of the more traditional butter. And yet. It’s all been good enough to prompt me into dessert.
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