Margaux, *, The Vegetable Menu, Mitte

I’m going to make this one short because as a rule, I don’t dwell on disappointments and that is what Margaux was.

You have 2 choices at Margaux, the vegetarian menu (€125 although on their website it is advertised as €110) for which it is known and a fish and meat menu (€175 again the website says €140).  Our table had decided on the vegetarian menu before we had even set foot in the restaurant.  You see, Margaux has its own vegetable garden in the Potsdam area where it grows 200 heirloom varieties of vegetables.  Things like Mexican cucumber, a vegetable the size and shape of a kumquat but which looks like it could be a mini dinosaur egg. Good right? Exciting even! (For someone like me)

The aspirations didn’t translate onto the plate.  At all.  There were entire dishes which were bewildering to my friends and I.  One in particular of blanched vegetable sticks lined up on a plate, the way you would do for a child, with packet of store-bought carrot sticks.  And look at the carrot stick, it’s not even uniformly cut! You know when we learned that one at Leiths? Day 1, the same day we made chunky chickpea dip.   Read more of this post

Fischers Fritz, 2* Michelin Food, Mitte

In anticipation of dinner at Fischer Fritz: I gave myself a manicure, bought myself a new dress and dusted off my vintage Chanel shoes.

I need not have bothered.

And I will tell you why.

My perception of restaurant dining is an equation that goes roughly something like this price + food + interior design + cutlery + service.  Price point is the first and key determinator because it sets up expectations.  If you are being charged €4 for a sandwich or €65 for lobster two ways, it’s safe to say, your satisfaction threshold will be vastly lower for the first option.  (A few weeks ago, a friend and I donated some cakes to an event here in Berlin and everyone swore up and down that they were the best cakes they had ever eaten; nothing tastes quite as delicious as a freebie!)

Expensive lobster, a €110 4 course tasting menu (€150 for 6 courses) add to that 8+ waiters, heavy silver cutlery and a water menu and I was anticipating some superlative food.

But the food turned out to be much like the dining room itself which featured grand chandeliers, wood-paneled walls, plush carpeting and table flower arrangements of large red roses with their stems cut off in bronze coloured bowls, in a word: old-fashioned. Read more of this post


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