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There’s always something new to discover in the German capital. Visit these buzzy locales next time you’re in town to discover what’s trending right now.
While sceptics raised their eyebrows at the prospect of a restaurant serving dessert-only tasting menus, one bite of the endlessly inventive, absurdly delicious plates coming out of the kitchen at CODA was enough to put all doubts to rest. It helps that chef René Frank earned his street-cred as the leading pastry chef at the triple-Michelin-starred La Vie in Osnabrück. Since no one wants to gorge through six courses of cheesecake, Frank’s creations err on the lighter side and employ only a judicious level of sweetness. Expect to be dazzled and possibly a bit tipsy after an evening of nibbling on signature dishes like chocolate mousse with tonka bean ice cream, pickled plum ice cream, bitter chicory sauce and coal dust paired with various libations.
Ernst used to be the most famous private dinner supper club in a secret location: a common apartment. In the past year, the 25-year-old chef behind the project moved to a proper location. Starkly minimalist and constantly evolving to match the seasons, the menu is one of the most daring in town. Dinner lasts approximately three to four hours and guests sit at the counter – all the better to watch the culinary theatrics in the kitchen unfold. As each dish is served, staff regale diners with the stories of the winemakers and farmers behind the ingredients. As one might expect of a 12-seat eatery of this calibre, reservations are tough to snag. Plan accordingly and buy the ticket online well in advance.
Housed in an old pharmacy on Oranienplatz dating all the way back to 1861, ORA trades the original tenant’s potions for a different sort of elixir. While it started as a particularly lovely cocktail den without a proper kitchen, in recent months Berliners have started coming here for the food as for the drinks. The food here is unpretentious, but made with remarkable care and precision. Depending on what’s in season, you might find slow-braised venison with a painterly swish of red beet puree or salmon trout from Brandenburg with kohlrabi and smoked buttermilk.
Once totally unknown around these parts, natural wines now have a considerable following in Berlin. Jaja, a cosy wine bar in Neukölln, specialises in biodynamic bottles untainted by sulphites and other additives. In addition to an impressive selection available by the glass, you’ll find a wide selection of artisanal charcuterie, cheeses and other light bites.
Every evening at 7:30pm, ten diners sit down to set omakase dinner at this tiny restaurant in Mitte. Though chef Shiori Arai takes creative license with his work, he draws heavily on Japanese kaiseki traditions and presentations. The end effect is a mesmerising parade of miniature, edible works of art like dainty lobster and shrimp dumplings with chantarelles.