Putting a social dining twist on the traditional Turkish grill restaurant
Claim to fame: Ingenious tableside grilling and modern mezze creations add fire to Berlin’s Turkish food scene
Reason to go: The best social dining experience in Berlin
To look out for: Owner Çem’s artisanal Raki collection
Berlin’s Turkish food scene is gargantuan. You can’t visit Berlin and not experience it in some form, yet for most out-of-towners this doesn’t usually extend further than a 3am döner kebab, innovation within the scene having been rather non-existent. Until, that is, Fes BBQ appeared on the circuit, breathing fresh life onto an otherwise stale arena.
Owner Çem Tanriverdi travelled around Asia to study various methods of tableside grilling before opening his own restaurant in Kreuzberg where he marries his Turkish roots with newfound skills. The decor is very Berlin, meaning a touch of black minimalism paired with the obligatory use of wood paneling. A crew of hip, Turkish waiters will bend over backwards to explain the menu to you; a fantastic mezze selection is the perfect start to your Fes journey, dishes such as spicy Ezme salad and Manti (Turkish ravioli) have traditional origins, but their execution and presentation are thoroughly modern. The manti for example, are deep fried instead of simmered and Habanero peppers are used in place of more typical Turkish spices. As good as these mezze are, they’re really just a precursor to the beautiful meats served seasoned and ready for tableside grilling.
By inviting guests to grill their own food in this way, Tanriverdi opens up his native cuisine, encouraging new interactions and discoveries. Eating at Fes isn’t just a meal, it’s a conversation and an experience, just as all good meals should be.