Rockstar residence meets clever modern dining
Claim to fame: The hipness factor of Berlin’s coolest hotel is matched only by its innovative kitchen
Reason to go: A bowl of smoked mashed potatoes with a front row seat facing the action at Warschauer Str. subway station
To look out for: The new dynamic wine list with a whole host of natural wines
Michelberger, the city’s coolest boutique hotel, in the heart of Berlin’s wild Warschauer Strasse, is famed for its Instagram-friendly decor and laid-back vibes, it attracts every independent music artist passing through Berlin. Make your way through this sceney place to the restaurant that serves a storm of internationally inspired dishes based on local, seasonal produce. It’s a food experience that stretches way beyond the agenda of any normal hotel offering.
Head chef Alan Micks worked at New York’s WD 50 before honing his love of seasonal produce on New Zealand’s up-and-coming restaurant scene. Berlin should be thankful that he finally chose to showcase both experiences in the heart of the capital’s Michelberger restaurant. The establishment’s striking dining room, with a supremely cool view of the passing subway, has excelled under his careful direction, turning it from a once decent hotel restaurant into a standout kitchen concept, worthy of a visit in its own right. Micks’ menu relies on ingredients he discovered all over the world, including the likes of dukkah, furikake and nam jim. It’s also rich in innovative acclamations of its German ancestry. Crunchy wild pig’s head fritters are cunningly elevated with a dollop of smoked fennel ketchup, culminating in an utterly satisfying marriage of textures and flavors. The traditional German comfort food dish ‘’Himmel & Erde” (black pudding and mashed potatoes) has been re-imaged using smoked mashed potatoes with crumbles of a sublime fried black pudding and cubes of fermented peach, which play the perfect, acidic counterpart to this very rich dish. The chef’s attempt to remove it from the menu only resulted in cementing it firmly as a cult following cried foul when it was gone.
After years of hard work, The Michelberger hotel can finally congratulate itself on having a restaurant concept that rivals the institution’s success at being one of Berlin’s most sought after urban retreats. Overall its playful innovation, beautiful setting, dedication to seasonality and courageous natural wine list make this place as much of draw as the hotel itself. The Michelberger may be hip, but Micks’ menu is cooler.