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A booming gastro scene in Berlin hotel restaurants

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Currywurst (curry sausage) is legend in Berlin and you might say that makes it the city’s culinary emblem. But Berlin in the last few years has turned into a true culinary hot spot and lately it is hotel restaurants that have come into the limelight. We let the following hotels dish up their best for us…

Our long weekend in Berlin came on the invitation of the busy-as-bees visitBerlin and German National Tourist Board.

Here in the capital you have the most Michelin restaurants in Germany as well as a fabulous diversity of taste sensations on offer. Reserving a table is a must in the newest gastro hotspots, since with their successful combination of cool and cuisine food aficionados tend to flock here…

We did not for a minute fall for the trope that treats hotel restaurants as the “step children” of the gastro scene; Berlin proves that it is just a tired myth. For during our visit to the city we lodged in the 25hours Bikini and it was in the hotel’s Restaurant NENI that we launched ourselves ebulliently on our gastro tour…

Restaurant NENI in the 25hours Bikini Hotel

Specializing in Israeli and Eastern Mediterranean dishes, Restaurant NENI, reigned over by scene restaurateur Haya Molcho, invites to an exotic dining experience with a view of the no-less diverting Berlin Zoo. And the view of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and the elegant Bikini complex naturally is nothing to scoff at either. Especially at dusk during the blue hour!

View from the Neni Restaurant

View from the Neni Restaurant during the evening blue hour.

Table setting Neni Restaurant

Table setting with olives

Falafel and hummus Nein restaurant

Falafel and hummus by scene restaurateur Haya Molcho

Restaurant Le Faubourg in the Sofitel Berlin Kurfürstendamm

Close by is the completely renovated Restaurant Le Faubourg in the Sofitel Berlin Kurfürstendamm — elegant, fashionable and accented with Portuguese copper lamps and other eye catchers.

Restaurant Le Faubourg

French Restaurant Le Faubourg

Hotel bar and lobby Sofitel Berlin

Hotel bar and lobby

Head chef Felix Mielke prepares five main courses in tune with the season that you order prepared either in traditional style or in a modern interpretation. Recommending the wines is Mathias Brandweiner, at 21 years of age Germany’s youngest sommelier!

Restaurant Grace in the Hotel Zoo

Orang-Utan-Berliner-ZooNot all that far from the animal park over by the Kurfürstendamm, the new Design Hotel Zoo has opened its doors. It’s exuberant architectural argot and high-ceilinged rooms are most inviting. Were the chandeliers color- and form-wise possibly inspired by the orangutans hanging around in the nearby Zoo?

The long fireplace is optimally arranged in the lounge for enjoying a digestive after an elegant dinner in the hotel’s Restaurant Grace. The menu invites to a culinary world tour with stopovers, among other places, in Thailand (Chiang Mai salad), Italy (Ricotta ravioli) and France (rack of lamb).

Chandelier in the lobby Hotel Zoo Berlin

Chandelier in the lobby

Das Stue: Restaurant Casual by Paco Pérez

Paco Pérez, absolutely one of the Iberian Peninsula’s kitchen stars based in Barcelona’s five-star Hotel Arts, practices his culinary skills in the Design Hotel Das Stue, located near the Tiergarten.

In The Casual, fifty shades of grey and elegant wall sconces make for a stylish ambiance. This is where Paco Pérez presents his seductive tapas creations.

Tables and luminaires in the Restaurant Casual in the Hotel The Stue

Tables and luminaires in the Restaurant Casual in the Hotel The Stue

Main course: Cod with asparagus and baby vegetables

Main course: Cod with asparagus and baby vegetables

Pablo celebrates haute cuisine in the 5 – Cinco by Paco Pérez (Spanish for the number 5, because the appeal is to all five senses). But the very first sense to be challenged is the visual, for the collection of copper cauldrons and pans alone assures a powerful flood of retinal stimulation…

Paco Perez' Pots in the Restaurant Cinco of Hotel The Stue

Paco Perez’ copper pots in Restaurant

In the Stue as well, the soigné digestive is to be had in the hotel bar. In the presence of inspiration by the nearby Zoo!

 Chimpanzee sculpture in the Hotel Stue bar

Chimpanzee sculpture in the Hotel Stue bar

Just to venture a bit away from the Tiergarten and also to rise above it all:

Renzo Piano 11, Kollhoff Tower and Deutsche Bahn at night

Renzo Piano 11, Kollhoff Tower and Deutsche Bahn at night

Restaurant QIU in the Hotel Mandala

Located squarely in front of the Sony Center on spectacular Potsdamer Platz is the Hotel Mandala with its QIU Restaurant & Bar and the starred restaurant FACIL. Next to Hans Kollhoff’s brick tower or Renzo Piano’s glass palace the hotel comes across almost as unimposing. But, starting with the reception, it becomes quickly apparent that we are entering a design hotel. Service and kitchen do their utmost to offer culinary art that measures up to the sophisticated design.

Green Veltliner in front of the Sony Center

Green Veltliner in front of the Sony Center

Shrimp with coriander, fennel and risotto

Shrimp with coriander, fennel and risotto

All we can say is, well done!

Restaurant Hof zwei in the Mövenpick Hotel Berlin

Also not far from the Potsdamer Platz, in the opposite direction, however, you’ll come across the Mövenpick Hotel’s Restaurant Hof zwei in the atrium of the former Siemens building. Especially during the annual international film festival, the Berlinale, this is where the Berlin Bear dances! And in Hof zwei, they won’t burn things on the stove either…

Atrium Restaurant Hof zwei

Atrium Restaurant Hof zwei

Oh, yeah, you bet! We also treated ourselves to a Currywurst ;-)
Try the original Konnopke’s curry sausage. They have four spicy variations: heavenly / medium hot / extremly hot and hot like hell!

As hot as you want – at your own risk!

Grillrunner with curry sausage on Alexanderplatz

Grillrunner with curry sausage on Alexanderplatz

Air-Berlin-HeckflosseOnce again, a hearty thank you to Christian Tänzler of VisitBerlin for providing the inspiration!

Many thanks also to Oliver Sefrin with the German National Tourist Board for the flexible organization of our stay!

And, of course, a high five to Air Berlin, flying five times daily (!) to the German metropolis. In addition, Air Berlin now also offers direct weekend flights from Zurich to Sylt – look for our next report from there.

Brace yourself for a not negligible crosswind…

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About Author

Walter Schaerer’s extensive background in the travel industry, passionate enthusiasm for photography and a firm belief that luxury destinations can also be affordable; were some of the main factors that motivated him to create the travel blog travelmemo.com. In his day job Walter is an online marketing manager based out of Zurich, Switzerland.

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