Lunchtime in Berlin. Where to go? Many people don't know that one of the best restaurants, Michelin-starred einsunternull offers a great lunch menu that doesn't make you leave the office for 5 hours and will still wow you from beginning to end.
When Helle came by to Berlin, I took her to a “Berlin Food Tour”, but the next day we went for lunch to say goodbye before she would return to Oslo. And the place of meeting was luckily einsunternull.
I drove on that beautiful sunny day with my bike all the way to Mitte. I have to accept that einsunternull was in my MUST VISIT list but I had no idea where it was. This little restaurant is hiding in the Hannoversche Strasse. It took me a couple of drives (thanks Google for confusing me) but I finally got there. Helle saw me riding back and forth and went out to pick me up.
It was the minimal white facade with a delicate rusty sign. When you go in, you have the feeling you are in a beautiful terrarium in the middle of the city: huge windows, outdoor plants, kitchen view, high ceilings, bright. Idyllic. I am talking about the ground floor, where lunch is served. Dinner on the other hand, is served one floor below in the dark basement, hence the name einsunternull that literally means “one below zero”
Peggy from Visit Berlin was already there with Eric (Helle’s better half and journalist). They were both talking to Ivo, owner and host. You might know Ivo Ebert as he was behind world-known Reinstoff, where he worked with einsunternull Head Chef Andreas Rieger and they are both behind the great concept of einsunternull, what doesn't just mean “one below zero” as the basement, but it means to go back to the roots of cuisine.
Andreas makes minimalist German food with regional ingredients. This fine dining experience is “half vegetarian” made always with very local products that come from Berlin and Brandenburg and some even from their own gardens. In order to be able to use “only local”, they need to preserve and ferment many of the ingredients, that is why you can find a zillion of jars downstairs at their wine cellar, from spruces, berries, plums and asparagus between others. A great idea to always be able to deliver locally.
They don't even use pepper as it isn't local, so they found some leaves that actually taste like pepper to be able to stick to their regional concept.
But not only the ingredients of the food are local. They have beautiful ceramics from one of the best ceramic artists around: Schömig Porzellan. Claudia has her Atelier/Store in Prenzlauer Berg and I have to sigh every day when I walk by it. (Did I mention they are dishwasher safe?). And all the serving glasses are unique and made by the artist Milena Kling.
And not to forget about the drinks, the pairing was flawless, but then again, Ivo is a great sommelier. For starting we had a bubbly apple juice from Cox orange apples and a Portuguese Aqua Viva Espumante Bruto. Not only they have a mix of natural wines and old-world, but they also have juice pairings that reminded me of my juice pairings at NOMA some years ago. I got to try the non-alcoholic drink made of cucumber and gooseberries. Delicioso!
Everything was amazing, I loved the char with carrots, but visually, the dessert was the best. For me, it was like my plate just finish a “color me” marathon or it was made out of unicorns. It was ice cream sprinkled with bee pollen, blackcurrant juice, fermented red currant, spruces, Krokant, cherries, chamomile and fennel blossoms in between others. We got so excited, we stood up and start taking pictures and talking about it instead of eating it. It had a great taste for sure
I can't wait to visit einsunternull for dinner and see all it has to offer, but so far, I impressed me and haven't stop thinking of their food and drinks since I left that sunny August day. I totally recommend you to take a walk to Hannovescher Str. and treat yourself with a great lunch. But as they said: Don´t forget to leave your work on the coat rack.
I am Andrea, or as my friends call me, Jinx. I am a foodie living in Berlin, eating my way through life. Here are my recipes, cooking events, dining experiences and more...