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Interesting but not fulfilling expectations: Restaurant Nobelhart & Schmutzig (26. November 2016)

| December 30, 2016 | 1 Comments

In July, I booked a table for the Restaurant Nobelhart & Schmutzig as I had read about it in the SWISS Inflight magazine and thought it would be the perfect experience. Well, turns out it was interesting but definitely not perfect. The place is rather young and recently got awarded its first Michelin star – and I am not a 100% sure why besides maybe the fact that the food is all based on ‘local ingredients’ which is a good thing.

The set menu (EUR 95.00) started with “carrot / camomile” which was young carrots served with a spread of raw milk butter with some camomile oil and salt on top. The carrots were definitely interesting but no flavour explosion up till here.

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As a second course this evening, “eel / red cabbage” was served. However, we had one person at the table which did not like seafood which we had told the waiter explicitly. And he got served the eel as well which was a bit surprising. After inquiring why he got served the seafood, it turned out that instead of “no seafood” the waiter had noted down “no meat”. Well, yeah, okay, can happen (shouldn’t with a star) but if that kind of keeps going on for the evening, then I really do wonder.

However, the eel was actually delicious and my hope increased that the evening was going to be exquisite.

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As a third course, “Alfredo Sironi Dinkel sour dough bread with raw milk butter” was served. The sour dough obviously lacked salt but was great in taste. What I liked much more was the “Ike Jime trout / juniper” which was served on “king oyster mushroom”. The trout was absolutely delicious as it was smoked warm.

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Next in line was “leek / parsley” which was then pimped up a bit with a “duck reduction” (respectively something mushroom based for the “no meat colleague” which was a “no seafood person”). The leek with the parsley and the intense duck reduction made a great dish.

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Yet another course was “cabbage / curd / horseradish”. There were three different kinds of cabbage which were all prepared at a different level of being cooked – grilled, slightly grilled, boiled in water. In combination with the horseradish curd, definitely interesting.

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My absolute favourite dish of the evening was the “fallow deer / beet root”. The meat was incredibly tender and flavourful. The beet root (uncooked) was kind of adding the textural element to the dish but the beet root reduction as so delicious! And it also went quite well with the deer belly. Overall, a very sound and surprising dish.

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Next in line was the “black pudding / …

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… potato / mustard” dish. Which turned out to be a soup. And it was also quite a good one. The flavour of the black pudding – once stirred up with the actual soup – was intense and made for an interesting combination. The “supplement” served was a nice welcoming change.

Now, so far I haven’t said anything bad about the food and just to be frank there, there is nothing bad to say about it. With regards to the dishes served, I would say, the star is to be granted. However, when it comes to the services, I am not entirely sure. The incident with the “no meat” vs. actually “no seafood” I already mentioned. Secondly, at some point, the waitress (admittedly, accidentally) got against my glass and spilled the contents all over me. Also not such a pleasant experience. And she apologized and refilled my glass. However, I would expect a bit more from a star restaurant – like a coffee on the house or a little goodie. Luckily almost everything hit my napkin but it could have turned out completely differently! Last but not least, the service is cool, relaxed, easy going, kind of chilled, but for my gusto, too chilled, too relaxed, and too unorganized and uncoordinated for a starred restaurant!

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The first dessert was “quince / chestnut” which was in that sense interesting that the quince ice cream was aromatic and pimped up by the chestnut reduction.

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The last course was “poppy seed / cornel cherry” with a special type of milk. Well, yeah, not a highlight to finish off the evening.

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The “Nobelhart & Schmutzig” has an interesting concept but personally I had the impression of “overselling it”. It is a cool location, no question, it is a hip place, no question, and it does actually serve good dishes. But for my personal gusto …

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… it tries to be different too hard. So my personal advice would be – be a bit less different and do your job a bit more. I mean, they are all knowledgeable about their part of the job. The sommelier (or at least the guy I think was the sommelier) spent a great deal on explaining us the wine pairing (5 times EUR 70.00, 2 times EUR 80.00 – wonder why? Me too!) and did know a lot which he also shared with us. Great.

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The chefs come up to the table to explain their dish – each time. Which is definitely unique – no question. And it makes you feel appreciated as a customer. But somehow they try too hard for my gusto to be different – a bit less focus on ‘being Berlin’ and a bit more focus on ‘doing your job to be a one star restaurant also with regards to the service’ would be helpful!

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“Who the fuck is Paul Bocuse?” – Well, they seem to have a good impression who he was but I am pretty sure that in one of his restaurants the “service mess” wouldn’t have happened.

Thinking about the whole evening – I am still kind of biased as I think the dishes were quite good overall, especially given their constraint to only use local ingredients. The atmosphere of the place is cool (like, the actual interior) but the waiters try too hard to be different. And while the price for the menu is absolutely reasonable, I was a bit surprised about the price of the wine pairing (and especially the fact that for some of us – although we all had the same but one (not two!) – it cost EUR 70.00, for others EUR 80.00).

To sum it up, go try yourself. The dishes are good – and I can imagine if you sit by the bar the experience is a bit different. However, the “table part” didn’t work for me. I was not disappointed but I was also not entirely satisfied, i.e. it did not live up to my expectations – especially, given that they are quite strong on the homepage that they just got awarded “one Michelin star”.

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Contact Details:

Restaurant Nobelhart & Schmutzig

Friedrichstrasse 218

10969 Berlin (DE)

Tel.: +49 30 259 40 61 0

Fax: +49 30 259 40 61 1

E-Mail: dubist@nobelhartundschmutzig.com

Homepage: http://www.nobelhartundschmutzig.com

About the Author:

I started the blog in October 2009, while living in Milan which I definitely consider to be one of the food capitals of the world. I was in touch with food since my early childhood (as my father is a former chef). Whenever I can, I travel the world to discover new places, to meet people but mostly to try local dishes and to find hidden gems! If you know a place worth going, please drop a line to: info@thediningexperience.org. Currently, I am a member of the following food-related associations: Chevalier @Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Zurich-Ville; Membre Gourmet Dégustateur @Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs [OMGD]; Gesellschafter @Goldener Fisch and Member @Slowfood Convivium Zurich City.
EUR 1'300 (incl. tip) Filed in: Berlin (DE), Restaurants
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1 Comment on "Interesting but not fulfilling expectations: Restaurant Nobelhart & Schmutzig (26. November 2016)"

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  1. Enrique G Cillero says:

    Dear Sven,
    Your comments are really nice compared to the bad relationship quality/ price if the place, the bad service, the % of really cheap ingredients and the joke of listing bread + butter on the menú or the fact that the 1st sommelier wears a bit of a fithy shirt pendant le service!
    If you sell this or worse if u oversell this time will tell …
    I was there las night, paid 100€ for my wine pairing and only got 4 really decent glasses… or half glasses!
    Invoicing is easy, hard work and service are not!

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