Photo by Sigrid Malmgren
Part of our "Club grub" series: These restaurants blend the underground club vibe with fine dining. Françoise Poilâne set out to get a taste of the Berlin nightlife...
Berghain, with its stunning location, merciless door policy, unrivalled all-night decadence and star-studded DJ booking, is revered as the crowning achievement of club culture the world over.
But what about when they try to make food? In a wooden, temporary-feeling extension to the Berghain Kantine, Kreuz Friedrichs has been serving some pretty down-to-earth eats since November. It feels like an indoor beer garden – in summer, it is one – with a cosy fireplace and a copse of bamboo growing in a glass cage.
In contrast to the club’s door-tyranny used to keep away the insufficiently edgy, the restaurant’s customer policy is egalitarian – anyone can dine here, no matter one’s look! Ironically, on a Friday night in April the place was mostly empty.
Food-wise, prep your palate and stomach for hefty helpings. It may be Neue Deutsche Küche, but nouvelle cuisine it ain’t. For one, the starters – though not exactly delicate – are sturdy, tasty international treats: a salad packed with baby lettuce and wild herbs with a large slice of warm goat cheese, all drenched in thyme honey (a tad too sweet), a Caesar salad (slightly over-saucy), rolled crêpes filled with salmon, rocket and honey mustard (they’ve got honey to spare!).
The main acts, though slow to arrive despite the empty room, were all thoroughly satisfying, with the exception of the veggie option, some rather uniform truffle tortellini (€12). The unbeatable deal ended up being the leg of cider-braised guinea fowl served with an excellent risotto (€10) and the bavette (€13), three to four cuts of flank steak grilled to liking and piled up on a plate with a riesengroß side of sautéed potato salad – an uncomplicated, hearty bliss.
This small restaurant in the shadow of Berlin’s techno temple has plenty of potential. Françoise shall get the word out. Accepting credit cards (instead of cash only) would help.