Restaurant Duke – 10 Years of Fantastic Cuisine in Hotel Ellington
After rigorously studying the promising menu, we select the 3- and 5-course set menu, throw a glance at the extensive terrace in the courtyard, which can be made weatherproof with a roof, and hungrily look forward to the kitchen’s work. A selection of bread, including an excellent crusty bread, quell our initial hunger.
The kitchen team at Duke sends a summery hello with a fine lukewarm smoothie of beetroot, ginger, and lemongrass, creatively served in a swing top bottle with a straw. Similarly elegant is the amuse bouche that follows in the form of caramelised creme of duck liver with apple jelly, calvados gel, and pumpernickel dust. The little carrot on top is just as aromatic!
The first course is wonderfully light and exactly to my taste: marinated hamachi with dill, horseradish, and grapefruit, as well as a cucumber stock refined with mustard seed. The raw fish is perfectly cut, giving it plenty of time to meld with the cucumber stock and unfurl its full aroma. Very slick!
We’re equally impressed by both of the intermediate courses, an "Uckermark Onsen Egg" with wood garlic, smoked peanuts, and potatoes, crispy and creamy, and a lukewarm lobster tartar, wonderfully named "Channel No. 5." Orange, rose, bergamot, and jasmine honour the perfume together with violets, tonka beans, vanilla, and cinnamon. Magical!
We happily dig into our mains, braised Müritz lamb in miso gravy with button mushrooms, edamame, and Japanese radish, and my dry-aged "Miéral Poulet Fermier Noir" with artichokes, Taggiasca olives, and stock of salted Amalfi lemons, taking it in turn to ooze praise for the dishes. A tender thyme blossom is the last to be cleared from my plate, leaving behind a whiff of spring.
While my companion gets to enjoy a mango, shiso, matcha, and rice ice cream, followed by cheese and bread from Maître Affineur Waltmann with chutney and fruit, I talk about awards such as the "Berlin Masterchefs Breakout Star of the Year, 2013" and the 16 Gault-Millau points the restaurant Duke has already cooked up. — Their 10th anniversary is in June.