Kitchen Library – The brilliant new addition to Charlottenburg
What passionate chef Udo Knörrlein is able to conjure in the kitchen of Kitchen Library is more than remarkable. It will forever be a mystery how one can set such a standard as a one-man show. His creations are served by his extraordinarily charming girlfriend, Daniela Meyer. Even without extensive service experience, she ensures that we are taken care of and enjoy our evening.
Little has changed of the old, typical West Berlin interior from the venue’s predecessor. It’s cosy, inside and out. Even during rainstorms you can sit outside under the awning safe and dry, with nothing to worry about except the culinary treats in front of you.
From the start there is homemade bread, with a gluten-free option available by advance order, with smoky butter and red beetroot-infused rapeseed oil. The wine card, put together by one of Knörrlein’s sommelier friends, leaves a solid impression- but my companion is craving beer. A wonderfully easy to drink ale with the house mixed nuts enhance our examination of the menu.
We fancy the fish and chips, burgers, and Königsberg meatballs from the international "casual menu", but end up choosing appetisers and mains from the "fine dining" section. The asparagus salad, with green asparagus, minutely chopped sweet pepper, small capers, and shallots is served on a watercress creme along with aioli and is truly euphoric.
An ice-cold, intense tomato essence in a silver goblet, accompanied by a lukewarm scallop, leaves a similarly fine impression as another appetiser with a melon base- grilled, pickled, and inlaid in red beetroot, with poppy, savoy powder, and fermented red cabbage on cauliflower creme. Absolutely brilliant.
No less felicitous was the grilled tandoori salmon main, accompanied by small herby falafel, radish puree, and blueberry sauce. Everything paired wonderfully with each other, as with everything else this evening. I’m not usually a fan of of this kind of micro-component cuisine, but Udo Knörrlein has mastered the interactions between the various components beautifully.
And with that comes the feeling, pretentious as it may sound, that the Kitchen Library is such a natural and humble setting that it feels like you’ve "only" gone for some casual dining. The result: an uncomplicated place with fantastic food! Definitely worth stopping by!