Richard - A Swiss Artist At Work
The historic building, that has been accommodating Restaurant Richard for a year now, was built in the early 20th century. Even then, the landmarked premises hosted a tavern including a dance hall and bowling alley. The pompous interior attracted the upper class and became the setting for lavish celebrations. During WWII, it was Goebbels and his apostles who frequented the locale, while the post-war audience was ironically made up of Jewish Berliners who had returned or remained.
Upon the opening, I had already become curious of Richard's interior. The fusion of modern design and existing structures seemed to have actually worked out in this case. Nevertheless it took me until last night to make my way down to the end of Köpenicker Straße to get a glance at Swiss Hans Richard's cuisine.
Even though it's a weekday, not one table remains empty during the course of the evening. A fact that surprises even more considering the somewhat unusual location. And while the architecture was already worth the quasi field trip, the best was yet to come.
Over a glass of exquisite crémant rosé, we decided to go for four dishes of the weekly changing menu and then let our spirits wander along the wooden coffered ceiling. Pastel-colored glass bowls give off a mellow light, a modern copper-colored wall closes off the kitchen. Kelims are laid out, and the room is equipped with mid-century chairs. Very bohème!
The amuse-bouche to set off our night is a soup of cauliflower with thistle oil. A creamy, yet light way to surprise us with the versatility of this vegetable. 'Warm beetroot, iced goat cheese, black radish and a cress salad' and 'baked mackerel, crunchy apple, cucumber and cilantro' follow. We were reminded of a situation at Filetstück - even though we're quite spoiled with food, we did not see the artistry of those dishes coming.
The third courses are a creamy 'potato espuma with summer truffles' and 'cauliflower with butter-poached lobster'. We really wished for this to never end!
And yet, the grand finale arrived, in form of 'beef brisket, quatre épices and hazelnut' and 'sweetbread and porcini'. So I ate giblets, and I loved it! And there wasn't one bad thing about any of the courses. It was perfect!
The last surprise was the chef actually sitting down with us, revealing his art degree from Basel and the fact that his culinary skills are all self-taught. We're head over heels! And so we made our next reservation for a dinner with friends at Richard's, and trust me, so should you! At least once, or twice, maybe even three or four times…