Spindler - Coffeehouse & Restaurant in Kreuzberg
Soft light, blissful warmth and the harmonious interior that I already fell in love with last week welcome us and contribute to our anticipation for the much longed-for culinary experience that lay before us. Southern French head chef Nicolas Gemin's first menu is set and we dive into the promising creations of Pauly Saal's former sous-chef.
„Seasonal, delicate home cooking“ is the mantra of this kitchen, and we each pick and choose our individual menus from seven appetizers, five entrées and four desserts. The young waiter hails from Liguria, speaks better English than German, but does so in such an overly charming manner that we easily look past the slight errors in communication.
We start off with a „Veggie Winter Salad“ of various leaf salads, pear and walnut served along quail eggs and a cream of blue cheese, and the “Octopus and Chorizo” served with purple artichokes, sweet potatoes and smoked peppers. Both appetizers make for an impeccable start in taste and looks, and raise the bar of expectations for our entrées “Haunch of Venison” and “Beef Shoulder”. The tables around us begin to fill up and I spot star chef Sebastian Frank of Horváth sitting at a table across from us with his family.
The „Haunch of Venison“ turns out to be a composition of medium roasted filet, two meat- and red cabbage-filled croquettes alongside black beans, mushrooms and a side of heavenly creamy parsnip purée. According to my dinner company, the “Beef Shoulder” served with potatoes, Romanesco broccoli, cauliflower and harissa is no less mouth-watering, proven by the fact that there was not the least bit left afterwards.
For dessert, we got three kinds of ice cream and caramel panna cotta with orange filets, macadamia and a miniature cinnamon brioche-skewer. We proclaim our state of utter delight with one last approving „mmmmmh“. At Spindler, neither service nor kitchen leave much room for improvement. For us, everything was as it should be on this very first night.