Thoughts: The Love & Hate Relationship with Michelin Stars
Who doesn't want to get spoilt once in a while? I’d obviously say yes to a Michelin-Star restaurant, but how much do we really know about these stars, other than assuming that we'll be served some delicious food in frustratingly tiny portions.
I remember my mom taking my brother & I to Bocuse (with 3 Michelin Stars since 1965) for dinner when we were kids. The two of us insisted on a bowl of tomato soup and a fruit salad, so we obviously got a lot of eyes rolling - especially when Paul Bocuse was there to witness this himself. I’d recommend to leave your kids at home :)
So what exactly do we know about Michelin Stars? The Michelin Guide, created by the same guy who started Michelin tires, launched its first guidebook in 1900. Even though Michelin is being highly secretive about the definition of what it looks for in a restaurant, in order to gain a star -many of you already know that it’s about the different levels of exceptional cuisine. Quality, technique, personality, and consistency are the 4 ingredients for the ‘perfect Michelin food’.
It was proven that the stars must be a serious matter concerning success and identity of many restaurants around the world, when Gordon Ramsay publicly talked about how he cried when he lost 2 stars at his NYC Restaurant. He compared the experience to losing a girlfriend.
Now let’s move to Berlin and see how many stars have fallen so far fallen on this city. Berlin is the third most visited City in Europe, carrying a total number of 19 stars which makes it to the top list of fine dining destinations in the world. For some reason, most of the Michelin-starred restaurants in Berlin are in the east. If you think that Michelin dinners are too expensive for you, I’d highly recommend you look at their Lunch Menus, because you’ll soon realise that you can actually afford that michelin lifestyle you’ve always wanted.
There are five 2-star establishments in Berlin, and I have no doubt that this will only grow. France, watch out!
Watch this interesting documentary on some Michelin Star Madness
2 Michelin ** Restaurants in Berlin:
Fischers Fritz | Lohse, Christian - ‘The Lobster Press’
What I love most about this place, other than the fabulous food and the grand ambience once you arrive, is the warm service. My first visit was a very welcoming and humble experience, which made me feel like I’ve already been there many times before. The other fascinating and mouth watering fact is that Frischers Fritz owns one of the only 5 Lobster Presses around the world. The press is used to create an exquisite lobster foam which is served together with the meat. An experience I wouldn't miss!
Lorenz Adlon | Otto, Hendrik - ‘Tradition eats modern’
An elegantly grand hotel right next to the Brandenburg Gate, is something you’ve got to experience at least once. The hotel which was known for hosting stars such as Marlene Dietrich and Charlie Chaplin carries a lot of tradition behind it. The restaurant’s motto, is “Tradition eats modern.” which is reflected in Chef’s (Hendrik Otto) divine dishes, such as the Adlon sole filet and the world-famous Canard à la presse, which gained them their second star last year. A truly memorable Berlin fine dining experience.
Reinstoff | Achilles, Daniel - ‘Light up your senses’
Reinstoff is paying a little game of hide & seek with us, as it’s tucked away in an alleyway off a residential block in Mitte, where Germanys first light bulbs were manufactured a few decades ago. Chef Daniel Achilles, “awarded as Chef of the Year 2014 by Gault&Millau” , blends local produce with international flavors also received 2 Michelin stars last year, because of his seriously inventive cuisine and striking presentation. The industrial architecture of the historic Edison courtyards and the creative cuisine is an experience that will ‘light up’ your mind!
Tim Raue | Raue, Tim - ‘The Hummingbird’
Tim Raue was awarded a Michelin star a few months after it opened its doors in 2010, and two years later, it received another. ‘He who wants to do what he has to do, is free…’ is Tim Raue’s guiding principle, which is the basis of everything they create. Associating the hummingbird with creativity, uniqueness, and freedom, there’s no surprise that the vibe you get from the interior is exactly that. It’s sharp, elegant, yet minimalistic, bringing you to a place of tranquility and inspiration. Their traditional Asian dishes are delicate and presented with perfection. An experience which stands out the most at Tim Raue is ‘The Krug Table’ where you and up to 9 guests can enjoy an individually created menu accompanied by, of course, Krug Champagne.
FACIL | Kempf, Michael - ‘Innovation in a glass’
Facil sits inside an internal courtyard which looks like a glass-cube, making us feel like we’re dining in a middle of a magical garden. For those who enjoy an innovative cuisine, this is the place for you. Michael Kempfs is known to be among Berlins most creative chefs, therefore the combinations of unusual flavors and aromas is always on his agenda. The restaurant is also known to be a great place for the unconventional gourmets who like the not-so-formal atmosphere. Come in your jeans and you won’t be judged.