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Reinstoff

Edison Höfe Berlin Mitte, Schlegelstrasse 26c, Berlin, 10115, Germany

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Reinstoff opened in 2009 in an unassuming location in an old office block that has been converted into flats and smaller offices. If visiting, be aware that you cannot see the restaurant from the street; you walk through a gate into a courtyard, and it is on the left ahead of you. The somewhat industrial feel extends to the interior decoration, with exposed steel pipes and an exposed brick ceiling. There is a wooden floor with quite clever if murky lighting (hence the low quality photos), with the room dark but the tables illuminated by directed spot lights. The tables are reasonably spaced and laid with white linen. Chef Daniel Achilles trained at Amador, as indeed did the sommelier.

There are two menus, though these share both the nibbles and petit fours. One is notionally more avant-garde than the other, though neither could be described as classical. The amuse-bouches consisted of frozen duck liver with elder flower, which sounds odd but was actually very effective, the liver flavour excellent (17/20). Also good was a Parmesan cracker and quail egg (15/20), eel on a rice cracker, which was enjoyable (16/20) and pleasant mango gazpacho and trout caviar on a crisp (15/20).

The 33 page wine list is entirely German and Spanish, which is unusual but again reflects the Amador roots of the staff. The mark-ups were not unreasonable, especially by the standards of some of the other top Berlin restaurants. Mauro Terreus 2001 was listed at €189 for a wine that can be bought in the UK for around €83, Klaus Keller Riesling trocken 2008 was €32 for a wine that retails at around €14 in the UK, Vino Real 1981 Reserva was €159 for a wine that will set you back €55 in a UK shop.

Bread consists of slices and assorted fragments of bread, such as brown and rye bread, bought in from a local bakery called Gauss. The best bread by some margin was a nice walnut bread, while the other breads were fairly ordinary (14/20 overall). Langoustines cooked with vanilla rested on a base of muesli with apple and vanilla. The langoustines were cooked well, and the muesli added a contrasting crunchy texture, the apple acidity, but the vanilla was, in my view, a mistake. It was an entirely unnecessary addition that dominated the flavour of the langoustine, which was surely supposed to be the focal point of the dish. I can just about score this 14/20, but it would have been higher without the vanilla.

The next course was mushrooms, truffles and "forest ground", actually a mushroom espuma with oak tree essence, to which was added a few small pieces of beetroot. I thought this was the dish of the night, as it was both pretty and the flavours entirely complimentary, all based on good ingredients and very well executed (17/20). Next was goose liver twinned with brined tuna, black radish powder and radish sorbet. Although it may not be obvious to combine goose liver (which was again excellent, smooth and rich) with tuna, these are both strong flavours that can look after themselves, and the radish and the brine of the tuna provided enough contrast to avoid too much richness (16/20).

This was followed by John Dory, chicken oyster, a little dashi (Japanese stock) and peas served in three forms: purée, cress and gnocchi. The peas were very nice and this was a perfectly sensible combination of flavours, but the dish was marred by the only technical error of the night, John Dory that was slightly but noticeably overcooked (14/20, but would have been higher without the overcooked fish).

The main course was goat kid from the Pyrenees, with sweet pepper, barley and pistachio purée. This was a nice dish, the peppers having excellent sweet flavour, the goat meat tender, and the barley well cooked (16/20). Orange ice cream was then served with a carrot chip and butter milk sauce. Although it is possible for carrot to work in a sweetish (think of the Indian dish carrot halwa), in this case it just seemed a little odd (14/20). Next was a white chocolate ball filled with buttermilk espuma and hazelnut ice cream with and orange and carrot sauce, which again for me would have better without the carrot (14/20). Petit fours comprised solero berry and beetroot ice cream, pumpkin brittle,macaroon of yoghurt and mint chocolate on a stick; these were pleasant enough, though the yoghurt macaroon was rather a bland flavour (15/20). Coffee was of very high quality (17/20).

The bill for one, with wine pairing and no other drinks, came to €159 for one, which is hardly a bargain although there is clearly a lot of work going on in the kitchen. Overall this was an enjoyable meal with some highlights (especially the mushroom dish) that showed talent as well as inventiveness in the kitchen.

 

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@RobinCouling @ChefVGDG Not easily.