Armed with my TimeOut Berlin guide, my friend and I took to the streets to discover Berlin’s best kept secrets. On the food pages I excitedly came across an article on Tim Raue, chef extraordinaire and culinary magician. Miraculously this restaurateur’s eatery just happened to be the place I had arranged to review for lunch.
Just round the corner from the famous Checkpoint Charlie, we dodged a few fellow tourists through to a hushed office-like building. Tim Raue’s restaurant is on the ground floor, a blissfully calm but hip venue with quirky artworks, ancient pots and generally creative décor. I felt completely at home, and was delighted to finally find a Michelin star restaurant with a bit of personality! Perhaps Berliners are just more trendy than Londoners offering an entirely different fine dining experience.
Immediately you are enveloped into Tim’s world, a welcoming environment of freedom, creativity and innovation. The friendly relaxed staff are dressed in cute athletic outfits and made our lunch enjoyable, thrilling even, from start to finish. At times Tim himself came to our table to chat about the concept behind his food, and explain our dishes. Our lunch menu for the day was chosen specially by him, tailored to our preferences. He is a humble but passionate man and made a big impression on us.
It is a touching story, Tim and wife Anne-Marie fell in love with the city of Hong Kong and hoped to bring the essence of this busy Chinese metropolis to Berlin. The menu at Tim Raue is Asian-inspired characterised by the unique combination of Japanese, Thai and Chinese flavours and philosophies. The dishes are completely free of bread, pasta, rice, white sugar, lactose products and gluten… ingredients which are unnecessary burdens to the body. Instead animal products are utilised in Tim’s creations, wildly imaginative and innovative recipes that taste exquisite.
Hong Kong, which translated means “fragrant harbour,” is a continuing inspiration to Tim and Marie-Anne Raue. No wonder therefore, that the two use every opportunity to visit the bustling city and bring a flavour of it to Kreuzberg.
The philosophy of Restaurant TIM RAUE is to serve Asian-inspired cuisine which can be characterised as a combination of Japanese quality products, Thai aromas and Chinese cooking philosophy.
We were treated to an array of exquisitely fresh and exciting flavour combinations. To start, an assortment of eclectic dishes arrived with appetisers… Raw fish and salad, marinated veal tongue, and other intriguing meats. Of the following dishes (there are too many to mention them all) we favoured the dim sum bbq Pork & Ginger which was sweet and comforting and the light and refreshing Brill with Wasabi Cream, pickled radish sweet-sour, pear & watercress and green Thai chilli.
A tiny pot of insanely yummy, steaming, vivid green, fragrant thai curry soup arrived. We barely spoke as we slurped it excitedly.
Our menu for the day included RAUE classics such as “Peking Duck Interpretation” a deliciously imaginative dish of Duck cooked three ways. This exhibits Tim’s fine cooking skills at their very best. Beautifully arranged and presented, carefully seasoned, rich and scrumptious.
The experienced sommelier chose fantastic wines to match each of our dishes… totally unique and inspiring choices that complemented the flavours but were equally tasty without food.
Pudding really got us screeching… the most stunning dessert I have ever seen, let alone eaten. A hand crafted dark chocolate tree with basil leaves sitting in a bed of plump raspberries and basil oil. It looked too special to demolish and tasted as good as it looked. To accompany our final cups of tea and coffee another course of little sweets was served of which Almond Cream filled Cherries were the best.
So… what would I recommend you order? Pray that Tim’s in the kitchen, tell him what you like and wait for the spectacular show to unfold. Tim Raue’s restaurant is unique and special in every way… discovering his imaginative and creative world was a true highlight of our Berlin trip.
Visit the website here for more information and to book.