I spent a week in Berlin, for work mostly, but I tagged on a couple of days at the end to see and explore Berlin and my Dad came too for those couple days which was so nice. He arrived Friday morning and I had booked lunch at Facil for us. Facil is a 2 star Michelin restaurant on the 5th floor of The Mandala Hotel on Potsdamer Strasse; it was just recently awarded it’s 2nd star.
We arrived a few minutes early into the small lobby of The Mandala Hotel, a boutique hotel and took the lift to the 5th floor. The hotel is minimalist, white, clean lines and beautiful. On entering Facil, you walk down a glass lined corridor, the kitchen in on the left and you can see in through the glass. The restaurant is to the right in a glass box of sorts with a garden courtyard around it – I imagine in the Summer months it would be pretty nice sitting outside here. There was a couple of tables occupied and we got a lovely table next to a water feature. While we were there the restaurant filled up, there are just 48 covers so it doesn’t take much to be full.
The lunch menu is short but interesting… and is priced by course – €19 one course / €32 two courses / €42 three courses / €14 each following course. The wine list is a novel so be prepared. In the end we decided we would go for wine by the glass starting with a Riesling, fresh zingy and perfect to start lunch with.
I like the menu design and pricing as you can really make the menu work to what you want to have . To start, I chose the soup, ‘Soup of Sauerkraut – Tea Spice and BBQ Mayonnaise’ and my Dad decided on the ‘Birnbaum’s Salmon Trout – Tarragon, Olive and Turnip’.
I had a dilemma for the next course, deciding between the ‘Cod – Parsley, Spinach, Bacon and Beurre Rouge’ and the ‘Farmer Beuthe’s Woolpig – Parsnip, Quince and Radicchio’…eventually deciding on the woolpig (apparently a rare breed pig which has a wooly coat, looks like a sheep but is a pig!). My Dad’s choice was easy as one of his favourite dishes was on the menu ‘Breast of Guinea Fowl – Sunflower Root, Amalfi Lemon and Miso’.
While we were looking at the menu, breads were dropped to the table with a herby cottage cheese (that I am definitely going to make myself as it was so tasty).
After ordering, the amuse-bouche arrived, a pastrami of salmon – heaven in a little bowl! This was soon followed by the 2nd amuse-bouche, aubergine, pickled with raspberry foam – once of the nicest things I’ve eaten ever!
All the while, the staff were excellent, explaining each dish, attentive without being overly so – perfectly balanced.
Starters arrived, and both were excellent – the soup probably pipped the salmon trout for the original flavours and uniqueness but the trout was sublime. Impossible to fault either starter and demonstrated the chef, Michael Kempf’s sensational cooking and style. The guinea fowl and woolpig which followed were both excellent. Not as amazing as the amuse-bouches and starters but thats honestly a small criticism, and actually not really a criticism at all – they were presented beautifully and tasted just as good as they looked…
We enjoyed red wine with our mains, with the guinea fowl, a glass of spatburgender pinot noir and with the woolpig, a corbieres. The pinot noir was the star without a doubt, and we ordered 2 more glasses of this for our dessert accompaniments.
We made sure to order 2 different desserts to sample as much as possible, so chose ‘The Granny Smith Apple – Chestnut’ and ‘Red Currant – Peanut and Roasted Brioche’. The apple dessert was the most beautiful presented and styled dessert I have seen yet, almost too good to eat, but we managed!
Lunch finished with double espressos and petit fours…
Overall, probably the best meal I’ve had and I’ve been lucky enough to eat in lots of different restaurants including a number of 2 michelin star restaurants but this topped them. Our 3 courses, with 6 glasses of wine and 2 coffees came to €190 including service – to me, this is incredible value for the experience and food we enjoyed there. Facil only opens Monday – Friday – had it been open over the weekend I’ve no doubt we would have found our way back there at some stage. If you find yourself in Berlin, this is a must visit…
Facil – http://www.facil.de/en/
Postdamer Strasse 3, 10785 Berlin | firstname.lastname@example.org | T +49 (0) 30 5900 5 1234