The view is stunning. Eating breakfast at the Neni Restaurant perched on the 10th. floor of the Bikini Hotel and all conversation is consumed by the 360º view of Berlin. Almost beneath me, elephants in the bounds of the zoo, wave their trunks to greet yet another mild day. And then the sprawling Tiergarten, the lungs of Berlin are punctuated by the Victory Column, celebrating yet another Prussian victory over Denmark in 1864. Beyond Tiergarten lies my destination, Mitte, the city’s creative hub, constantly re-inventing itself. But it is proving rather difficult to escape Neni. It´s casual ambience embraces it’s guests, inviting and immensely enjoyable. From here I plan my route to another restaurant via a tip from the Berlin-based Danish writer and blogger Sissel-Jo Gazan, whose wealth of knowledge of the city is as long as the Tiergarten.
The restaurant Studio Tim Raue opened earlier this year in a hidden part of Mitte. Tim Raue is no stranger to Berlin, as this is his 4th. restaurant acquiring the odd Michelin star along the way. Studio Tim Raue´s location is interesting as it is part of the Factory, a campus for creative workspace solutions for small companies and like most of Mitte´s best treasures are to be found in it’s yards. The journey was well worth it. Welcomed into a warm space, the afternoon drifted into a series of refined Asian tastes that were sublime. A neighboring table with a guest from L.A. ended his meal with an almost spiritual vocal salute that came straight from his heart, “My God, we are blessed”. Dramatic, maybe. But I think he was right. So thanks to Sissel-Jo for leading me there and to everyone at Studio Tim Raue for such memorable event.
Leaving the restaurant, I noticed the remnants and signage marking the Berlin Wall. A reminder of a painful chapter in Berlin’s complex history and how lucky we are.
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Photo credits: Phillip Mills & Neni Restaurant