Dinner by candlelight…
For a special holiday occasion, an indulgent dinner at Katz Orange restaurant in the trendy Mitte district of Berlin seemed like an ideal plan.
The dining room is dark and moody, candle lit with vintage tables.
First up was one of the highlights of the evening – half a dozen maldon oysters, served three ways. The first – raw with tarragon shallot vinaigrette, the second – poached with watercress pesto, and finally, fried, with sesame seed and wakame salad. Every variety was fresh, delicate and savoury (my favourite was actually the fried).
A starter of Jerusalem Artichoke soup with braised oxcheek, shiitake and pear was delicious, though the oxcheek and shiitake sat a bit limply on the side of the dish, meaning it was a bit difficult to combine their flavours.
Venison tartar with kale salad, parsnip cream and lingonberry was a fantastic dish, the venison was beautifully fresh, and the kale had a smoky aroma to it.
Spare ribs of free range pork with gremolata and fennel salad were also fantastic, zesty and light.
This is the shoulder of saltmarsh lamb, from the slow cuisine section of the menu – what Katz Orange is famed for. Seasoned with tomato, dukkah, and cumin, and served with gravy and lemon garlic yogurt, it was actually perfect, and a very generous serving.
We opted for sides of smoked mash (rich and delectable), and chickpea, orange, cashew and baby spinach – though what arrived was literally a bowl with these ingredients stacked on top of each other, again, a bit disjointed.
To round out the meal, we opted for a scoop of apple bay leaf sorbet, just for a change of tastes. It was aromatic and full flavoured.
In short, Katz Orange offers good food in a relaxed, friendly and chic environment. On my visit, it seemed to be understaffed, our wine was rarely topped up and our waiter was elusive. The table also wobbled (a pet peeve). It is pricey for Berlin, but the beautiful courtyard setting of the restaurant makes the visit memorable.
Katz Orange, Bergstraße 22, 10115 Berlin