Berlin! Stop two on the grand tour of anywhere and everywhere.
I pulled into town to be confronted by a searing wall of heat with temperatures forecast to rise even further as the week went on.
I hadn’t done much research on Berlin other than listen to a string of folks tell me I had to go to Stone’s Brewery, which I already knew but wasn’t convinced I’d have time on this trip.
Accordingly for first night dining I went ultra classic with the nearest Bib Gourmand to my hotel which proved to be a place called Lokal.
After just about successfully not sweating through my shirt on the walk there, I was warmly welcomed by a host of wonderfully attentive staff members. They made sure I was looked after in fine style throughout my stay.
The menu immediately conveyed a flair for innovative flavour and ingredient combinations. I struggled to narrow it down to starter and main courses, so opted for both the chilled cucumber soup and the pike perch to start, then followed with the rabbit and mussels to follow.
First up was a beautiful selection of bread with a very good herb butter. It was splendid.
The cucumber soup was packed with refreshing zing. It was the ideal opener on such a close day.
The river fish starter to follow was excellent. It deftly blended quite a complex set of ingredients and flavours – beetroot, mizuna, white bean, leek and pickled onions – in a way that best allowed the excellent central element – the fish – to shine through. It was very accomplished cooking.
The main course of rabbit and mussels featured more cucumber and refreshing melon in a flavour combination that surprised and delighted.
The rabbit was very well cooked and the mussels added really good sweetness and mineral notes to this highly enjoyable dish.
Three savoury dishes meant I had no room for cheese or dessert but I caught a look at their cheesecake which looked mighty good.
So overall, I was delighted to find such a lovely place as Lokal. Service was an absolute delight and everything I tasted was really good. Next time you’re in Berlin and looking for a dinner of effortless charm, this is where to come.
Blythe scores Lokal
4.5/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4.5/5 for service
4/5 for setting
giving an overall 17/20
I ate: cucumber soup, river fish, rabbit and mussels
I drank: cremant, white wine, rose wine, water
I wore: aloha shirt
Total bill: €75,50
Address: Linienstraße 160, 10115 Berlin, Germany