Dinner at Ernst

Dinner at Ernst

at Ernst on 8 February 2020
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Another fantastic meal at Ernst in Berlin last month. I am really becoming a bit of a fanboy about this place. And to preempt the inevitable couple of people who historically have always piped up about portion sizes when I post my meals from here, remember that there are between 30 and 40 courses. No one leaves Ernst hungry.
I can’t really think of an example outside of Japan where the chefs are being so pure to the product. I think most dishes have 3 or less core ingredients here, sometimes just a single ingredient ! There is such confidence in this style of cooking, with really nothing to hide behind. You may go to a restaurant and have you breath taken away by the beauty and intricacies of a dish with complexity of layers and presentation, but you absolutely have the same thing here. The dishes, in my opinion, are beautiful to look at and the complexity comes from the time taken to source the absolute best ingredient at the exact moment in time that it is at its peek and deserves to be showcased. Then to find a way to enhance that ingredient and show it’s true potential through ageing, fermenting, curing, seasoning or any other of a myriad of techniques employed by Dylan and the team.
Ernst will close towards the end of April (possibly sooner with the current situation developing) to redesign the space. I have been told it will reopen with just 6 covers, giving Dylan more opportunity to focus on the cooking and the customer. So what is currently a tough reservation will become even harder. I think there was talk of doing 2 sittings but I would be interested to see how that works as the meal in it’s current format takes a good 3 hours and that it at quite a fast pace. So you would either be seated very early indeed or finishing very late but we will see. There is also talk of opening a wine bar across the street with a more casual offering. Exciting times ahead for sure.
My Facebook feed is currently 90% corona virus related stuff and I of course realise the seriousness of the current situation. There is a split between my friends with some saying to self isolate now and others encouraging to support your local small businesses by still going out to eat or to shop unless you fall into the higher risk percentage of the population. At this stage I will go with the later and continue to eat out as long as I am allowed to although I fear that here in Germany we are just a few steps behind Spain, Italy and other countries that are now on full lockdown. One thing that I would say is that if you have restaurant reservations that have to be cancelled because of travel restrictions or the restaurant having to close down for a while then rather than ask for a refund (if you’ve prepaid) just try to move the reservation or get a voucher for a future meal. Indeed, if you haven’t prepaid then if you can, buy a voucher for a future meal anyway. Businesses like this who run on very slim margins and rely on steady cash flow are going to be in real trouble very soon so I would encourage you to take this into consideration. But most of all, pick up the phone and talk to each other and lookout for one another. Stay safe everyone 🙂

10 / 10

Kombu dashi with Meyer lemon peel

Kombu dashi with Meyer lemon peel

Endive

Fresh cheese

Kale

Blood orange tart

Blood orange tart

Buckwheat

Buckwheat

sprouts

Broccoli

Broccoli

Broccoli

Endive & lardo

Endive & lardo

Cabbage

Tempura salsify

Tempura salsify

Gurnard

Kumquat

Brioche

Spinach

Spinach

Yuba

Yuba

Butternut

Butternut

Citrus

Seabass

Seabass

Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts

Hidai

Hidai

Golden frill

Golden frill

Chawanmushi

Chawanmushi

Onion

Hake

Potato

Potato

Egg

Egg

Emmer

Brill

Brill

Emmer

Emmer

Beet

Beet

Duck

Duck

Duck

Duck

Plum

Plum

Orange

Orange

Meringue

Sweet potato

Sweet potato

Reduced milk

Reduced milk

Petit fours

Petit fours