In this restaurant review, the focus is on Rutz Zollhaus, a hidden gem in Berlin's Kreuzberg neighborhood. The restaurant, located by the Landwehrkanal, prides itself on using locally-sourced ingredients to create a culinary experience that emphasizes both taste and a relaxed atmosphere. The historic building has been transformed into a modern, welcoming space that retains its original charm.
The young Belgian chef, Florian Mennicken, leads the kitchen with an impressive culinary background. The restaurant's interior features a modern yet rustic design with a subdued color palette, making it an excellent choice for dining during any season.
The meal begins with a Holsteiner Weideochsen tartare, exquisitely prepared with smoked crème fraîche, flamed cucumber sticks, bacon dust, and fresh herb salad, complemented by the subtle addition of trout caviar. The next course features trout from local fisheries, presented as a tartare with yogurt ice, sliced turnips, and a flavorful vinaigrette.
A German classic, Königsberger Klopse, is reimagined at Rutz Zollhaus as "Halb & Halb," featuring a blend of veal and Iberico pork, served on creamy nut-butter potato puree with forellekaviar and crispy capers. The Brandenburger Burrata dish highlights regional products, combining the creamy cheese with oven-roasted pepper, kohlrabi, and a tangy tomato broth.
The highlight of the menu is the Friesian Ferse entrecôte, aged for 14 days in a wet environment and 28 days dry-aged. It's served with pickled wild broccoli, Miso mayonnaise, and crispy shallots, showcasing the exceptional quality of the meat. Dessert showcases the chef's creativity, with a delightful combination of rhubarb and raspberry variations, including mousse, foam, and sorbet, complemented by fresh berries and tarragon.
The Rutz Zollhaus experience demonstrates that regional cuisine can be contemporary and unpretentious while maintaining a high standard of quality. The restaurant's service is attentive and offers an extensive wine list from Weinläden-Schmidt, enhancing the overall dining experience. Whether for a special occasion or a casual meal, Rutz Zollhaus provides a peaceful oasis in the heart of the bustling city.