Glass, Charlottenburg, Berlin

HONESTLY’S VERDICT
In a word:  Genius
Food:  Inventive, fresh, and with a story behind every dish
Service:  Enthusiastic, professional and friendly
Presentation:  Show stopping mixed with delicate natural art
Ambience:  Stylishly chilled
Location:  Beautiful Berlin, chic Charlottenberg, ugly 1960’s concrete building, cool industrial-gloss interiors 
Value for money:  6 course set menu: €45 – a bargain for such creative talent!
Worth a visit?:  Oh yes, if you value fine food, great service, surprises, story telling and cool surroundings

The second of our (recorded) eating adventures in Berlin and boy was a trip to Glass an adventure.  Glass first came to my attention through fellow foodie Suzie, of Foodie in Berlin, and then as a must-eat recommendation from Tommy at the wonderful street-food festival; Bite Club Berlin.  I’d liken Glass to a modern twist on the Mad Hatter’s tea party in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: a creative showcase with wine.

Glass is the brainchild of Israel-born chef Gal Ben Moshe, with a background cheffing in Tel Aviv, London and Chicago, Gal has opened his dream in a former gym in chic Charlottenberg, the western residences of Berlin.  Compared to it’s surroundings, the building itself is a little bit ugly – think 1960’s concrete – yet it works with the mix of glossy and industrial interiors of Glass.  No faffing around with table cloths here just polished concrete, squiggly mirrored walls and, as the name suggests, glass, lots of glass.

Glass; the menu

Glass; the menu

Glass offer a stylish six course menu in both ‘normal’ and vegan which changes subtly each day, giving the kitchen team the challenge to be ever inventive.  When I say stylish, I mean artistic, creative and most importantly tasty; a fantastic mix which really sums up Berlin for me.

Glass isn’t the place to go if you’re hungry for bratwurst and sauerkraut or a slap up meal, i’m talking delicate little affairs beautifully presented.  Glass serves up art on a plate using sustainable and locally sourced ingredients and Gal is a gastro-genius behind the creations.

Food:

I chose the vegan 6 course set menu, my partner in crime chose from the regular set menu.  Each course came with it’s only little story, direct from the creator’s mouth – Gal would appear along with the main courses to tell the story behind the dish.

Amuse bouche: tempting tasters

Amuse bouche: tempting tasters

Our amuse bouche barely touched the sides – mine a Chinese-style dumpling filled with smoked avocado, my partner’s; a little cheese filled choix pastry.

The Ox Tail - Explosion

The Ox Tail – Explosion

Next came the eggplant served in the style of Agedashi Tofu: a battered ball of aubergine served from in a little wire claw with smoking cinnamon stick stuck in the top…interesting! My partner had the Ox Tail – Explosion; served on a spoon- layers of lettuce, ox tail and tortellini.

Pretty little cucumber, radish, cashew and passion fruit salad

Pretty little cucumber, radish, cashew and passion fruit salad

Next came a cute smattering of crunchy salad- cucumber, radish, cashew and passionfruit with caramelized almonds and decorated with darling little viola flowers.  Almost too pretty to eat.

Ajo Blanco - Spanish cold almond soup

Ajo Blanco – Spanish cold almond soup

The Ajo Blanco, a cold Spanish style almond soup, was next to appear.  A deliciously creamy and garlicky, yet light dish with a generous chunk of avocado sorbet marooned in the middle like a little green island in a sea of soup!

The Stadtgarten salad complete with edible earth

The Stadtgarten salad complete with edible earth

Then, another salad, this time slightly more substantial, a mix of garden veggies, flowers and earth.  Yep, earth, edible faux earth obviously, made from toasted pumpernickel and malt, which adds a smokey earthen taste which nicely contrasted the clean flavours of courgette and beetroot ribbons mixed with berries, radish, leaves and again pretty viola flowers.

Pear barley risotto with sea of beetroot jus and crispy fennel

Pear barley risotto with sea of beetroot jus and crispy fennel

My main was the Sweetcorn pearl barley risotto served in a sea of beetroot sauce, crunchy fennel shavings and macadamia.  The colour contrast gave this creamy and pretty plain dish some wow – the corn yellow against the deep purple and pale green garnish.  I say ‘plain’ in that it’s the classic: what do you feed a vegan for a main course?  Answer: risotto.  Me: boring!

Salmon with black sesame, orange and turnip

Salmon with black sesame, orange and turnip

The non-vegan option looked like it might hit a few more taste buds than the risotto: chunks of salmon with black sesame, orange and turnip.  Again, beautifully presented and tastes of clean fish set against complementary flavours of the sesame and citrus.

The chef's cauldron and the Candybox comes to life

The chef’s cauldron and the Candybox comes to life

The piece de resistance: the Candybox

The piece de resistance: the Candybox

The next thing to arrive on our table was a mirrored sheet of plastic…intriguing…and it was time for Glass’ much talked about Candy Box.  This was the non-vegan choice for dessert and for me it was a real show stopper, and again, the chance for Gal to come out of the kitchen and really show off his creativity, wowing dinners with dry ice, jelly sweets, popping candy, chocolate mousse combined with childhood tales of picnics in the park.

We videoed the whole experience and you can watch it here, and yes, we were both pretty excited by the whole Candybox experience – it felt like storytelling crossed with science on a dinner plate!  And most importantly, it tasted great.  The perfect end to a rather extraordinary dining experience.

Presentation:

Food-wise, it’s crisp and clean white serviceware, combined with carefully and beautifully presented food art.

Clean and simple

Clean and simple

Brilliantly shiny mirrored curtain hiding the creative hub

Brilliantly shiny mirrored curtain hiding the creative hub

The building housing Glass is a rather uninspiring 1960’s concrete building set amongst far prettier brick-built housing blocks.  On the ground level of the building, Glass is pretty much surrounded by 360 degrees of glass, with polished concrete floors, dark grey walls, simple globe lights, with a brilliant mirrored hanging plastic curtain to enclose the kitchen which adds to the somewhat surreal experience of dinning at Glass.  I like to call the style industrial-gloss!

Service:

Just perfect – the girls and guys at Glass are knowledgeable, friendly, enthusiastic and yet remain deeply professional at all times.

Value for money:

Pretty good for fine art dinning in Berlin: at Glass you get 6 courses for €45, add wine to complement each course for €30, or just buy a couple of bottles of the light and bubbly Adamo Canel Valdobbiadene Prosecco to accompany your meal!

Contact:

Uhlandstraße 195, Charlottenberg, 10623 Berlin

Tel: +49 30 54710861

Email: reservierung@glassberlin.de

Web: www.glassberlin.de

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Opening hours:

Tuesday to Saturday 7pm until 11pm

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