Finding FraRosa really was a stroke of luck. We were wandering around the centre needing to be satisfied by a good, honest dinner to make up for the beer and schnitzel diet we had had the day before and stumbled across the leafy plaza in Mitte home to FraRosa. The location is beautiful and relaxed and the decor of the restaurant understated and quirky. But it’s wasn’t the location or even the reputation of the food that brought us here, it was the general fascination of the concept; pay what you think the food is worth.
They have recently stopped doing the same with their wine list which seems VERY sensible. They said they weren’t making the money back on booze but the food is working well, they’ve been going for 6 years with it. We were handed a menu with 4 courses, each with two options, one veg or fish and one meat. We chose to go for one of each dish to get as much variety as possible.
There were a couple of dishes that really stood out. White asparagus soup was creamy, light and nutty in flavour and served with a side of earthy pulled veal and hunks of freshly baked warm tomato bread. A brilliant start and presented beautifully. The other starter of mixed leaf and nettle salad with goats cheese and mango was less interesting and too sweet for our tastes.
Second came the other winning dish, Pan fried scallop with pancetta, Spring Green sauce and roast beetroot foam. The plate was beautiful and colourful, the scallop cooked perfectly so that it tore apart easily and melted in the mouth, the roast beet rich, the spring greens light, and the crispy pancetta, although there could have been more of it, was salty and crisp. The second option suffered again from being too sweet. Homemade ravioli was al dente and tasty, but the gorgonzola in the pear and gorgonzola ravioli was non existant and the vermouth sauce was sickly sweet.
The mains were good but not on the same level as the two dishes described above. One option was Entrecote of Beef on mustard mash with asparagus and the other a May Plaice (common white fish) served with potatoes and spinach. The piece of meat was delicious and cooked perfectly, but served on cold mash with limp asparagus which is such a shame considering white asparagus is abundant in Berlin that time of year.
The fish was absolutley huge and the spinach was lightly flavoured with garlic, ginger and soy but there was nothing to bring it together with the potatoes, and certainly not enough flavour from the soy to combat the whole piece of fish.
We finished with a trio of puds, chocolate cake, kumquat with aniseed and espresso mousse. The aniseed was too overpowering for the chocolate cake and was slightly bitter, but the espresse mousse was delicious, rich and creamy; I would have rather had a whole one of those.
We paid 25 euros a head for the food, plus 13 euros for a bottle of delicous portugese red wine. We felt this was reasonable as the quality of the ingredients had been very high, but the majority of the dishes needed a bit of tweeking and some attention paid to them when served. You pay in a glass bowl on a counter on the restaurant so it does stay anonymous. Overall the experience was so unique that I would go back again, simply to see what was on offer, to test myself to see if I could pay any lower for four courses, and to bask in the cool atmsophere.
10119 Berlin, Germany