Facil, Berlin – Frogspawn


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5th Floor, Mandala Hotel
Potsdamer Straße 3
10785 Berlin, Germany
+49 30 590 05 1234

Food type: Modern European

Website: Facil

For our second night in Berlin, we dined at Facil which is located on the 5th floor of the Mandala hotel. The dining room overlooks the hotel courtyard with floor to ceiling windows. The restaurant is one of the new generation of 2 star restaurants in Berlin, having been promoted to 2 star status in 2013, 10 years from when they were awarded their first star. At that time, chef Michael Kempf was the youngest Berlin chef to be awarded a Michelin star – this was eclipsed in 2011 by Sebastian Frank of Horváth.



We had dinner at Facil where there were two menus available. The traditional a la carte menu features a limited number of choices with starters €24 – €34, mains €58 – €74 and desserts €25. We were informed by our waiter that the a la carte dishes are the restaurant’s classic and do not change. Instead we opted for the set menu which consists of the chef’s newest creations and is constantly changing. In fact, checking their menu online as I write, the menu has already completely changed in a space of less than 2 weeks! You get to choose any number of courses between 4 (€109) and 8 (€185) courses. We opted for 7 courses as we had a fairly late lunch.

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Locanda Locatelli, London – Godfather of Italian


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Locanda Locatelli
8 Seymour Street
London, W1H 7JZ
Tel. 020 7935 9088

Food type: Italian

Nearest tube: Marble Arch

Website: Locanda Locatelli

Giorgio Locatelli has been around the block for what seems like ages. He trained under Anton Edelmann at the Savoy before stints in Paris, including (then 3 Michelin starred) La Tour D’Argent. Locatelli then returned to England to help open Zafferano which won a Michelin star in 1999 which he held on to until he left to open up his own solo venture. His eponymous restaurant, Locanda Locatelli, has held on to its Michelin star for more than 13 years. Despite being a bit of a celeb haunt, the restaurant goes about its business quietly with very little fanfare on social media. The restaurant underwent a refurb back in 2014-15 due to a kitchen fire.


Restaurant Exterior

We visited for a Saturday night dinner and the dining room was pretty much packed. There is no tasting menu available. Only a traditional Italian a la carte listing antipasti, pasta, fish, meat and desserts. Items are individually priced, with starters £11.50 – £19.50, pasta £9.50 – £21.50, fish £25.50 – £29.50, meat £28 – £35.50 and desserts £7.50 – £11.50. There are also pesky side dishes at £4.50 – £5.50 signifying that the dishes do not come complete. We decided to order an antipasti, meat and dessert each and split a pasta course.

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Lyle’s, London – What is Gastronomy?


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Tea Building,
56 Shoreditch High Street,
London, E1 6JJ
Tel. 020 3011 5911

Food type: Modern British

Nearest tube: Shoreditch High Street

Website: Lyle’s


Restaurant Entrance (Street)

If Lyle’s were to be in Australia, it would not feel out of place. The dining room is hip and trendy and the plates of food pretty and minimalistic. But this is not just any casual dining place – Lyle’s is ranked number 65 in the World’s 50 Best Guide and was also awarded a coveted Michelin star in the 2016 guide. Chef/ owner James Lowe has worked at La Trompette where he has picked up solid classical French training before stints at Fat Duck and more recently the head chef role at St John’s Bread & Wine. It is probably his time at St John’s which most influences his style of cooking – minimalistic simplicity, based on less fashionable cuts and ingredients, but no less delicious.



We dined at Lyle’s for a casual Saturday lunch prior to heading to the West End to watch a film. At lunch, the menu is based on the popular small plates/ sharing concept. Starters are priced between £7 – £11.50, ‘mains’ around £20 and desserts £5 – £6.70. Although this may look cheap, the bill racks up very quickly after a few plates. We ordered 4 starters, the two ‘mains’ on offer (one fish and one meat) as well as all 4 of the desserts on offer. At dinner there is just one set menu available at around £44.

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Fischers Fritz, Berlin – Resting On Their Laurels


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Fischers Fritz
Regent Hotel
Charlottenstraße 49
10117 Berlin, Germany
+49 302 033 6363

Food type: French

Website: Fischers Fritz

The dining scene in Berlin is still fairly young. Germany has 11 restaurants with 3*s, but none of them are in Berlin which is atypical for a major city, particularly one which many would currently consider the most important major city in Europe. There are currently (as of the 2016 Michelin guide) 7 restaurants in Berlin with 2*s, and for some time, Fischers Fritz located at the beautiful Regent Hotel stood alone as the only restaurant in Berlin holding the accolade.


Lobster Press

The cooking here is as classical as you can hope for. The main attraction of the restaurant (and the reason for me booking here) is the lobster press. The restaurant is only one of five restaurants in the world in proud possession of a lobster press. Sadly I was not aware that I had to pre-order the pressed lobster dish 2 days in advance. A reprieve for my wallet then given that the dish would have cost €145 per person. You read that right. There are various menus available though. A set 3 course dinner menu is €105 and a 6 course tasting menu €170. A la carte options are priced individually, with starters €30 – 52, mains €50 – 90 and desserts €20. As the restaurant is famous for its fish cooking, we decided to go the a la carte route and try some of the seafood dishes.

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Tamarind, London – Classic Indian At A Price


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20 Queen Street,
London, W1J 5PR
Tel. 020 7629 3561

Food type: Indian

Nearest tube: Green Park

Website: Tamarind

I have walked past Tamarind many times when popping in to Murano. I have always been curious about the restaurant – a Michelin starred Indian restaurant which caters to the Mayfair crowd. Michelin are not the most reliable when it comes to the awarding of stars to non-European cuisine. For example, I find Michelin’s rating of Chinese restaurants both in the UK and in Hong Kong all over the place. Similarly, the Michelin starred Indian restaurants in London while tasty all share a similar trait – they are all smart establishments and very expensive. Perhaps I am not experienced enough with Indian cuisine, but the food does not seem any more impressive than the less fancy places like Madhu’s or Brilliant. In fact, in most cases, I feel the spicing is often toned down in the Michelin starred places.


Restaurant Entrance

Although the restaurant entrance is from the high street, the dining room is located in the basement with no natural light, making it rather gloomy. We dined at dinner. Alongside the traditional a la carte menu, there is also a tasting menu available. Pricing is in keeping with its Mayfair venue with starters £8 – £17, Mains £21 – £40 and desserts £7 – £12.50. Side dishes like rice and naan bread are £4 each. The tasting menu is £75 £65 for the vegetarian option. There is also a cheaper pre- and post-theatre menu for £35 which is  excellent value taking into consideration the prices for the rest of the menu. In our case, we decided to order a couple of items from the a la carte menu with the intention of sharing them.

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