Last Friday, we were invited to try out the many lovely fish delicacies to be found in the right-hand corner of Kreuzberg’s covered market of sustainable delights, Markthalle Neun. Shrugging off my coat and sitting down at a wooden table with a tray full of deliciously different fishiness, I took a sip of the crisp Riesling Michael Wickert had offered me. As I tried a bite of hot-smoked salmon with a chaser of onion confit, any hint of my mild hangover suddenly disapparated.
Looking around me, I saw a few other people also enjoying the pescetarian pleasures Wickert produces, a whole smoked trout with a squeeze of lemon, for instance, dug into together or alone. Lured back by the other salmons on my tray, I enjoyed the almost sushi-esque cold-smoked one, especially with a tiny bit of horseradish cream.
But it wasn’t until I tried the more experimental gravlax (cured raw salmon that Wiki tells me is also knowns as gravad lax, gravad laks, gravlaks, graavilohi, graavilõhe, or graflax) that I was truly transported. I’m now kicking myself for not asking for a bit of the gravlax that had been cured in single-malt whiskey and mint, as the one made with German gin and juniper berries was just the most delightful and surprising thing I’d tasted in a while; imagine a martini muddled with a splash of seawater, I felt like the Little Mermaid at an underwater cocktail bar.
In a stark contrast to those subtle, singular flavors, Glut & Späne also offers, I’m very happy to report, fresh ceviche. This traditional Latin-American dish is a bracing mix of hot chilies, cilantro, and raw fish marinated in citrus juice. Wickert uses a Peruvian recipe with a mix of fresh and altwater fish, cod and arctic char, making for a great bite that is only enhanced by the cheeky addition of his grandmother’s pickled radishes.
Wickerts’s years running a French trout farm clearly show in the carefully selected menu options and wine pairings (as well as his classic trout rillette), and what’s more, all the fish on offer was sustainable farmed or caught, all as recommended by the WWF.