In the Kitchen: Pauly Saal

Head chef Michael Höpfl plating the day's lunch: pike nockerl

After way too many months, I finally made it into a kitchen again – and this time into one, I’ve been wanting to cover for quite some time: the kitchen of Pauly Saal, a very fine dining restaurant located inside of Mädchenschule on Auguststraße.

Head chef Michael Höpfl first draw my interest when he served me a perfect vegetarian lunch – in contrast to other upscale restaurants, where ordering vegetarian will still give you pitiful looks, this one didn’t feel like a diminished version of a meat dish but a fully developed composition. This is certainly also based on Höpfl’s time at Margaux Berlinwhere the head chef Michael Hoffmann serves a vegetable-only menu among others.
I do have a great affection for Pauly Saal’s approach to food overall – they use only seasonal and local produce to create contemporary versions of long-time classics and I was eager to see how it all comes together.

Pike Nockerl
Pike Nockerl
My lunch after the shooting
My lunch after the shooting: ravioli with peas, thinly sliced mushrooms, apricots and chanterelle.

Michael Höpfl gave me an extensive tour through the kitchen and storage, explaining the methods of sourcing their produce or creating a stock of pickled fruits and vegetables to use during the year. Pauly Saal works with a lot of small producers, fishers, farmers and hunters that deliver their goods directly to them. Instead of ordering French fish, for instance, they convinced a fisher from the Baltic sea to buy a truck and bring them his catch on a weekly basis. Just recently they’ve found a woman delivering acacia blossoms of which some are currently made into syrup, others are candied and used on desserts. Did you know one can eat acacia blossoms just fresh? They’ve got a delicious sweet center and slightly tart petals.

Boxes full of acacia blossoms.
Boxes full of fresh pink and white acacia blossoms.
Acacia blossoms in sugar on a window sill in front of the kitchen.
Acacia blossoms in sugar on a window sill in front of the kitchen.
Apricot dumpling with ice cream and candied as well as fresh acacia flowers
Apricot dumpling with ice cream and candied as well as fresh acacia flowers

Joining chefs in a kitchen is something very inspiring and quite exciting to me since a certain routine is coming together with an increased awareness for details creating a thrilling atmosphere. The passion that goes into the food making, the will to create contemporary dishes within the limitations of what is available in this area is defining Pauly Saal’s kitchen. Michael Höpfl’s thriving creativity meets a humble down-to-earthness and I can’t wait to go back. For now, please enjoy the photos.

Pickled rhubarb and peaches
Pickled rhubarb and peaches
A very delicious classic: Tafelspitz
A very delicious classic: Tafelspitz
Plating the day's starter: bear leek's soup with rabbit ragout and rapeseed blossoms
Plating the day’s starter: bear leek’s soup with rabbit ragout
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fresh onion baguettes from the oven
Fresh onion baguettes from the oven
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Pauly Saal

Pauly Saal

Auguststraße 11–13

10117 Berlin Mitte

Oranienburger Straße

Opening Hours:

Tue–Sat 12:00–14:00 & 18:00–21:30
Bar Tue–Sat from 18:00–02:30

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  1. Sasha on

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    These photos alone have given me ideas for so many dishes to make; there is so much to be inspired from here! Looking forward to visiting Pauly Saal the next time I’m in Berlin.

  2. Karoline on

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    Pauly Saal is breathtaking – had an amazing meal and just thinking about it makes my mouth water. Everything was superb, from the staff, to the atmosphere – to the food and not to mention the cocktails we started out with at the bar ! Do yourselves a favor and go here – worth every cent !!!

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