I’ve been looking forward to eating in this restaurant on Sonnenallee in Neukölln for a long time. Not only because it’s been on the list of the 10 restaurants I want to try this Spring, but mainly because people have been raving about it, asking if I’ve already been, how I liked it, etc. With some of them even adding that they really wanted me to like this place. And… I do. I don’t only like it, I downright fell in love with their food. With their beautiful radishes, their tempura lemon (!) and their divine veggie bacon… I loved it! And I am pretty sure you will too.
I might have waited a little longer than necessary to visit this fairly new place because I assumed they wouldn’t be great for vegetarians, on their website they proclaim to “give the whole beasts their due” and their menu reads accordingly: bone marrow with citrus, radishes and toast, pickled pork tongue, veal heart steak with frites and bearnaise or beef cheek ravioli. All about meat, right? The vegetarian dishes might be minor in count, but their taste is actually amazing. AMAZING. Thanks to the quality produce they receive from their Brandenburg farmer, who visits them twice a week to show off his plants, their veggie dishes exceeded my expectations.
And what beauties this farmer is bringing: bulbous young peas, thin young white asparagus, crisp beet stalks and lush zucchini. They’re served in different ways, with a whole bunch of them heaped on a plate next to aioli for a simple version of a Bagna Cauda (skip the warm sauce with anchovies, garlic and butter if you’re vegetarian, but definitely try the tempura lemon, which is divine!), or with a 63 degree egg and miso butter. My absolute favorites were the tender, young radishes, that had an intense flavor without being overly “radish-spicy”, it’s rare to find a radish as tasty as this and great to experience this flavor profile. The most wonderful thing is Industry Standard’s encouragement to eat the whole thing, so don’t be afraid to eat the tender roots of the charred shallot, or the tart stalks of the young beets, as well as the tasty and soft green radish leaves.
We started the night with a dish that looked beautiful – burnt aubergine paste spread on the white ceramics looked like it was actually the dish’s decor, on it marinated bell pepper, goats cheese, pistachio and pistachio oil were layered onto each other (plus anchovies if you liked), creating a photo-beauty that didn’t fall behind in taste.
My favorite were the new violet potatoes with sour cream, ramson oil and dried and smoked oyster mushrooms – or, as Ramses Manneck, one of the head chefs, announced, veggie bacon. (Industry Standard’s concept is to share many dishes with your friends, however, I finished this one almost by myself, it was too good to share.)
And yes, you might have heard the chef’s name already, as he’s one of the two Australians who brought Berlin the delight of Mexican food back in 2009/10 when they opened Maria Bonita and later Santa Maria.
Industry Standard is a different game, though. The biggest part of the restaurant is taken by the open kitchen, in which several chefs worked with a surprisingly relaxed attitude on this hot Friday night and the space only gets filled up past 9pm. Booking a table ahead is very advisable though, this one’s on the top list of many foodies, and rightly so.
Industry Standard’s most praised dishes are their beef tartare with yolk, red cabbage, horseradish and yoghurt (some say the condiments are a bit much to still be called a “tartare”, everyone says it’s delicious though), the bone marrow and all the other off-cuts servings. However, I highly recommend it to the veggie-lovers as well. It’s not easy to find this kind of stellar produce in Berlin.
Delicious radishes. Wonderful shallots. Amazing beet roots.