Bandol Sur Mer is a modern French restaurant on Torstraße offering one of Berlin’s most exciting fine dining experiences right now. Enjoy modern French Cuisine and hip hop music playing in the background during a true Berlin experience and feel like Brad Pitt for one night.
As a true Torstraße pioneer, Bandol Sur Mer opened up it’s doors in 2008 on the, back then, not so hot street in Berlin’s Northern Mitte district. A lot has happened since then and nowadays Bandol is surrounded by numerous hip eateries like Katz Orange, Noto, Dudu etc.
You really can’t miss Bandol when walking down Torstraße, the red and illuminated sign guides you to the entrance of this otherwise very tiny restaurant. Bandol seats about 18-20 people in an open kitchen space and the venue creates the foundation for a very intimate dining experience where you can watch the two chefs prepare and plate your meal. The venue is modern and cosy, like a pimped French bistro with the daily menu written on huge chalk boards across all the walls.
The food at Bandol Sur Mer is on a Michelin star level when it comes to the level of ambition, attention to detail and quality of produce
The food is based on two different menus, one with a meat focus and the other with a fish focus. The standard menus have five courses but can also be dissected into smaller or larger menus or ordered separately a la carte, all up to you. The standard fish and meat with five courses is usually priced at around 74€ and adding another dish to your menu will only cost you around 10€, which is pretty good value for money, considering how much you pay at a Michelin star restaurant in Berlin.
This might seem weird at these prices but the fact is that the food at Bandol Sur Mer is on a Michelin star level when it comes to the level of ambition, attention to detail and quality of produce. And I really mean that, I’ve had far worse meals at restaurants in Berlin that actually do have Michelin stars and eating a a full menu at one of those places will cost you at least 140€.
The rabbit kidneys in the langoustine dish were some of the best offal cooking I’ve encountered in Berlin
I would describe the food at Bandol as a modern fine dining interpreation of classic, French cuisine, using a lot of classic proteins from the French cuisine and pairing them with unusual produce and modern techniques like drying and pickling. Take for example the Dry aged Nebraska sirloin and braised short rib dish in a red vine jus with pickled and fried kale; an extraordinary dish using fantastic produce where the freshness of the kale and the ridiculously tasty meat cuts create perfect flavour balance. Or the fried veal sweetbreads with beet juice pickled, fried and sauced onions, a 68 degree egg yolk and coffee crunch, a marvellous dish. Generally the animal proteins and offal cuts stand out in terms of quality, the rabbit kidneys in the langoustine dish were some of the best offal cooking I’ve encountered in Berlin (holy fuck they were tasty), perfectly cooked and mild and nutty in their taste. Definitely one of those taste memories that still linger on my tongue. If you’re in any way hesitant but maybe a little curious about offal cuisine, Bandol Sur Mer is for sure the place
If you want a great fine dining experience in an relaxed atmosphere, this is the place to go
With your food you can order a matching wine menu or you just order by the bottle or the glass, the friendly waiters have a lot of great open bottles and will consult you in a very professional matter. The service is generally super friendly and pretty much impeccable, something which just again proves the level of ambition of these guys.
Today Bandol Sur Mer’s achievements go far beyond hosting celebs like Brad Pitt. The food at Bandol is great, hands down, but it’s the whole experience that makes me return. It has the food but not the stiff atmosphere of the usual Michelin star restaurant, something quite hard to find in Germany and especially Berlin where most Michelin stars are operated as rather stiff hotel restaurants. At Bandol you might listen to French Jazz music during dinner only to slip into the Wu-Tang clan or heavy metal as the night passes by and the chefs start cleaning up their station. I would say that along with La Soup Populaire, Bandol Sur Mer offers one of the best value for money dining experiences you can get in Berlin right now.
If you’re in town for the weekend and you want some true Berlin flair and are into food, go. If you live in town and you always were curious what the hell this ridiculous Michelin star circus is about, go. If you want a great fine dining experience in an relaxed atmosphere, this is the place to go. Enjoy.