ORA Berlin Beetroot Postelein Salad

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Mon - Fri 12:00 - 01:00
Sat - Sun 09:30 - 01:00
€€€ Lunch around 15€ and dinner around 40€
Order the daily salad for lunch. Have a cocktail. Have some pastry.

ORA

A prescription of fine food and drink

Jan 18th, 2018

Face it, if you are the kind of person that enjoys dining in beautiful and lavish restaurant venues with ancient interior that breath history out of every pore, your choices are fairly limited in Berlin. And a location like that, which also serves great food and drink with friendly service, well, to be honest, I wouldn’t really know where to send you. One place that might just develop into just this is ORA, a project that’s witnessed a development into one of the more interesting dining options in Northern Kreuzberg over the last year and whose food offering has been soaring beneath the radar long enough.

“…ORA, a project that’s witnessed a development into one of the more interesting dining options in Northern Kreuzberg over the last year”

ORA opened it’s doors in May 2015 after Lukas Schmid and Christoph Mack successfully had signed the lease for the ancient pharmacy on Oranienplatz that dates back to 1861. Continuing a pharmacy operation in this venue was not really an option since the infrastructure didn’t meet the needs of the modern pharmacist and thus the property owners laid it upon the new tenants to honour the legacy of the this formidable house with a suitable project.

The old medicine cabinets and tiled floors were kept and the rest refurbished and complemented with furniture chosen to look like it’s been there for the last fifty years. Stunning green, leather couches, ancient coffee house tables and an abundance of pharmacy memorabilia make you wonder if actually anything changed in this place since the great war. Another item that was kept is the original neon lighting on the facade and when the new owners fired up the signs only three names lit up. O, R and A. Deciding on a name for the place was a no-brainer after that.

“Stunning green, leather couches, ancient coffee house tables and and abundance of pharmacy memorabilia make you wonder if actually anything changed in this place over the last 100 years.”

ORA started out as a coffee house without a proper kitchen but has in the course of its existence extended its restaurant focus. The tremendous transformation from slightly overrated coffee house to notoriously underrated restaurant tells an intriguing tale of Berlin’s restaurant scene today. My initial visits back in 2016 made me dismiss ORA an as overwhelmingly pretty yet fairly average café experience and it disappeared from my restaurant radar. The rest of the Berlin community, led by the fiercely visual leaders of the Kinfolk movement, could however not get enough of this place and started pilgriming to Oranienplatz with charged iPhones on a mission to instagram the living daylight out of this place.

“The rest of the Berlin community, led by the fiercely visual leaders of the Kinfolk movement, could however not get enough of this place and started pilgriming to Oranienplatz with charged iPhones on a mission to instagram the living daylight out of this place. “

Two years later I randomly walked in for lunch and I was surprised to find a superb lunch offering. It was fresh, it was vibrant, it was well executed and it complemented the vibe of this unique venue extraordinarily well. I felt like I was in a different city altogether, eating in an ancient Brasserie in Paris or feasting on a plate of Geschnetzeltes at the legendary Kronenhalle in Zürich.

That time I ate a grain salad with beautiful slices of homemade pastrami, a type of dish that for me represents the perfect lunch dish and still is a staple on the ORA menu. Some days it’s served with a thick slice of cured and roasted pork belly, other days with a smoked duck breast, but it’s always fantastic. Other dishes are more elaborate, like the salmon trout with anis, parsley root and radish, but Chef Constantin Guathey’s ambition is to keep lunch simple and affordable.

“I felt like I was in a different city altogether, eating in an ancient Brasserie in Paris or feasting on a plate of Geschnetzeltes at the legendary Kronenhalle in Zürich.”

The dinner menu takes it a notch higher with dishes like the smoked burrata with pickled celeriac root and sour pumpkin cream or the trifecta of mushrooms with mushroom cream. Guathey’s french roots with the addition cooking experience in Ireland with contemporary, British cuisine shows in his food and it’s a true pleasure to eat his creations.

The ORA experience transcends far beyond food, on one side the pastry team bakes a tremendous sourdough that can be enjoyed with your meals while also whipping out spectacular French pastry creations. On the other side, the bartender team has aligned their quality thinking with the kitchen and keep you hydrated with cocktails that make many bars in the area look like fools. ORA very righteously labels itself as restaurant, café and bar – an “jack-of-all-trades” existence that not many in Berlin manage to pull of this well.

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ORA Berlin Beetroot Postelein Salad

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