La Soupe Populaire — Berlin, Germany
Toeing the border of Berlin’s uber-gentrified Mitte and the relatively more muted Prenzlauer Berg, La Soupe Poulaire was always destined for greatness. Not least because the man behind the self-proclaimed ’people’s kitchen’ is Tim Raue, Berlin’s bad boy turned good; an ex-gang member, now chef whose daring hybrid of Asian and German cuisine at his debut, eponymous restaurant in Kreuzberg won him a Michelin star just three months after opening. Here, the mood is decidedly more unvarnished. Based in the former Bötzow Brewery building, which lay unused until 2010, the space fashions a seasoned industrial chic that the capital seems to exel at. Designed by Raue in collaboration with antiques dealer Luis Mock and interior designer Anja Mueller, the restaurant is a harmonious amalgamation of black steel, reclaimed wood, leather, raw concrete, exposed ducts, and vintage pieces - including a selection of Loom chairs - sourced globally from Bavaria to the States. Raue’s succinct menu of four appetisers, four main courses, and two desserts is led by the changing exhibitions of contemporary art in the Studio House, as the building is now known, and food is presented on 1930s-inspired porcelain by the Royal Porcelain Factory (KPM Berlin).