Brandenburg gate is one of the main tourist attractions in Berlin. In oder words it’s a must see for every bloody tourist 🙂 Everybody heard of ‘Unter den Linden’- the main boulevard in Mitte. At the corner of the Pariser Platz, directly opposite the Brandenburg Gate and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, a very famous luxury Adlon Kempinski Hotel is located. As a well-respected luxury hotel, Adlon couldn’t remain worse than its competitors in offering its guests exceptional dining experiences. I ventured inside the Raue’s culinary world, visiting his second restaurant Sra Bua, thereby continuing my journey in exploring Asian taste here in Berlin. Sra Bua in Thai refers to the lotus flower, which is a symbol of preciousness, perfection and creativity, reflecting the restaurant concept.
Behrenstr. 72, 10117 Berlin Mitte
Dinner for two: 300€ (Menu with selected drinks + two drinks at the bar)
Tue-Sat 6-11 PM
Sra Bua by Tim Raue was opened in mid-2013 as yet another experiment of top chef. In nearby Kreuzberg the chef is leading his restaurant “Tim Raue”, which has 18 points of Gault Millau and two Michelin stars! I should probably mention that before Sra Bua there were highly praised two restaurants. Again, Tim set for himself the bar pretty high. For those who doesn’t know Tim Rue, he is that famous chef, who was on the jury of the TV show Germany’s Master Chef, participated in the VOX cooking show ‘Kitchen Impossible’, then published a cookbook… I could go on for another hour – just google him 🙂
Before heading to the restaurant directly, I decided to check out the Sra Bua bar first. The staff was very welcoming, professional, representing the level of a luxury hotel very well. Barman seemed to have experience and knowledge in the field. I totally loved his lemon creation, delicious and fresh, but with a little hint of alcohol. Absolutely delicious. In addition to that I was served with a glass of champagne. For such a champagne addict like me, there it’s the best bribe 🙂 Sra Bua’s bar has a gold-dark vibe – black & dark brown leather chairs, sofas combined with gold cushions, gold dividing wall and tiny puffs. It was a little bit empty although it was Friday, which was surprising for me. I must tell you that bathrooms are really chilly, designed in the same pattern.
Let’s move to restaurant. Similar to the bar, it was not that crowded and I must admit, a crowded restaurant gives you this special vibe. Anyway, I really liked the design of the place, the dominating colors are orange, brown and putrid green. Entering Sra Bua by Tim Raue you will recognize the hanging garden of the Uma (former restaurant) – it still fits. In the middle of the restaurant there is a giant lotus flower. It’s all well-combined with the sculptures, dark wooden floors and walls, the paintings by the German artist Stefan Szczesny and the bed rows facing small tables. Finally, the view goes to the open kitchen. Unfortunately I was seated in the opposite direction, but the lucky ones can enjoy the view of the food being prepared right in front of them.
Pan-Asian cuisine with a European flair – thats the essence of Sra Bua by Tim Raue, which aims to represent different cultures of Asia. The concept of ‘Asia meets Europe’ arose Hotel Kempinski in Bangkok and is now to be continued in Berlin. As said by Tim, Sra Bua is an answer to more casual and accessible luxury dining, priced lower than his first restaurant.
From salad of lilies, mandarin and lily leaf sashimi with salmon, grapefruit and sesame to sushi with lobster, of Heavenly Green rolls with avocado, cucumber, ginger, wasabi and sesame on miso soup with tofu, seaweed, clams and sashimi to curry – the food selection is really wide. Curries are available in different variants – hot fried with Thai green pepper, ginger, chili, green beans and eggplant, red variety is sweet and slightly spicy and is served with coconut cream, lemon leaf, pineapple and lychee, yellow curry comes with a sweet-sour pumpkin, sweet potato and cashew nuts. Besides the curries you will find a lot of seafood and Wagyu beef from the grill.
If you are not in the mood for menu, you can choose between Sra Bua’s proposal of six starters, four main courses with three side dishes and various desserts. Being too lazy to choose, I went for menu with a set of pre-chosen drinks. As a starter shrimp was served, great presentation, crunchy, fresh-simply delicious served on the mandarin sauce, which is an interesting combination. Next, I was served fish with pure and some green vegetables, which actually is my fav asian ‘green thing’. Then, the main dish was unbelievable! The combination of white flowers, strong meat flavor and the dark sauce – simple yet sophisticated. Underlying this is the Thai tradition, the table is filled to the brim with food so that you can share it too.
Speaking of Sra Bua’s dessert – that’s something that shouldn’t be missed. I was served a ‘sweet surprise’ from the kitchen, which I thought was a dessert, but actually it was a small warming before the true dessert. I am not a big fan of dessert, being honest, it was good, but I wasn’t really blown away by it. I must admit I was a bit disappointed with the whole experience in Sra Bua. Although, the first feeling was amazing, at the end of the meal I was really wondering about the staff management. One thing is sure, the food and it’s presentation is very good and design of the place is coherent.
How to get there…
What endless explorers think about this spot…
It’s a place I would visit once, but I’m not sure if I came back. The food is very good, the design of the place is also cool, but my expectations towards the service were not fulfilled. In such a beautiful restaurant, with great food, service is a key. With almost empty restaurants and 5 waiters running around I still had to wait a lot for a glass of wine to be served. Shame on the service, it could have been an amazing culinary experience, which unfortunately disappointed me a bit